How Much is Laser Hair Removal

by Véronique Raymond

No one likes unwanted hair, but how do you get rid of it? Razor burns are unsightly and irritating and itchy; tweezing is painful, waxing is akin to torture, and shaving creams, albeit effective, are cumbersome to use. That leaves you with one viable option as far as hair removal is concerned: laser. So, how much is laser hair removal, and is it worth the effort?

How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost?

To begin with, it should be noted that the prices mentioned here are estimates based on a wide range of prices from different laser hair removal work. Prices can vary depending on that treatment area, the hair type, number of sessions required, etc. As with almost every product and service on the free market today, the cost of laser hair removal also depends on the vendor.

What could cost you $20 in one establishment could very well cost you ten times that in another, depending on how they position themselves and the kind of clientele they want to attract.

However, many vendors now offer a free consultation, so it doesn’t hurt to contact ones in your area to see what the average cost would be.

That being said, other factors affect the laser hair removal price. These include:

  • The expert performing the cosmetic procedure
  • The size of the area that needs laser hair removal
  • The number of treatments necessary to get the job done properly

Another key factor to remember is that different laser hair removal salons classify “body areas” differently. However, these areas are generally referred to as:

Small Areas

Here are some of the areas considered as “small areas” and how much laser hair removal for these areas would approximately cost:

  • Bikini line: This is considered a small area and typically costs between $150 and $275
  • Underarms: These typically cost between $150 and $175
  • Your lip, chin, and sideburns: These typically cost between $75 and $150

Medium Areas

  • Your upper and lower legs are typically classified as “medium areas,” and they can cost you anything between $275 and $400
  • Your arms also fall into this category and could cost between $350 and $400

Large Areas

Areas such as your back constitute what is classified as a “large area.” Laser hair removal for such areas could cost between $375 and $400 per session.

How Does Hair Laser Removal Work?

Now that we know how much laser hair removal could cost, it is best to understand how it works to see the value (or lack thereof) of the procedure.

The laser emitted by the best laser hair removal machine of choice works by seeking out the pigment in your skin. The pigment affected by this laser is typically found in the base of the client’s hair follicle.

As soon as the laser locates this pigment, it essentially converts its light energy into heat and incinerates that pigment. This causes the hair root to die and the hair to fall out.

The type of laser used will be determined by where your skin type falls on the Fitzpatrick scale, assigning a score of 1–6 to your skin type based on ethnicity and tone. If you have a skin type score of 3 and above, you will need a specialized laser that is safer for dark skin.

The idea here is to try and minimize incidences of your skin absorbing the heat from the laser in addition to the hair follicles, effectively burning you and leaving a scar, which is exactly what most people try to avoid by getting laser hair removal treatments in the first place.

Is Laser Hair Removal Worth It?

young woman lying with closed eyes and putting on arm up while having laser hair removal procedure on it

Source: Shutterstock

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons involved in laser hair removal treatment to try and determine whether it’s worth it or not.

Laser Hair Removal Treatment Pros:

  • The procedure is quite precise in that the lasers used can effectively target coarse and dark hairs while leaving the areas around the treatment site untouched
  • The procedure is quite fast. Granted, larger areas such as your back could take up to an hour and maybe even require more than one session, but smaller areas such as your upper lip can be done in under a minute. This is mostly because the lasers used can target many hair follicles at the same time. Each laser burst treats an area the size of a quarter each second
  • The procedure is quite effective. In fact, with just three to seven sessions, most clients experience permanent hair loss in the treated areas
  • Even though laser hair removal treatments might not permanently remove hair follicles for some clients (even after numerous treatments), they drastically reduce hair growth. So much so that laser hair removal clients stop shaving after a while
  • The procedure is relatively painless. However, it should be noted that this depends on your pain tolerance levels and the technician’s expertise. However, laser hair removal sessions can either be as painless as shaving or just about as painful as waxing. In many cases, it falls somewhere in between

Laser Hair Removal Treatment Cons:

  • It can be costly, depending on the laser hair removal salon you choose
  • It requires multiple sessions. Yes, getting laser hair removal treatments for small areas such as your upper lip could take as little as a minute or two. However, to see real results, you need to go for several sessions, which can add up cost-wise
  • The procedure can be time-consuming. While the lasers get to your body hair follicles fast enough, the fact that you often need more than one session to get the results you want can be time-consuming, especially once you factor in the fact that there’s a six week wait period between sessions
  • If not done properly, side effects of laser treatment can be painful and leave burns and unsightly scars on your skin

So, is laser hair removal worth it? That depends. If you struggle with other hair removal techniques, then yes, laser technology might be what you need, and the laser hair removal cost may be worth it.

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