©Photo by iStock: mapo

Laser Hair Removal in Japan

What To Know Before You Go Plus 5 English-Speaking Clinics In Tokyo

By Laura Miyasaka
February 22, 2024
Health & Beauty

Considering laser hair removal in Japan? Here’s what to expect.

The idea of not having to worry about hair removal, and not to mention the trouble of ingrown hairs, draws crowds of people into clinics to have laser hair removal every year. In fact, laser hair removal was the second most popular choice of hair removal in Japan with 38.6% of women recommending it (Ameba, 2020).

Hair removal image© Photo by iStock: mapo

But what is laser hair removal? Does it completely get rid of hair? And how long does it take to see results? Here, we answer your questions, all things I wish I had known before I started my hair removal journey in Japan.

What is laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal is a permanent form of hair removal that uses a beam of light to target and weaken the hair follicle.

What do we mean by ‘permanent’ hair removal?

The length of time that the effect of the hair removal lasts differs from person to person. As laser hair removal weakens the hair follicle, it reduces the volume and thickness of hair growth and hair loses its pigment so it appears lighter in color and less noticeable. Some people experience hairless skin for months and others for years! It all depends on the individual and an occasional touch-up session is sometimes required.

What To Expect When You Book

Japanese women working at an aesthetic salon© Photo by iStock: mapo

First, a consultation should be arranged with the clinic and a doctor should inspect your skin and body hair. From there they’ll be able to advise you on the laser, the number of sessions required and the length of time it will take overall. Some lasers don’t work with certain hair types or skin tones so it’s important to have this consultation first.

As for the treatment, some people feel some pain like an elastic band snapping against their skin but others feel no pain at all. It completely depends on the individual, however, delicate areas such as the armpits tend to be more painful and so clinics offer soothing solutions to help with the pain.

Be careful when arranging your appointment, as afterward, you will have to avoid strenuous exercise, direct sunlight, hot showers and baths.

Laser Versus Photo Hair Removal

Laser device © Photo by iStock: Mariia Skovpen

In Japan, the most popular choice of hair removal, that 49.3% of women recommend, is photo hair removal otherwise known as photo-epilation (Ameba, 2020). Photo hair removal is another form of permanent hair removal that uses light to reduce hair growth. 

Where laser hair removal emits a single wavelength of light, photo hair removal emits a beam of different wavelengths that disperse. It is therefore not as effective at reaching the hair follicle and requires more sessions than laser, however, it is less painful and cheaper.

Many salons in Japan offer photo hair removal but only medical clinics can offer laser hair removal.

Popular Japanese salons that offer photo hair removal:

Popular Japanese laser hair removal clinics:

Laser Versus Other Forms Of Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal in Japan© Photo by iStock: mapo

Laser hair removal can save both time and money in the long run as maintenance of unwanted hair becomes minimal or unnecessary. Laser hair removal further encourages the hair follicle to grow straight so it reduces the incidence of ingrown hairs. So you can wave goodbye to razor bumps, the pain of waxing and ingrown hairs! On the downside, laser hair removal can be painful and starts with a hefty initial payment. However, once you calculate the amount you spend on razors or waxing, it can be cheaper over the course of a lifetime.

How much does laser hair removal cost in Japan?

In Japan, laser hair removal can cost anywhere between ¥300,000 and ¥800,000 for a whole-body treatment. The price varies depending on the area you want to be treated, the number of sessions and the clinic—clinics with English-speaking staff tend to charge more. But many clinics have regular campaigns and deals (especially for your first treatment) so be sure to keep an eye out!

5 English-Speaking Laser Hair Removal Clinics In Tokyo

Azabu Skin Clinic

Azabu Skin Clinic: Laser Hair Removal in Japan© Photo by Azabu Skin Clinic

Azabu Skin Clinic has multiple lasers for different skin tones and is one of the more affordable clinics when there is a campaign going on. One of their lasers, the GentleMax Pro, includes a Dynamic Cooling Device that sprays the skin with cryogen before the laser to make the treatment more comfortable.

Le Coquelicot, Health & Beauty Clinic

Le Coquelicot, Health & Beauty Clinic© Photo by Le Coquelicot, Health & Beauty Clinic

Le Coquelicot boasts four different types of devices to treat all different kinds of skin tones and different hair types including fine, blonde hair. For sensitive skin, they apply anesthetic cream before the laser treatment.


MDSA Hair Removal Salon in Azabujuban© Photo by MDSA

MDSA uses the latest laser hair removal technology so that your skin is treated with the utmost care. The treatment can be carried out over a short period of time with little pain.

Eri Clinic

Eri Clinic: Laser Hair Removal in Japan© Photo by Eri Clinic Omotesando

With the promise of minimal pain over as few treatments as possible, Eri Clinic offers laser hair removal treatment that can remove thin baby hairs and can completely remove hair within five to six treatments. For hair that cannot be removed with the laser, such as gray hair, the clinic offers “medical needle epilation.”

Maris Gina (Roppongi)

Maris Gina© Photo by Maris Gina

Maris Gina offers laser hair removal or SHR treatment, a type of photo hair removal, with English-speaking staff at their Roppongi branch. SHR can be safely used on tanned and dark skin as it specifically targets the structure of the hair follicle. It is also painless. As SHR doesn’t depend on the hair cycle, it can be done every three weeks so complete hair removal can be achieved within six months at the earliest.

Final Tips

  • Find out how much time you need to wait between appointments. 

Some clinics require you to wait months between appointments meaning it could be a year or more until you have finished. It’s best to discuss this with the clinic beforehand and see if they have long waiting times.

  • Find a salon that can treat your hair and skin tone

When laser was first introduced, it worked best on dark hair against light skin tones. Nowadays, there are far more lasers available that are effective for different skin tones and hair. Book a consultation with a clinic beforehand to ask if your hair will be receptive to their laser. 

Have you had laser hair removal in Japan? If so, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

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