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New York Tries to Regulate the Wild West of Laser Hair Removal

The Empire State has long been an outlier when it comes to licensing the popular, sometimes dangerous grooming procedure. 

In New York, the laser hair removal industry has opposed efforts to classify it a medical practice. A bill proposed this year in the state legislature in Albany could soon bring licensing and education requirements.

In New York, the laser hair removal industry has opposed efforts to classify it a medical practice. A bill proposed this year in the state legislature in Albany could soon bring licensing and education requirements.

Photographer: Getty Images

When the coronavirus arrived in the U.S., grooming services like hair stylists and nail salons were forced to shut down. So too were purveyors of laser hair removal, among the most popular cosmetic treatments in America.

Unlike a cut, coloring or mani-pedi, however, using lasers for hair removal straddles the line between personal care and medical procedure. It also has a history of occasionally causing serious physical harm.