Can lasers lighten hair without removing it?

I have been bleaching one spot on my scalp for years because I love the way a single platinum streak looks in my hair. I am wondering if it is possible to remove the color of hair without destroying it. Can this be done? Can lasers lighten hair without removing it?

The information provided by medical professionals in the Q&A is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for individualized medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified health care provider.


Replied on 3/4/2013

By: St. Louis Laser Liposuction Center  |  Thomas Wright M.D. F.A.C.P.
St. Louis, MO

Unfortunately, lasers cannot change or remove color from hair.

Replied on 3/4/2013

By: Bella MD Laser Vein and Aesthetic Center  |  David A. Engleman MD, FACC
Dallas, TX

No, lasers cannot strip the color of hair without removing it.

More Questions on Laser Hair Removal

Would Laser Hair Removal help with ingrown hairs? (11 answers)
Does this help?

Does your hair color effect the effectiveness of Laser Hair Removal? (10 answers)
I have heard that Laser Hair Removal may not be as effective on lighter color hair (e.g. red or blonde hair). Is this true? If so, what makes it less effective?

What determines the number of sessions needed for full results with laser hair removal? (9 answers)
How can I get an idea of how many sessions I will need?

Are there any Laser Hair Removal risks? (9 answers)
What side effects should I be aware of before deciding on Laser Hair Removal?

Is it possible to have laser hair removal treatment in just one sitting? (8 answers)
Is this possible?

How does the laser work in laser hair removal? (8 answers)
What keeps the hair from growing back? How does the laser target just the hair, and not the skin?

Is laser hair removal the same as laser acne treatment? (8 answers)
I was just wondering if I was being told the truth that this would help my acne and acne scars? I have been reading on the subject and it seems like different types of laser treatment are needed for acne help.

Is Laser Hair Removal painful? (7 answers)
Does it hurt more when used in certain areas of the body?

Are the lasers used in laser hair removal the same as those used for tattoo removal? (7 answers)
Will using a laser hair removal laser near my tattoo remove or affect it? I don't want my tattoo to fade but the hair nearby it is thick and i'd like to have it removed.

Is it safe to breastfeed while undergoing Laser Hair Removal treatments? (7 answers)
Please advise if it is safe to breastfeed while undergoing Laser Hair Removal treatments?

Is laser hair removel around the vagina safe? (6 answers)
Is this the best method for hair removal near the vagina?

Is Laser Hair Removal the best way to get rig of ingrown hair? (6 answers)
Will Laser Hair Removal get rid of my ingrown hair for good?

Is Laser Hair Removal advisable around the vagina? (6 answers)
Is complete hair removal around the vagina safe?

Can you do a full body Laser Hair Removal treatment in one setting? (6 answers)
I would like to have my arms, legs, bikini area, underarms, butt, lower back and facial hair done. Can you do a full body Laser Hair Removal treatment in one setting?

Will the discoloration and scars be affected? (6 answers)
I have discoloration & scars caused by ingrown hairs. How will the laser affect those areas? Make it worse? Clear or lighten?

Thick coarse hair on face, which is the best laser to get permanat results? (5 answers)
I have thick coarse hair on my face.. under the chin and the sides of my face. Currently, I'm using a threading method to remove hair. My skin is olive and the hair is darker.
Please advise. Can I get a permnant result and which laser is best for my skin.

What is the condition and treatment for short thick hairs that appeat to be blackheads (but are not) on your nose? (5 answers)
I have a client with hairs on the sides of his nose that look like blackheads but are short, coarse hairs. what is the condition and how can it be treated? Preferably without electrolisis or laser...

Which is the best type of laser to use for Laser Hair Removal? (5 answers)
Alexandrite, Ruby, Diode, and Yag all seem to be used, but is one of them better than the others?

Can my 11-year-old have laser hair removal to her upper lip? (5 answers)
Is laser hair removal safe and effective at this young age?

My husband has had hair bumps since his laser hair removal treatment, how can he make them go away? (4 answers)
My husband had an intense pulsed light and radiofrequency treatment to remove hair from a small area on his neck. Two days after treatment he experienced hair bumps that have yet to go away. It has been three weeks. We've pulled the hairs out but the bumps are still there. What should we do?

