The qualification and training of laser/intense pulse light hair removal operators within South Africa

Mandy M. Thomas, Nicolette N. Houreld, Nicole Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Lasers and intense pulse light (IPL) sources are powerful devices that can cause skin burns, pigmentary changes, and scarring if used incorrectly. Adequate training is essential, and regulations are required to limit complications. Aims: The purpose was to investigate the qualifications and training obtained by laser hair removal operators in South Africa. Methods: Questionnaires were distributed and information gathered from owners/managers of laser clinics, suppliers of laser devices in South Africa, individuals in the workplace performing laser hair removal procedures, and accredited tertiary institutions. Results: A majority of clinic owners/managers (94.45%) felt that more emphasis should be placed on laser hair removal training at a tertiary level, and 66.67% outsource additional training provided by the manufacturer of laser devices. Based on the survey to manufacturers, 50% did not require any formal qualification as a minimum requirement, while 33.33% indicated laser hair removal training is incorporated at a NQF level 4 (National/Senior Certificate). The majority of individuals (68.89%) received training from tertiary institutions; however, they did not receive any practical training, and 60.87% felt the amount of training was insufficient. According to the survey sent to tertiary institutions in South Africa, only 27.78% offer laser hair removal training, and of these, 20% offer no practical training and 50% indicated that no practical examination is provided. Conclusions: There is a clear lack of training in laser hair removal in South Africa. The industry should have standard requirements in terms of minimum practical and theoretical hours with regards to the therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1980-1989
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cosmetic Dermatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • intense pulse light
  • laser complications
  • laser hair removal
  • training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'The qualification and training of laser/intense pulse light hair removal operators within South Africa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this