We all want hair free and smooth skin, but we don’t really enjoy spending our time and money on shaving, plucking, waxing, threading or bleaching our body hair once in a while, few times a year, or a couple of times a month if not every day or week. Again, and again. Well, those days are now gone! Now it’s time to spend to do something more smart, modern as well as enjoyable.
Shaving or plucking your body hair every week can be such time and money consuming. It’s so tedious as well. What if you have the blessings with the modern technology that can save you from all these hassles once and for all? And here’s the Laser hair removal comes in. You have already heard the term, right? It’s an effective as well as a safe procedure which provides hair removal! Permanently!!
Though it’s started as a sort of fashion trend, in recent time, it is not just a fad anymore, instead, it becomes a necessity for many who suffers from quick hair grows and want to save their time, money and energy from spending on their unwanted hairs.
In this article, we will be discussing the details about laser hair removal, not only just it costs, but it’s ways, types, pros and cons and when you should or should not go for it. That’s because, if you do not become well aware of these essential facts before you place your skin under the laser beam, you might end up spending a lot more money and time fixing your skin back to normal than you actually saved.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Let me give you a practical note about how it works. But before that, you will have to know what laser is. The term is self-explanatory that indicates it uses laser light to remove hair. The term LASER stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” Laser beams can go enormous distances without being scattered and can carry incredible amounts of energy with it. Sounds a bit rocket science, right? Essentially, a laser is a super focused and a powerful ray of light. Lasers are used in a vast range of applications in modern the world, from industry to communications, to mapping to even household chores.
That’s enough of a definition for laser technology for the time being. Now, let’s learn in brief how laser has to do with your hair removing procedure. Laser hair removal involves medical grade lasers that are specially designed to use on human skin, so it is entirely safe and sometimes painless.
The light of the laser beam mainly does the trick. Dark pigment (melanin) under your skin absorbs the laser light, and it converts to heat. The heat then destroys the hair roots to prevent further hair growth. And to this, the root of the hair where the blood provides the hair with oxygen to grow it needs to be destroyed.
And the stem cells which are responsible for hair regeneration is destroyed too along with the root. To be able to do this, a temperature of the heat converted by the laser light needs to be reached about 70-degree Celsius. Otherwise, it will only damage your hair and will regrow as the hair follicle wasn’t destroyed appropriately.
Benefits of Laser Hair Removal
This procedure is suitable for removing undesirable hair from your
- Bikini lines
- Other areas of your body.
Benefits of laser hair removal include but not limited
Precision and Speed
Because of the pigment content, laser hair removal targets precisely at your hairs rather than the skin. It aims the hair right at the root, damaging its capability to grow again. Lasers can selectively target dark and coarse hairs while keeping the surrounding skin unharmed.
In terms of speed, each pulse of the laser needs a fraction of a second to treat many hairs simultaneously. To give an exact idea of speed, the laser can treat an area about the size of a coin per second. Relatively small areas like the upper lip usually are treated in less than a minute, and overall large areas like your back, buttock or legs, can take an hour max.
These techniques of hair removal are seriously effective, particularly for people who have dark hair and fair skin. Many clients attain hair loss permanently after 3 to 7 sessions. Different people will have different experiences, of course, depending on their hair and skin type, and lighter hair typically requires more treatments to damage the hair growth cycle, as explained below.
Predictability and Side Effects
Unlike with other methods of hair removal, you will not suffer from painful ingrown hairs or razor burn. You will likely only have to put up with some mild skin irritations for a few hours after the treatment.
No Waiting for Shaving
You’d be able to start shaving right after 24-48 hours of the treatment.
Should You Take Laser Hair Removal Procedure?
Laser hair removal is especially effected on people with dark hair and fair skin. Because their hair has much more pigment than the skin. The more pigment contains your hair, and it will absorb more laser light. It eventually leads to quick and efficient heat that will destroy your hair more effectively without increasing the risk of burning your skin.
On the other hand, the procedure is less effective on the people with white, red, blond and gray colored hair (due to the lack of dark pigment) and the finer and lighter the hair, the tougher it will be to achieve permanent hair loss. Because there is not enough pigment in the hair to store the heat.