How long after ACL reconstruction (hamstring graft) should I wait before having laser hair removal on my legs? Will it affect the graft at all? (4 answers)

Which laser is best for permanent removal on type I skin? (4 answers)
I have type I skin, red hair but dark and very coarse beard. I want to permanently remove facial hair to avoid ingrowns. Which type of laser is recommended in this case? How does the hormonal factor of male facial hair affect treatment? Thanks!

If laser makes my skin darker in the first session will it become more dark session by session? (3 answers)
If laser makes my skin darker in the first session will it become more dark session by session?

I made one laser session of hair removal for pelvic area and I noticed that the skin has become darker than what it was previously. I want to know if I made another session if my skin will become more darker than it currently is?

What is the best laser for black hair on darker skin? (3 answers)
I have darker Asian skin and black hair. What type of laser do you have for bikini hair removal that is best for my skin tone?

With laser hair removal will dark spots be removed as well? (3 answers)
Will the dark spots go away? And does the hair never grow back once you get the treatment?

Laser Hair Removal for Facial Hair (3 answers)
I have facial hair. I was young when I first noticed and started shaving it so of course it has gotten worse to the point I have to shave everyday. Does this procedure work on faces and is it safe?

Can you get Laser Hair Removal done if you have an autoimmune disease? (3 answers)
I have an autoimmune disease and all of a sudden it hurts when I get my laser hair removal done. Before I was diagnosed with the disease, the laser hair removal never used to hurt

Is it safe to have laser hair removal if you have a factor V Leiden mutation? (3 answers)
I have been diagnosed with factor v Leiden (homozygous), is it OK and safe to have laser hair removal?

Does laser work on dark hair follicles that are too short to be shaved? (3 answers)
I am having laser treatments now, but after I shave I have black dots (maybe called peppering?) because of hair follicles under the skin. Can laser remove those as well?

Is it true that you have to shave before a laser hair removal treatment? (3 answers)
I have faint black hair on my face and a pale skin color. I've heard that you need to shave before a treatment. Is that true? I don't really fancy shaving as I'm worried my facial hair will come out prickly.

Can I attempt to conceive soon after a laser hair removal treatment, or would that be harmful? (3 answers)

How effective is laser hair removal on a 14 year old? (2 answers)
My daughter is 14 years old and has been scheduled for laser hair removal on her upper lip, stomach, and bikini (possibly Brazilian). How effective is laser hair removal for a person her age? Would the treatment be permanent?

After my 3rd IPL hair removal treatment dots appeared and scars were left behind, how can I speed up the healing process? (2 answers)
I had an IPL hair removal treatment on my thighs two weeks ago. The day after the procedure dots appeared. I have had two prior treatments and this never happened. I believe I was burned during this last treatment because scars have been left behind. How can I speed up the healing process?

Will laser hair removal reduce the thickness of the hairs on my chin once they grow back? (2 answers)
I am from South East Asia, have a pale complexion and am suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which causes the hair on my chin to be thick. Which laser technique will suit me? Will it reduce the thickness of those hairs once they grow back?

How many sessions are required for upper lip and chin hair removal? (2 answers)
How many sessions are typically needed for upper lip and chin hair removal?

Scratches and Laser Hair Removal? (2 answers)
A friend of mine had a scratch and after his LHR treatment the area around it looks burnt and is itchy. Should areas like that- moles and darker areas be masked in some way during LHR sessions?

Pain by Laser type (2 answers)
Sona med spa says their Apogee laser is more painful and blows cold air. The Soprano laser is suppose to have no pain. Is the Soprano laser just as effective?

Factor V Leiden and Laser Hair Removal. (1 answer)
Is it safe to have laser hair removal performed with Factor V Leiden (one gene - heterozygous)?

Is the Nano light hair removal effecient? (1 answer)
I'm thinking of having Nano hair removal sessions to remove my leg and facial it a good procedure?

Is laser hair removal safe if you have autoimmune problems and over dark moles? (1 answer)
I have fair skin and dark course hair. I'm about to have laser hair removal-cutera coolglide. I was diagnosed w/ Behcets, but now the doctor says not sure. I have HLA-B27 and positive ANAs, I've had knee surgery, uveitis, 2 csection, tubal surgery & mole.

