Laser Hair Removal Fumes

Laser Hair Removal (Source)

Laser hair removal is a fact of modern life. Both men and women partake. But a quick Google search reveals that while many customers like the results, they sometimes find the process a little offensive due to the smell of burning hair.

Benefits of Laser Fume Extraction

Remove Smells to Improve Spa Experience

Serene photo of candle and flowers.Spas offer stressed individuals an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the little things, like generous towels and perfumed air.

But a spa that offers laser hair removal may be unintentionally harming its sought-for environment. The smell of burning hair is unpleasant and out of sync with the overall client experience, many spas strive to deliver.

Remove Smells for Building Neighbors

Small excerpt from old journal explains that sulphur is what smells bad when hair is burned.

Sulphur is the smelly culprit when it comes to burning hair, says Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions, March 2, 1872, p 172

Commercial enterprises that share a building may not deliberately create problems for their neighbors. Fume extractors will help a business remove the smell from the air to help keep everyone in the building happy. This testimonial showcases this benefit of laser fume extractors.

But the smell of burning hair may sour a good relationship. Even if the laser fumes are invisible, they can spread airborne microscopic particles anywhere the air patterns may take them. Particles can irritate the respiratory system and throat, causing people to cough; the smallest can enter the body’s lungs and even migrate to other locations in the body (Ref. 1).


Employee Protection

Operators of laser instruments work in a variety of professions, from veterinary offices to podiatry clinics to industrial facilities.

OSHA has focused on surgical smoke in publications about laser fume hazards for workers.

OSHA says “they can produce upper respiratory irritation and have in-vitro mutagenic potential. Although there has been no documented transmission of infectious disease through surgical smoke, the potential for generating infectious viral fragments” may exist (Ref. 2).

Laser Fume Extractors

OSHA recommends local ventilation instead of dilution ventilation to remove the odors and particles at the source. Dilution ventilation simply adds more air through the use of fans and does not remove the fumes, odors, and particulate from the airflow. Instead, local ventilation uses source capture fume extractors to remove the contaminants from the air.

The chart below compares the two types of ventilation.

Dilution vs. Local Exhaust Ventilation

Dilution Ventilation
Local Exhaust Ventilation
Advantages Disadvantages Advantages Disadvantages
Usually lower equipment and installation costs. Does not completely remove contaminants. Capture contaminant at source and removes it from the workspace. Higher cost for design, installation and equipment.
Requires less maintenance. Cannot be used for highly toxic chemicals. Only choice for highly toxic airborne chemicals. Requires regular cleaning, inspection, and maintenance.
Effective control for small amounts of low toxicity chemicals. Ineffective for dusts, metal fumes, or large amounts of gases or vapors. Can handle all sorts of contaminants including dusts and metal fumes.
Effective control for flammable or combustible gases or vapors. Requires large amounts of heated or cooled makeup air. For exhaust: requires smaller amount of makeup air since amounts of air are being exhausted.
For ductless: no makeup air required, creates recirculating pattern of airflow.
Best ventilation for small dispersed contaminant sources or mobile sources. Ineffective for handling surges of gases, vapors, or irregular emissions. Less energy costs since less or no make up to heat or cool.

Sentry Air Laser Fume Extractors

Model 300 laser Fume Extractor

Model 300 Portable Laser Fume Extractor

Sentry Air designs and manufactures effective local ventilation systems. Portable fume extractors arrest both particles and smell before they can spread. These units can be equipped with both HEPA filters (up to 99.97% efficiency for particles as small as 0.3 microns) for particles and Activated Carbon filters (efficiency varies based on application) for odors and chemical fumes.

Local ventilation systems capture both particles and unpleasant smells that can help the spa operator maintain the highest standards. In addition, fume extractors protect employees from potential health hazards and keep you in good standing with your neighbors.

Sentry Air’s Model 300 Portable Fume Extractor can be configured with both HEPA and Activated Carbon filters. Its flexible capture arm pulls particles and odors into the filters and can be placed exactly where the fumes are created.

Contact us

Our applications specialists would love to talk with you about your operation. Call us at 800.799.4609, visit our website,, email us,, or fill out the contact form.


1. Oberdörster, E., Oberdörster, G., and Oberdörster, J.. “Nanotoxicology: An Emerging Discipline Evolving from Studies of Ultrafine Particles.” Environmental Health Perspective. (2005, July). Accessed from:

2. Occupational Safety and Health Association. “Laser/Electrosurgery Plume.” Safety & Health Topics. Accessed from: