Laser hair removal is becoming more popular as more salons and doctors’ offices offer the treatment. Despite its prevalence, it’s still an expensive treatment. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of laser hair removal is $287 per session. So, given that it is costly, is it worth it? Let’s evaluate.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a professional treatment that involves removing body hair using intense bursts of light and heat. This process essentially burns the roots of the hair, thus damaging the hair follicles and preventing them from growing back. Sessions are typically four to six weeks apart. On average, after about six treatments, the hair ceases to grow, though some people start seeing results anywhere between the first and third sessions, but results do not last forever. You may have some growth back in patches within a couple of months, and you may require semi-yearly touch-ups after your 6 sessions are over.
Unlike waxing, you don’t have to wait for your hair to grow to a certain length in order to book your appointment. In fact, it is recommended that you shave the night before your treatment to expose the root of the hair!
Laser hair removal is a relatively quick process. For a smaller area like the armpits, sessions can be completed in less than five minutes. It can be a saving grace for those with sensitive skin and those with excessive hair growth – no razor burn, no in-grown hairs (but it’s important to keep your skin gently exfoliated after treatment). This is also an effective form of hair removal for men because it can be done in just about any place on the body.
Does It Hurt?
Laser hair removal is can range from painless to having a burning sensation. Most people describe it as uncomfortable rather than painful. It is often compared to the feeling of being flicked with a hot rubber band. Some machines blow air out while emitting the laser to cool the area being treated. As the setting is turned up, the more painful it can be.
Is Laser Hair Removal for Everyone?
Laser hair removal focuses the light on the dark pigment of the hair, which means it works best for those with lighter skin and darker hair, and is why you are not able to tan before the procedure! If you have light hair and light skin, the laser won’t be able to damage the root as effectively. And if you have dark skin and dark hair, your skin can be at risk for damage because the depth of the color is too similar.
On top of that, certain forms of hormonal birth control can render laser hair removal useless. Be sure to share your health information with your laser hair removal specialist before beginning any sessions.
Be wary of at-home laser treatments. These devices can be quite expensive and are not nearly as strong as salon-quality ones. They may show minor results but are unlikely to provide the look you’ll get from a professional.
All in all, is laser hair removal worth it? The bottom line is that everyone is different. It’s best to talk to a professional so you can decide for yourself!