I have currently been on loestrin 20 for 3weeks, would it be okay to get Laser (IPL) hair removal treatment or do I need to get off the birth control? (1 answer)
I have been on Loestrin 20 for 3 weeks, have taken the first week break and now have done 2 days of the next cycle.
I will be getting laser treatment to my full face and full legs soon.
Is there high risk for complications while you're on birth-control?

Cost for Laser Hair Removal (1 answer)
I am interested in Laser hair removal and am just getting ball-park pricing. Would you give me an estimate of what it might cost to have hair removal done on the following areas: full legs, bikini area, underarms, and line from belly to bikini line?

How soon after a laser hair removal session can I use 2% salicylic acid products? (1 answer)

Can I undergo laser treatment for hair reduction while taking isotretinoin 20 mg? (1 answer)
I have been taking isotretinoin 20 mg for the past 4 months, can I undergo laser treatment for hair reduction while taking this dosage? Or, how long should I wait, after I stop taking isotretinoin 20 mg, before starting laser hair removal treatment?

I have been shaving my facial hair for a while, will this cause any problems with the laser hair removal procedure? (1 answer)
I have been shaving my facial hair for a while because it was pain-free, but now it's gotten so out of hand. Will this affect the laser hair removal procedure?

Is RevLite best for olive skin and fine hair? How many sessions would it take for the hair to be gone for good? (0 answers)
Some practitioners suggest RevLite for the whole face, especially if you have olive skin and fine hair. Supposedly it can result in permanent removal. Other lasers are said to cause paradoxical hair growth. Is any of this true? If RevLite is the best treatment, how many sessions would it take for my fine hair to be gone for good?

Is this PIH and if yes what to do? (0 answers)
I had a laser mole and I didnt apply any sunscream and neither my scar therapy ge for 7 days. So, my scar turned very dark. I scratched my skin to find it's not a mole and it really isn't because it shows pink skin, but it becomes dark with time. Solution?

All Procedures

(4 questions, 0 answers)

Accent XL (21 questions, 2 answers)
AccuSculpt (4 questions, 0 answers)
Acne Treatment (117 questions, 355 answers)
Acoustic Wave Therapy (7 questions, 4 answers)
Active FX (13 questions, 0 answers)
Aluma (11 questions, 4 answers)
ArteFill (19 questions, 20 answers)
BBL Phototherapy (4 questions, 0 answers)
Belotero Balance (6 questions, 2 answers)
Blue Light (11 questions, 21 answers)
Blue Peel (6 questions, 9 answers)
Body Jet Liposuction (11 questions, 0 answers)
BOTOX® (63 questions, 310 answers)
Captique (2 questions, 1 answer)
Chemical Peels (103 questions, 314 answers)
Collagen (8 questions, 13 answers)
Cool Lipo (7 questions, 7 answers)
CoolSculpting (16 questions, 6 answers)
Cosmelan (49 questions, 52 answers)
Cosmetic Dentistry
Cosmoplast/Cosmoderm (4 questions, 1 answer)
Deep FX Fractional Resurfacing (18 questions, 6 answers)
Dermabrasion (30 questions, 29 answers)
Dermal Fillers (70 questions, 315 answers)
dermasound (5 questions, 0 answers)
Dysport (7 questions, 10 answers)
eCO2 Resurfacing (9 questions, 0 answers)
Elevess (2 questions, 0 answers)
Epidermal Leveling (2 questions, 2 answers)
Evolence (2 questions, 2 answers)
Facial (24 questions, 17 answers)
Facial Fat Transfer (2 questions, 0 answers)
Foam Sclerotherapy (1 question, 2 answers)
FotoFacial/IPL Treatments (71 questions, 310 answers)
Fractional Resurfacing (13 questions, 16 answers)
Fraxel (48 questions, 76 answers)
Fraxel re:pair (12 questions, 1 answer)
Fraxel restore (6 questions, 1 answer)
Genesis Skin Rejuvenation (20 questions, 13 answers)
GentleWaves LED Photomodulation (4 questions, 0 answers)
Herbal Medicine (2 questions, 0 answers)
Hylaform (5 questions, 2 answers)
Hyperhidrosis BOTOX® Treatment (6 questions, 12 answers)
Isolaz (11 questions, 0 answers)
JUVEDERM® (83 questions, 273 answers)
Lapex Laser Lipo (3 questions, 0 answers)
Laser Resurfacing (41 questions, 131 answers)
Laser 360 (7 questions, 0 answers)
Laser Hair Removal (48 questions, 194 answers)
Laser Liposuction (63 questions, 176 answers)
Laser Tattoo Removal (40 questions, 83 answers)
LATISSE® (24 questions, 64 answers)
Lip Enhancement (8 questions, 41 answers)
LipoDissolve (13 questions, 21 answers)
Lipodissolve Ultra (2 questions, 1 answer)

