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Permanent hair removal is often confused with permanent hair reduction—a term approved by the FDA in 1998. The FDA allows some manufacturers of hair removal lasers and flash lamps used for depilation to use the term "permanent hair reduction," which the agency defines as:
"The long-term, stable reduction in the number of hairs regrowing after a treatment regime. The number of hairs regrowing must be stable over a time greater than the duration of the complete growth cycle of hair follicles, which varies from 4-12 months according to body location. Permanent hair reduction does not necessarily imply the elimination of all hairs in the treatment area."