In the past couple of years, laser hair removal has become a popular non-surgical procedure for permanent hair removal. Here at Beauty Pros, we recommend laser treatments as one of the best hair removal strategies. Compared to waxing or dealing with razors, it’s a relatively painless procedure and has permanent results. Here is a look at the average laser hair removal cost:
USA National Average Laser Hair Removal Cost Per Treatment = $329
Source: ASAPS (2012)
The price varies considerably based on the size of the treatment area, as well as the location and luxury of the spa. Depending on the area you’re treating and your bodies reaction to the treatments, you can expect to need anywhere from 1 to 10 treatments, although on average people find 6 treatments usually permanently gets rid of hair.
Laser Hair Removal Cost (Price Tables)
US National Average Price Range
Average Cost by Treatment Area (per Session)
Cost Comparison of Leg Hair Removal Options
|Laser Hair Removal||Electrolysis||Waxing||Shaving|
|Sessions per Year||8||20||12||156|
|Ave Price per Year||$3600||$5250||$420||$250|
|Ave 5-year Price||$3600||$15,750||$2100||$1250|
Price Range in New York City
|per Session||Packages of 5-6 Treatments||Package of 8|
|Small Areas (Bikini Line, Upper lip, Underarms)||$80 - $160||$220 - $800||$900-$1200|
|Medium Areas (Full Face, Brazilian, Neck)||$150 - $390||$550 - $1500||$900 - $2200|
|Large Areas (Full Legs, Full Chest and Shoulders)||$250 - $550||$1250 - $2400||$2200 - $3500|
Price Tags and Financing Laser Treatment
Before chasing after this procedure, the most important thing to ask yourself is whether or not it is affordable. The price of the procedure as a whole actually depends on a cluster of factors: Where on your body will the procedure be done?
Normally, smaller areas for hair removal are relatively affordable, ranging between $250 and $500 per session. As for larger areas, such as the legs or back, there is a significant price increase, possibly ranging between $600 to $900.
What is your skin and hair tone?
This will decide the laser type and amount of treatments needed.
Particular types aren’t as effective on specific skin types and may require the patient to come back for additional treatments. Normally, patients will be coming back for between four and fix treatments, on average. For an average treatment for someone of a fair complexion, they may spend around $2,000 for their overall treatment.
Conveniently, clinics typically offer a cluster or mass discount deal since multiple treatments are likely. To spend to least amount of money, it’s reasonable to purchase the discounted plan.
Which clinic are you interested in having this procedure done at and what is its location?
Particular locations offer treatments are higher prices or more expensive packages than others due to their locations. If the clinic is location somewhere with a high volume of people that are potentially interested in the procedure, they are more likely to increase the price for optimum return.
Options for Financing Your Treatments
Plenty of clinics offer financing options for their patients. Unfortunately, because it is considering an elective procedure, most insurance agencies are going to refuse payment assistance for the treatment. Patients must pay the entirety of the procedure.
Usually, all major credit cards are accepted at these facilities and are a bit flexible with payment options. Luckily, cosmetic surgery centers are lenient and can even offer some in-house financing options. When in doubt, independent credit companies, such as Care Credit or Capital One Healthcare Finance, are viable options for financing your treatment. These companies will set up payment plans, low rates, and work with the patients to design a reasonable monthly payment that works with their budget. Most people interested in financing their cosmetic procedures will lean on these.
If financing options still seem a little bit bleak for this procedure, there is no harm in saving up a little bit of money for it. After a couple hundred dollars has accumulated, the financing options seem a bit more doable.
Overview of the Procedure
It’s a cosmetic procedure performed by a medical technician that utilizes a laser on the skin to be absorbed by Melanin, or pigment, in the hair follicles. Laser use follows the principle of Selective Photothermolysis, which involves manipulating the wavelength of light and the pulse duration to successfully target specific tissue and remove hair without negatively affecting the surrounding skin tissue.
The removal procedure has been in practice since 1997 but had been used experimentally for many years before. According to the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA), it is considered a permanent, or long-term, method for hair removal. Though it has been noted that many patients will require multiple procedures. However, it’s been praised for it’s reducing its growth on the body.
Who is Laser Removal Best For?
Unfortunately, the photons of the laser are particularly selective and the best results happen with black or brown hair. Fair skin and dark hair is the best combination for optimum treatment. However, with the recent advancements in technology, individuals with darker skin tones are able to get their hair laser removed.
There are two types of Melanin which are responsible for the different hair tones:
- Eumelanin, which is gives the darker colors such as brown or black.
- Pheomelanin, which is responsible for blonde or red hair colors.
Laser removal can be ineffective on individuals with blonde, red, gray, or any light-toned hair. However, there are several lasers designed for this, though they would require multiple clinical visits.
The Equipment and Methods
There is an array of lasers utilized in the hair removal procedure due to the variety of skin tones and hair colors. Each of these are composed of multiple wavelengths of energy, ranging from visible light to near-infrared radiation. All of which are measures in nanometers (nm). For darker skin tones, a wavelength of higher nanometers is required to target the hair follicles. Each one has what is commonly referred to as a pulse width, which is the duration of the heat pulse. The length of the pulse’s heat affects the damage on the hair follicle.
The germ cells are the area of interest for the lasers, located on the surface of the follicle. By destroying these cells, hair is unlikely to grow back. By melanin taking in the light energy, it winds up being distributed to the germ cells and generating heat to remove the follicle. However, due to the broad spectrum of hair texture and tones, particular lasers need to be used to fully remove the hair. Unfortunately, it can be a matter of trial and error, requiring multiple visits. Often, it’s considered a failure due to insufficient temperature/time ratio.