Lipolite Laser Liposculpture (8 questions, 6 answers)
Lipotherme (9 questions, 1 answer)
Liquid Facelift (4 questions, 10 answers)
Mesotherapy (23 questions, 20 answers)
Microdermabrasion (39 questions, 123 answers)
Nutritional Counseling (2 questions, 1 answer)
Palomar 1540 Fractional Resurfacing (12 questions, 1 answer)
Palomar Fractional Resurfacing (2 questions, 0 answers)
Pelleve (28 questions, 0 answers)
Perlane (22 questions, 38 answers)
Photodynamic Therapy (11 questions, 27 answers)
Portrait Plasma Skin Resurfacing and Regeneration (3 questions, 2 answers)
Prevelle Silk (8 questions, 0 answers)
Profractional Resurfacing (8 questions, 1 answer)
ProLipo (4 questions, 5 answers)
Pulsed Dye Laser Treatment (2 questions, 0 answers)
PureLipo (5 questions, 0 answers)
Purtox (2 questions, 0 answers)
Radiesse (36 questions, 161 answers)
Reaction by Viora (1 question, 0 answers)
Refirme (12 questions, 6 answers)
ReLume (5 questions, 0 answers)
Restylane (30 questions, 131 answers)
Revlite Rejuvenation (10 questions, 1 answer)
Sculptra (23 questions, 41 answers)
Selphyl (11 questions, 0 answers)
Skin Care Cosmetic Products (16 questions, 40 answers)
Skin Rejuvenation (27 questions, 41 answers)
Skin Tyte (41 questions, 33 answers)
Slim Lipo (14 questions, 0 answers)
Smart Lipo (79 questions, 130 answers)
Smartlipo MPX (7 questions, 0 answers)
Smartlipo Triplex (2 questions, 0 answers)
SmartXide Dot Therapy (10 questions, 0 answers)
Smoothbeam (15 questions, 9 answers)
SmoothLipo (2 questions, 0 answers)
SmoothShapes (4 questions, 0 answers)
Sunless Tanning (4 questions, 3 answers)
Synergie (3 questions, 0 answers)
Thermacool (6 questions, 3 answers)
Thermage (25 questions, 23 answers)
Threadlift (7 questions, 0 answers)
Tickle Lipo (10 questions, 5 answers)
Titan (7 questions, 6 answers)
TriActive (2 questions, 0 answers)
Triniti (6 questions, 1 answer)
Ultherapy (32 questions, 11 answers)
Ultrasculpt (1 question, 0 answers)
Vaniqa (2 questions, 0 answers)
Vaser Liposelection (11 questions, 8 answers)
Vbeam Pulsed Dye Laser (5 questions, 0 answers)
Velashape (19 questions, 29 answers)
VelaSmooth (4 questions, 6 answers)
Venus Freeze (3 questions, 0 answers)
Venus Freeze: Facial Rejuvenation without Surgery
VI Peel (33 questions, 24 answers)
Vitalize Peel (24 questions, 14 answers)
Vitrase (7 questions, 0 answers)
Zerona Laser Liposuction (36 questions, 27 answers)


Copyright © 2015 All Rights Reserved. Do not use this website as a substitute for medical care. Please consult your physician or other medical care provider regarding any medical questions you may have.

DermaNetwork is an informational site to find doctors & specialists dealing with awareness, problems, treatments, and costs associated with skin care.