Your laser hair removal questions, answered! Incorrectly!

May 9th, 2012
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Girl with red cardI've gotten used to seeing misinformation about electrolysis hair removal and laser hair removal out there, but this time I'm gonna have to throw a flag on the play.

Kathie Lee and Hoda recently aired a show wherein they received several treatments and procedures, including laser hair removal. Fine. They then allowed viewers to post questions about laser hair removal to be answered by a dermatologist. Still fine. The dermatologist, under the banner of the Today Show and her medical degree, provided "information" that went beyond misleading to flat out wrong. Not fine. Not fine at all.

One person asked whether laser or electrolysis hair removal was more effective. A fine question and a great opportunity to educate people on where each method is most appropriate. Unfortunately, the dermatologist chose instead to offer an utterly incorrect "answer".

"Laser hair removal is permanent; electrolysis is not."

Excuse me? This isn't the only not-especially-accurate answer she provided, but it is the most blatantly incorrect. I've written before about the electrolysis myths doctors have been taught to believe, but I can't see where any doctor who is paying attention at all would buy this whopper.

Just to be clear, not only does electrolysis provide permanent hair removal, it's actually the only method that is permitted by the FDA to make that claim. According to the FDA, laser provides permanent hair reduction, not permanent hair removal.

I'd say that the Today Show needs to be more careful before they put someone forward as an expert. If they are going to accept questions about electrolysis, perhaps they should talk to an electrologist or a dermatologist who knows something about electrolysis!

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