So, if you have dark hair and fair skin, you may need a couple of hair removal sessions unlike people with the opposite skin and hair features that require more than 3 sessions to gain the same result.
A handy tip
If you have a tan, you better stay away from the sun, wear sunblock or use sunscreen every day and go for the treatment once the tan is gone. Otherwise, the laser will need more time and intensity to destroy the hairs, and this may damage your skin too. Also may not achieve the permanent hair loss, meaning the hair may regrow.
A Few Myths and Facts
1. Laser hair removal is magic!
The fact is, the treatment employs a cosmetic laser that has settings adjusted to both your skin and hair type. It converts the light into heat and destroys the root of your hair permanently.
2. You have to stay out of the sun before the appointment.
You actually have to stay away of the direct sunlight for minimum a month before the appointment.
3. Laser hair removal automatically makes you silky smooth after the first treatment.
No, it does not. It’s not one-and-done kind of process, and it takes between 4-7 sessions of laser hair removal in order to see remarkable results based on your skin hair type.
4. Your appointment can take an hour/a minute.
Actually, it depends on what area of your body you want to laser. Not all the parts need an hour or a minute.
5. Getting laser hair removal near the eyes is okay.
Not at all. Performing the procedure near the eyes can be extremely dangerous, as it may make you blind. So, do not forget to wear a protective glass before the treatment. Usually, the therapist will provide you with this.
6. You can make an appointment for a full-body treatment.
No, you cannot. If someone tells that you can, don’t trust him/her. There is only a particular amount of cosmetic laser light and heat that your body can safely absorb each session. In case of the full body, do it in 3-5 sessions.
7. The treatment itself isn’t particularly relaxing.
Let me be honest, every time the laser fires, it feels like someone is snapping you with a rubber band. Sounds wonderfully tempting, right? But the long-term effect is well worth that 10-30 minutes of the pain.
Common Skin Types
According to the reaction of the skin to exposure to the sun’s UV radiation, some skin type gets sensitively reacted after a period of non-exposure (e.g., sun exposure at the beginning of summer, while the skin has not been exposed in winter). The skin’s reaction is measured regarding tanning and burning.
Common Skin Types (also called Fitzpatrick skin types) are
Features: extremely fair skin, always burns, never tans.
Ethnicity: Northern European, British.
Features: Fair skin, always burns, sometimes tans.
Ethnicity: European, Scandinavian.
Features: Medium skin, sometimes burns, always tans.
Ethnicity: South and Central European.
Features: Olive skin, rarely burns, always tans.
Ethnicity: Mediterranean, Asian, Latino.
Features: Moderately pigmented brown skin, never burns, always tans.
Ethnicity: East Indian, African, Native American.
Features: Markedly pigmented black skin, never burns, always tans.
Ethnicity: African Aboriginal.
Hair Type and Melanin Content
Different hair colors absorb light differently just like the way different skin tones respond to light differently. This is also because of the quantity of melanin (pigment) they contain. Grey or white hairs contain no melanin, and red and blonde hairs contain very less amount of melanin, but dark brown and black hairs contain a lot more.
As I already stated, the more melanin your hairs contain, the better – concerning laser hair removal as they will absorb the most laser light energy. Hence, people with darker hair will get much better results than those with lighter hair. They will have to undergo far fewer treatments to get the same outcome. Whereas blonde and red hair, unfortunately, is not likely to be appropriately affected by light-based methods of hair removal.
How Do Doctors Evaluate Skin Tone?
Doctors use something called the Fitzpatrick Scale when evaluating skin tone. It is a scale that takes into consideration your genetic disposition and how your skin reacts to sunlight exposure. The scale ranges from Type I to Type IV. Type I skin contains very little melanin and is therefore very fair and burns easily, while type IV skin contains much more melanin and is thus much darker in color and does not burn. Doctors commonly use The Fitzpatrick system to classify skin type and in the assessment of skin cancer risk. The Fitzpatrick skin types are already stated under the “Common Skin Types” subheading above.
Do You Want Permanent Hair Removal?
