Everything You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal
In her lifetime, the average American woman will shave more than 7,700 times, spending more than $10,000 on shaving products and upwards of $23,000 on waxing products according to Glamour Magazine¹. If the idea of forking over more than $33,000 over the course of your lifetime just to maintain smooth, hair-free skin bothers you, you’re not alone. In fact, the expenses of traditional hair removal methods are what makes laser hair removal one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the world.
Laser hair removal offers a safe, effective way to maintain hairless skin without constantly shaving, waxing, or plucking. Millions of people are choosing laser hair removal because it’s effective and easy – and here’s what you need to know.
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Why More People Are Choosing Laser Hair Removal
Although laser hair removal has been around for decades, it was long regarded as too expensive, too inefficient, or too painful for many people. Fortunately, the technologies behind laser hair removal have continually improved through the years, and this has made the procedure more popular and more effective.
Some of the top benefits of laser hair removal include:
Laser hair removal is much faster than shaving or waxing. A single pulse of the laser takes a split second to cover an area about the size of a quarter. For the upper lip area, this process only takes about a minute; larger areas, like the back,can take just an hour. Within an average of three to seven sessions, according to Derma Health Institute², much of the hair is permanently removed, saving you countless hours of maintenance.
The technology behind modern laser hair removal is incredibly precise. Laser pulses target coarse, dark hair without causing damage to the lighter surrounding skin. In years past, this posed problems for people who had light-colored hair and darker skin. Today, several new types of lasers are available to address this issue. Diode lasers and nd:YAG lasers, in particular, work well for all skin and hair types.
Although results vary depending on factors like the size of the area being treated and the thickness and color of the hair removed, laser hair removal is quite predictable. Most people only need to undergo a few sessions to achieve semi-permanent or even permanent hair loss — and they notice thinner hair growth almost immediately.
It’s a Great Investment
While it’s easy to deem the average cost of a laser hair removal session too expensive, that’s only true if you don’t consider how much you’re spending to keep body hair under control. As mentioned earlier, the average woman will spend tens of thousands of dollars during her lifetime just waxing, shaving, and plucking body hair. Laser hair removal is a great investment because it saves you money in the long run.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
It’s normal to be wary about undergoing laser hair removal, but keep in mind it’s one of the most common cosmetic procedures performed. During a laser hair removal session, a device emits beams of highly concentrated light directly into hair follicles. The pigment, or melanin, within these follicles attracts and absorbs the light. This kills the follicle, rendering it unable to produce more hair. The laser works best when hair is in an active growth cycle — which is why multiple sessions are typically required.
The process itself is simple and straightforward. For about six weeks prior to the procedure, you’ll be asked to refrain from any and all hair removal. The hair in the targeted area is then typically trimmed down to just a few millimeters, or you might be asked to shave prior to coming in.
After the procedure is over, you may be provided with ice packs or anti-inflammatory cream to soothe the area. Otherwise, you should be ready to continue with your day immediately after the session. You must typically wait about six weeks before returning for follow-up treatments.
One of the reasons laser hair removal is so popular is it’s so safe and gentle. Since high-intensity light is directed straight into hair follicles from a close distance, however, the surrounding skin can be affected. That was much more of a problem in years past, when cooling technologies were not yet developed. As a result, the procedure tends to cause fewer side effects today than it once did.
Today, the most common side effects of laser hair removal treatment are:
- Minor discomfort
Modern laser hair removal procedures typically include dermal cooling technologies that minimize the worst side effects. A cooling attachment may be used to direct cool liquid or cold air at the treatment area, or a cryogen spray may be applied between pulses.
Like with all cosmetic treatments, cost is a big concern for many people who are considering laser hair removal. The exact price will depend on how many sessions you have, which areas of your body you target, and which clinic you choose. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons³ reports the average cost per session for laser hair removal is $293. To find out exactly what your laser hair removal will cost, you can schedule a consultation with a professional in your area. Consultations are typically free, and they give you the chance to get to know a laser hair removal specialist, understand the costs associated with the procedure, and ask any questions on your mind.
Additionally, if you’re looking for ways to make laser hair removal more affordable, consider searching for different options online. You may be able to become a laser hair removal model for training classes that teach laser hair removal procedures — and if so, you may be able to have your hair removed for $50, the National Laser Institute4 states. Or, you can search discount sites like Groupon or LivingSocial to see if laser hair professionals in your area are offering deep discounts on laser hair removal. Sometimes, you’ll find certificates for 40% or more off each session, or a discount based on different areas of the body.
Laser hair removal can be a lasting and effortless alternative to shaving or waxing. It’s done by a professional, so there won’t be any mistakes or missed patches. You can save money and time in the long run, and you’ll enjoy the precise results. To get started with the treatment process, research the best laser hair removal clinics in your area, and schedule a consultation to get more information.
Like anything, it’s always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.