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Laser hair removal is the process using lasers to cause localized damage on selective target areas, particularly those that cause hair growth. Laser light is absorbed by the darker particles of the hair, damaging the follicles to significantly reduce the number of hairs in a given area. The results can be substantial, but the FDA does not permit device manufacturers to tout it as permanent hair removal.
Summary of Costs
The costs for laser hair removal are based on the area being treated and the number of sessions needed to achieve maximum results. Smaller areas like the upper lip or underarms are much less expensive than legs or the bikini area since fewer treatments are needed. Laser removal done by a plastic surgeon or dermatologist is more expensive that that performed by a certified aesthetician. It generally takes 4 to 6 sessions to achieve results.
Prices can range from $250 to $5,000 for the removal process, with the average cost of laser hair removal being about $358 per treatment. The North Central part of the United States generally has the lowest prices at $268 per session. It’s also worth noting that laser hair removal is typically not covered by insurance.
Laser Hair Removal on Legs
Using laser hair removal on legs makes them feel and look smoother. While it may not remove all of your hair, treatments can permanently lighten the hair that is left, giving your legs a softer feel. Best results are achieved with three to four treatments spread two months apart, but be prepared to spend approximately one hour per session. Factors such as skin pigment and hair thickness may determine how many treatments are needed. For example, if a large area needs to be treated, the procedure might average $400 per session.
Laser Hair Removal on Arms
Many women are bothered by dark hair on their arms, so laser treatments can be an effective way to reduce both the amount of hair and its appearance. Three to five treatments bring satisfactory results. Sessions last less than an hour and are priced based on the size of the area, skin type and color and texture of the hair. Costs run between $250 and $500 per session.
Armpits can also be treated with lasers. Since the area is small, sessions take only a few minutes, are relatively painless and generally cost between $100 and $250. Plus, the remaining hair is extremely light and thin so it’s virtually unnoticeable.
Brazilian Hair Removal
Many women prefer the absence of any hair in the genital area. Brazilian waxes are popular but extremely painful. Laser removal of genital hair provides a permanent solution. The number of sessions is dependent upon the density, coarseness and color of the hair. Brazilian laser hair treatments generally cost $500 per session.
Side effects of Laser Hair Removal
Like any procedure, there are side effects to this process. Most are temporary and relatively minor and are typically treated with topical creams or cold compresses.
- Pain is the most common side effect. Most patients compare the sensation to being snapped by a rubber band or a warm needle pricking your skin.
- Every patient experiences some redness and swelling in the area. This is considered a normal part of the procedure.
- Some people complain of an itching sensation during the session. This dissipates after the session ends.
- A few patients develop blisters as a result of the laser. Patients often describe this as worse than the pain of the procedure.
- Scabbing can occur when bleeding occurs and the hair follicles become irritated.
- Inappropriate use of the laser can cause burns. This generally occurs when the laser is not targeted properly or used by an under-trained professional.
- Purpura, or small purple dots in the skin, indicates bleeding beneath the surface of the skin much like a bruise. It will dissipate over time.
- Darkening or lightening of the skin is a permanent side effect. This generally occurs when an under-trained professional uses the laser or an inappropriate laser is used on the hair. Unlike the other side effects, this is permanent.
Home Laser Treatment Kits
Some people would rather do laser treatments at home. There are devices specifically designed for home use, and these range in price from $250 to $395 and are best used on small areas. The advantages include performing sessions on your own time and reduced costs. Before purchasing a unit though, it is best to meet with a professional for a consultation.
Laser hair removal can save you time and money. The treatments are expensive and should only be performed by a trained professional. However, if the hair is bothersome, it is worthwhile to investigate to see if this type of procedure is right for you.