Many people must deal with body hair removal as part of their daily grooming practise. People can spend months removing body hair during the course of their life, whether it's shaving their legs or shaving the stubble from their face for a clean-shaven look each morning.
Women in the United States devote more time and money to this procedure than males. According to a poll conducted by the American Laser Centers, women spend more than $10,000 on shaving supplies over the course of their lives.
With those figures in mind, it's no surprise that many people are looking for more permanent hair removal methods like laser hair removal. "How much does laser hair removal cost?" is the question you must ask yourself.
While the initial costs of laser hair removal are higher than those of other hair removal methods, for many people, the long-term advantages may outweigh the costs. Here's what you need to know.
What Is Laser Hair Removal and How Does It Work?
Laser hair removal is a permanent method of removing body hair that works by destroying the hair follicle with pulses of laser light. Shaving eliminates hair from the tip of the hair follicle, whereas waxing removes hair from the root, and both methods result in hair growth. Laser light, on the other hand, kills a hair follicle and prevents it from growing again.
According to Anna Guanche, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Bella Skin Institute in Calabasas, California, "laser hair removal requires a genuine laser that targets pigment," adding that the laser heats up and damages hair follicles. "When the pigment in the hair bulb is heated, it destroys the tissue around it in a subtle way, preventing new hair growth." Laser hair removal is an efficient approach to get rid of unsightly body hair, according to study.
What Is The Procedure For Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a medical operation that should only be done by trained professionals. Individual hair follicles are targeted and damaged with intense light.
As a result, each follicle's hair falls off, and its growth is slowed. The laser is drawn to the pigment in the hair, focusing the energy on the hair. Hair that is black and coarse against fair skin responds well to laser hair removal.
There are, however, a variety of lasers for different types and hues of hair and skin, as well as different parts of the body.
Laser Hair Removal's Advantages
The most significant benefit of laser hair removal is that it provides long-term hair reduction. While permanent hair removal requires numerous treatments, effects can frequently be seen after just one. The majority of people require four to six sessions to get long-term improvements.
Laser hair removal is less painful than waxing, tweezing, and other hair-removal methods. It feels like a rubber band cracking on the skin, according to those who have had it done. Laser hair removal appeals to many people because of its speed and precision. Because the laser just targets the hair, the surrounding skin is unaffected.
Waxing, shaving, and tweezing, on the other hand, can harm the skin by making it red, painful, and swollen. Furthermore, the laser works swiftly, covering a quarter-sized region every second.
Although laser hair removal is costly, it has a lot of advantages, including:
- Removes unsightly body hair. This is one of the most long-lasting hair removal/reduction methods available.
- Smoothes and evens out the skin. According to Dr. Hartman, laser hair removal can "alleviate skin disorders related with hair development, such as folliculitis and discolouration," as well as "decrease pigmentation problems associated with undesired hair."
- Reduces the amount of time spent eliminating body hair. You won't have to shave or wax when your laser treatments are completed. "There is no need for depilation, waxing, shaving, or any of the aggravation that these procedures cause," Dr. Guanche explains.
- Ingrown hairs aren't a concern. Ingrown hairs, which are common after shaving and waxing, are "a thing of the past after laser hair removal," according to Dr. Guanche.
The Negative Effects of Laser Hair Removal
There are several disadvantages to consider as well, including the following:
- Discomfort with the procedure for a short period of time. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, laser hair removal can produce mild swelling, slight redness of the skin, and temporary irritation that results in blistering, crusting, scarring, or a change in skin texture. However, some study has revealed that adverse effects are minor and not life-threatening.
- The cost of the out-of-pocket expenses. Other hair removal procedures are more expensive than laser hair removal.
- There's a chance you'll have pigmentation difficulties. Depending on the skin type, laser hair removal can induce pigmentation. According to Dr. Guanche, "the fairest skin types with the darkest hair fair the best." "This is because the laser can target the black hairs more precisely." This also enables the practitioner to use more energy to achieve greater outcomes." If you have dark skin and dark hair, the laser may accidentally target your skin's pigment, causing burning or hyperpigmentation. When lasering dark skin, the energy levels must be kept low to avoid adverse effects, which means more treatment sessions are required to get the desired results."Darker skin types may require more treatments," adds Dr. Guanche, "since energy levels would have to be reduced." "Lighter hair types, on the other hand, may require more treatments because there is less pigmentation to absorb the laser energy."