The width of the laser beam affects the actual depth of light energy penetration on the skin and hair follicles. The larger the diameter of the beam, the deeper the energy shall go, producing higher temperatures, leading to a more effective procedure. The typical size utilized resembles the tip of a finger, which is between 3 and 18mm.
Many medical professionals choose lasers that have a high fluence amount and epidermal cooling. The most important consideration they keep in mind is power density, which is the combination of energy, laser diameter, and pulse duration.
Fluence is another way of saying energy density. It is measured in joules per square centimeter (J/cm2). The higher the fluence, the higher possibility of both hair removal and hair growth prevention.
As for epidermal cooling, this works with fluence to prevent any burning or painful side effects during the process, particularly on darker skinned individuals.
There are three different types of epidermal cooling:
- Contact cooling, which is considered the most effective of epidermal cooling methods by providing a constant heat sink on the surface on the skin. It relies on a cooled window, normally composed of sapphire or quartz, though sapphire is significantly more conductive.
- Cryogen spray, which is a cooling spray that is applied directly to the skin both prior to and after laser contact.
- Application of cold air, which is simply generating a constant stream of air at about -34 degrees Celsius to the contact area.
Epidermal cooling has to work in combination with fluence in order to prevent harsh side effects and damage during the procedure. All laser removal machinery has both a section for fluence and some sort of epidermal cooling system on the side.
Since it’s conception, plenty of lasers have been tested for hair removal.
Here’s a listing of both currently and previously used lasers:Argon – Has a wavelength of 488nm when using Cyan lighting but 514.5 nm when using green light. This laser is no longer utilized.
- Ruby Laser – Has a wavelength of 694.3 nm, utilizing deep red lighting on patients with very pale skin. Fair skin tones and darker will encounter pain if used.
- Alexandrite – Has a wavelength of 755 nm and is considered a near-infrared laser. Luckily, this laser is applicable on all skin types and is one of the most used among cosmetic professionals. It is the laser with the least amount of side effects and the second most effective hair reduction several months post procedure.
- Pulsed diode array – Diode array lasers are near-infrared lights with a wavelength of 810 nm. Diodes are relied on for individuals with both pale and medium skin types. It is the most effective with hair reduction months following the procedure.
- YAG laser – This is a near-infrared laser with a wavelength of 1064 nm, primarily used on patients on darker skin types. However, it’s applicable to all skin tones.
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) – Unlike the previous listings, this is not a laser but rather a rapidly blinking zenon flash lighst, or pulsing lights, that emits full spectrum light. It’s wavelength is 810 nm and is applicable to both pale and medium skin types. It’s incorrectly been referred to as a laser removal method, though it’s effective for removing hair. It’s merely a light-oriented hair removal method.
It’s advantageous by utilizing more red wavelengths and mass short pulses to combine into a longer pulse, providing a more effective heat supply.
Interestingly, lasers are often compared to Electrolysis and there have been a never-ending debate about which is more effective.
Electrolysis is the utilization of electronic metallic probes inserted into the hair follicles to permanently remove hair and prevent future growth. Despite the description, the procedure does not require any punctuation. It’s procedure works similarly to laser treatment. The electrical current will generate a source of heat to the germ cells to both kill off the hair follicle and diminish any growth. It was the primary hair removal method until the introduction of lasers in the 90’s. Electrolysis has been dying out since the laser procedures require significantly less time and expense.
How to Prepare For Your Treatments
First of all, you must decide on the area of interest for the procedure. Laser removal can be done in a variety of places such as the face, legs, arms, underarms, bikini line, and a few other areas. Certain facilities will only touch certain areas for this procedure.
As with any medical procedure, it’s important to read up about the clinic and the physicians. Online reviews, forums, discussion boards, etc., it is all perfect for research. Once you’ve decided on a clinic and physician, research financing information. This procedure can be a bit on the pricey side, so it’s important to see if they offer any financing options. See if your insurance can possibly contribute to your cosmetic procedure. If you can afford it, go for it. After all of that, it’s time to prep for the procedure.
Taking care of the skin is the most important thing. Six weeks prior to treatment, avoid plucking, waxing, shaving, or any hair removal to the area the procedure will be performed. During this time, avoiding sun exposure would be beneficial. Exposure can lessen the effectiveness of the procedure and possibly complicate it.
The Side Effects, Risks, and Recovery Period
A couple of days following the procedure, the will be plenty of discomfort. The treated area will feel as if it’s covered with a giant sunburn and sting. To ease it, you’ll need to apply moisturizers and plenty of cool compresses.
Worse symptoms include skin discoloration and blistering at the treated area. By applying sunscreen for several weeks following the procedure, you can prevent skin discoloration from sun exposure.
Swelling and blistering is to be expected on the treated area, though rare. Patients of a darker skin tone are more likely to face blistering over other skin tones. If the skin is not taken care of post procedure, there is a higher risk for scarring or changes on the skin.
Luckily, if a laser removal procedure was done on the face, make up can be worn post procedure as long as there are no blisters apparent.
Dr. Oz: “Is laser hair treatment safe?”
Benefits of Laser Hair Treatment
First thing’s first, the unwanted hair is removed quickly, typically painlessly, and permanently. Laser treatment is a great procedure to go with due to it’s precision and accuracy. It’s praised for it’s effectiveness and speediness. It’s guaranteed to remove the unwanted hair within several treatments but, just that, the hair is gone once and for all.
Full Body Laser Hair Costs, Reasons and Process
In the end, lasers the most effective and efficient method for removing unwanted hair and keeping it away.