Efficacy of Laser in Hair Removal: A Network Meta-analysis

Yu Chien Kao, Dai Zhu Lin, Yi No Kang, Cheng Jen Chang, Wen Kuan Chiu*, Chiehfeng Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Laser hair removal is an increasingly prevalent trend of cosmetic procedures. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of hair reduction among several types of laser interventions. Methods: The selected studies searched in PubMed and EMBASE were assessed for quality of evidence, and extracted data on absolute hair count and hair reduction rate. Qualitative data were synthesized using standardized mean difference (SMD) in frequentist network meta-analysis because various measurement units were used among selected studies. Inconsistency and small study effects were examined by design-by-treatment interaction model and comparison-adjusted funnel plot. Results: A total of 13 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) (n = 652) were contributed to network meta-analysis. Pooled results revealed that diode laser showed significantly lower absolute hair count within three-month (SMD = −13.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −22.25 to −4.17) and around six months follow-up (SMD = −11.01, 95% CI: −18.24 to −3.77) as compared with those in control group, but no significant difference among laser interventions. All side effects observed were transient without leaving any permanent scars. Conclusion: Eliminating unwanted hair with lasers or intense pulsed light is safe and effective; however, which type of intervention is more beneficial in the long-term process should be studied with a longer follow-up time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-19
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 19 05 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Alexandrite
  • Diode laser
  • Hair removal
  • Intense pulsed light
  • Neodymium:yttrium aluminum garnet (nd:yag)
  • Hair
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Laser Therapy/adverse effects
  • Lasers, Semiconductor/therapeutic use
  • Hair Removal/methods
  • Network Meta-Analysis
  • Cicatrix/etiology


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