Temporary hair removal methods such as shaving, tweezing, and waxing can be tedious. Laser hair removal might be a good option if you are tired of the pain and nicks that come with shaving, or the burning sensation from waxing.
Laser hair removal is one of the most common cosmetic procedures. It’s a great way to get rid of unwanted body hair. Many people have questions about the procedure, including how much it costs. This is what you need to know regarding laser hair removal.
What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is permanent and uses pulses of laser light to kill the hair follicle. Waxing and shaving remove the hair follicle at the tip. Both will cause hair to grow back. The laser light kills the hair follicle and it won’t grow back.
“Laser hair reduction requires a laser that targets pigment,” Anna Guanche M.D., a board-certified dermatologist who founded Bella Skin Institute in Calabasas. She says that the laser heats up hair follicles and damages them. Laser hair removal works well for getting rid of unwanted body hair.
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Dr. Guanche says that a consultation is required to evaluate your skin, hair, and overall expectations before you can undergo a laser hair-removal treatment. The specialist will determine if you are a suitable candidate and then you can proceed with the laser experience. To minimise discomfort, you can apply a topical numbing lotion to the affected area. Then the lasering takes place. It is possible to shave coarse hair before treatment.
Dr. Guanche says that a topical calming cream will be applied after the laser treatment has been completed. “Additionally, SPF can be applied to the area treated (if it is exposed to sunlight).
The Average Cost of Laser Hair Treatment
Laser hair removal is often considered an investment in beauty. Although it is more expensive than waxing or shaving, laser hair removal can be a great investment. However, over time you will save money on your body hair removal expenses.
The cost of this procedure is affected by many factors. According to Corey L. Hartman M.D., founder and CEO of Skin Wellness Dermatology, Birmingham, Alabama, “The cost of laser hair removal depends on the body area treated, geographic location, the expertise of a person performing the procedure, as well as the time taken to complete the procedure.” The cost of individual treatment sessions is generally between $100 and $800.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons , in 2020, laser hair removal costs averaged $389 with no related expenses.
We will now look at the average cost of common treatments. Keep in mind that these average prices are per treatment and you might need up to six treatments, according to Dr. Guanche.
Average cost of laser hair removal for large areas
Laser hair removal will be more costly if you have large areas, such as the back or legs. Dr. Guanche says that a treatment on a large area, such as the back or legs, can cost upwards of $600.
Average cost of laser hair removal for small areas
Less expensive areas of the body will be more affordable. These areas include the underarms, bikini line, and facial areas such as chins, lips, and sideburns. Dr. Guanche says that the bikini cost can range from $250 to $350 depending on whether it’s a Brazilian (removing hair from the labial and perineal areas) or a normal v-shaped Bikini (removing hair from groin areas, leaving an V or patch of hair on mons pubis). Dr. Guanche says that treatment costs for the lower face, chin and underarm can be as high as $250.
What is included in the cost of laser hair removal?
According to Dr. Guanche, Dr. Hartman, laser hair removal usually includes an office visit, application of topical pain relief to numb the pain, and laser treatment. There is also the possibility of applying soothing agents or sunscreen post-treatment, as well as the application of topical sedation to the skin
What are the required treatments for laser hair removal?
Although laser hair removal is a permanent solution, it’s not an easy fix. One laser hair removal treatment can make your hair look thinner, lighter, and finer, but you must repeat the procedure at least four to six times to ensure that you are completely free from hair loss. Dr. Guanche recommends that you visit every four to six week for touch-ups, depending on the growth of your hair.
Dr. Guanche says that it takes many treatments to make a difference. Dr. Guanche says that laser treatments can either reduce the size or diameter of the hair, put it in remission, or completely remove the hair. Multiple treatments may be required at 4- to 6-week intervals. You might even need to have yearly follow-ups after your first treatment.
Does Insurance Cover Laser Hair Removal?
You shouldn’t expect your insurance to cover laser hair removal costs. Dr. Hartman suggests that you may be able to use a flexible spending account for the cost of laser hair removal.
Dr. Guanche says that in some cases insurance may cover laser hair removal. Patients with painful skin conditions, such as pilonidal cysts and hidradenitis suppurativa, may be eligible for laser hair removal. She adds that it can be difficult to convince insurance companies that laser hair removal is covered.
Ask the receptionist at your treatment office if they offer flexible payment options or package options.
Laser Hair Removal: The Benefits
Although laser hair removal can be costly, there are many benefits to it.
- Removes unwanted body hair.
- Smoothens and evens the skin. Dr. Hartman says that laser hair removal can help to “alleviate skin conditions associated with hair growth such as folliculitis or discoloration” and can also “reduce pigmentation problems associated with unwanted hair.”
- Laser treatments can be done in a shorter time. You don’t need to spend more time waxing or shaving. Dr. Guanche says that there is no need to wax, depilate, or shave and all the irritation that comes with these procedures.
- Ingrown hairs are not a concern after laser hair removal.
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Laser Hair Removal: The Downsides
There are some cons, too.
- Some temporary discomfort may occur during the procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, side effects include mild swelling, reddening of the skin, and temporary irritation. This can lead to blistering, crusting or a change in the skin texture. Some research shows that side effects can be minor and not severe.
- Out-of-pocket cost. Laser hair treatment is more expensive than other methods.
- There is a possibility of pigmentation issues. Depending on your skin type, laser hair removal may cause pigmentation. Dr. Guanche says that the fairest skin with the darkest hairs do the best.
- This is because the laser can target dark hairs more precisely. The laser can also be used more energy to produce better results. If you have darker skin or hair, the laser could also target the pigment of your skin. This can cause burning or hyperpigmentation. Lasering dark skin requires that the energy levels are kept low to minimise side effects. This results in more sessions to get the desired results. Dr. Guanche says that darker skin types might require more treatment because the energy levels would need to be reduced. Contrarily, light hair may need more treatments because there isn’t much pigmentation to absorb laser energy.
- Some inconvenience. Dr. Guanche says that sun protection and avoidance during pre-treatment and after-treatment weeks are very important. This is something to consider in light of possible vacations and warm weather.
- This is the in-between time between treatments. Dr. Guanche suggests that hair should be allowed to grow back, without having to pluck or wax them.
- Ineffectiveness potential: Experts point out that genetic predispositions, medication taken and nutritional factors can all affect the effectiveness of lasers. People who take testosterone might not see the same long-term benefits.