- There is some inconvenient. "Sun avoidance and protection throughout the pre-treatment and post-treatment weeks is really crucial," Dr. Guanche notes, which is something to keep in mind as the weather warms up and trips are planned.
- The time in between treatments. Dr. Guanche advises that you leave hair to grow back between treatments rather than waxing or plucking it away.
- Possibility of inefficiency: The efficiency of the laser can be altered by genetic predisposition, drugs, and nutritional factors, according to experts.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost
Laser hair removal is frequently regarded as a worthwhile investment in one's appearance. It is more expensive than shaving or waxing, but you can save money on body hair removal expenditures over time when treatments are no longer required.
The cost of this operation is influenced by a number of factors. According to dermatologist Corey L. Hartman, M.D., founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama, "costs for laser hair removal vary by body area treated, geographical location, the expertise of the individual doing the operation, and time to perform the process." "The cost of an individual treatment session ranges from $100 to $800."
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons the average cost of laser hair removal with no further costs was $389 in 2020. The average prices for common treatment areas are detailed below. Remember that the fees indicated below are per therapy, and according to Dr. Guanche, you may require four to six sessions in total.
Laser Hair Removal Costs for Large Areas on Average
Laser hair removal on big portions of your body, such as your back or legs, is likely to be more expensive than laser hair removal on small areas. "A wide area, such as the back or legs, might cost upwards of $600 each treatment," Dr. Guanche notes.
Laser Hair Removal Costs for Small Areas on Average
The cost of treating smaller regions of the body will be lower. The bikini line, underarms, and facial areas such as chins, lips, and sideburns can all be affected. "Depending on whether it's a Brazilian [removing hair from the labial to the perianal areas] or a standard v-shaped bikini [removing hair from the groyne areas, leaving a V or patch of hair on the mons pubis], the bikini can cost anywhere from $250 to $350 each treatment," explains Dr. Guanche. She adds that lower face and chin hair removal can cost anywhere from $175 to $225 per treatment, and underarm hair removal can cost anywhere from $175 to $225 per treatment.
What Is Involved in Laser Hair Removal Costs?
According to both Dr. Guanche and Dr. Hartman, the cost of laser hair removal normally includes the office visit, the use of a topical anaesthetic to numb the discomfort, the laser treatment, and the post-care topical application of items like soothing agents and sunscreen.
How many laser hair removal treatments are required?
Although laser hair removal treatment may be a more permanent hair removal solution in the long run, it is not a quick fix. One laser hair removal treatment may be enough to make hair thinner, lighter, and finer, but you'll need to repeat the operation four to six times to be fully hair-free. Dr. Guanche suggests touch-ups every four to six weeks for the first year, depending on how your hair grows.
According to Dr. Guanche, "it needs a combination of treatments to be entirely effective." "The laser therapy can diminish the size and diameter of hair, put it completely in remission, or have no effect at all." As a result, several treatments at four to six week intervals are required." Following your initial operation, you may need yearly touch-ups for a few years.
Is Laser Hair Removal Covered by Insurance?
You shouldn't expect your health insurance to cover the costs of laser hair removal in most cases. You might be able to cover the fees with a flexible spending account, according to Dr. Hartman.
In exceptional situations, though, insurance may cover laser hair removal, according to Dr. Guanche. Patients with pilonidal cysts or hidradenitis suppurativa may fall into this category (which are skin conditions that can be painful and may be able to be treated with laser hair removal). "In my experience, convincing insurance companies to cover laser hair removal is a challenging procedure," she adds.
Always inquire if the treatment centre offers bundle deals or payment arrangements that are flexible.
The initial cost of laser hair removal is relatively substantial. So, before you start, make sure you know how much the surgery will cost.
Those considering the treatment should budget for several hundred dollars every session and many thousand dollars in total. Payments can also be spread out because treatments are spaced out — approximately eight weeks between each session.
Customers can save money by paying for multiple sessions at once or opting for treatment on multiple parts of the body at some sites. When compared to the expense of other hair removal procedures over time, laser hair removal is comparable. The process is unique in that it results in permanent hair removal after numerous treatment sessions, reducing grooming time, which is valuable to many people.