3 main factors can affect whether or not we can achieve permanent hair removal. Before understanding those facts, it’s vital to understand the different stages of hair growth. Our hair has 3 various stages of growth, and not all hairs grow at the same time. That’s why you may notice that once you wax, there is hair starting to regrow just about a week later. Note that these are not the same hairs you waxed a week ago, they would be hairs from another follicle that was at a different growth stage when you waxed. The three various stages of hair growth are:
This phase is known as the rapid growth phase. At this stage, the bottom of the hair follicle (the bulb) is attached to the dermis and its blood supply through the dermal papilla.
It’s the transition stage. The hair follicle starts dying and goes in the catagen phase.
Eventually the resting phase. At this phase, the leftovers of the hair bulb remain inactive, and the attached hair automatically falls out.
Only hairs in the growing stage (at the anagen phase) can be treated effectively, though not all hairs grow at the same time. For example, at any given time on your body, just about 20-40% of hair is a growing stage, the rest of 60-80% are either in the transition or in the resting phase. As a result, a course of treatments at a different time is required to remove the different hairs as they enter the growing stage. Treatments are advisable every 2 months for the body and 1 month for the face.
The second and third factors are hair and skin type consecutively, as we have already discussed these 2 factors above. Depending on these factors, the parament hair removal possibility will be determined. You may do it on your own, and the dermatologist will check it if your determination is correct. Or you can leave this entirely on him/her.
Laser Hair Removal Cost
Many patients find that the general cost of laser hair removal is astoundingly affordable, though it will depend on your budget or income level. But if you consider the fact regarding the amount of money and time and effort you can save after the permanent hair removal, you may think the total cost of the treatment will finely worth the shot.
The Number of Sessions Required
If anyone thinks s/he will have to go under the laser treatment just one time in their lifetime and can get rid of the hairs for the rest of your life, you are so wrong. This will depend
exceedingly upon your
- Purpose of the treatment
- Skin and hair type
- Body portion you want to be lasered
For example, if you get rid of all of your body hair permanently, and you are a person with dark skin and hair, then usually 3-4 sessions are needed. But if you possess fair skin and blonde hair and want to remove the hair permanently from your face, bikini line, and legs, they might end up having 3-5 sessions. Because the skin and hair type will cost you more time and money, but it should compensate if you want to have the treatment on some specific parts of your body instead of the entire body.
But experts say, the most effective results come from 8-12 sessions on average. And in between each one, you may have to wait 4-5 weeks to allow the new hairs to grow in.
What Might Impact the Cost?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the cost of laser hair removal is $235 per session on average. But the following factors will impact the cost:
- Number of treatments required (they will charge per session)
- Size of the area being treated (bigger size will charge more money)
- The time required for treatment (the more time, the more money have to pay)
- Whether a doctor or specialist or someone else is performing the procedure (a doctor or specialist is likely to charge you more than a regular nurse or technician.)
- The frequency of the treatment taken (On an annual basis, the typical cost of laser hair removal can often be less expensive than waxing)
- The geographical area (which part of the country) you are having the procedure (some parts may offer less cost than the other parts)
- The technology used (the most modern, safest and smartest cosmetic-grade laser technology might cost you more)
You may visit a consultant to get a clearer idea of the cost for your specific case.
You may also find a tiny and family-owned-and-operated threading spot in your neighborhood and can spend half an hour for just $50-$80 (Inc. tips) for the laser treatment on the upper lips For example.
Sessions at Shobha’s New York City locations, for example, start at $39 for one upper lip session and go up to $1,200 for the full body; the service on the neck would generally cost $99. For your chin, the cost would be at $48 each session. They also offer alluring discounts and bundle packages for a far less charge in total bills sometimes.
Say No to Laser Hair Removal If…
Laser hair removal procedures are not applicable to everyone. You must identify if any of the following conditions apply to you as using laser hair removal techniques with these conditions could affect and cause significant damage to your health and well-being.
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive.
- Using implants such as the contraceptive implant when having armpit treatment.
- If you have a history of autoimmune disease including Lupus, Scleroderma or Vitiligo
- Have Epilepsy or seizures triggered by flashing lights
- Herpes/cold sores
- High sensitivity to pain
- Keloid scarring
- Raised moles
- Recent sunburn or tanning
- Skin Trauma
- Suspicious Lesion
- Recent use of medicines during the last 6 months, such as Accutane, St John’s Wort or Tetracycline.
Things to Expect (Not-So-Good Things Actually!)
You should expect some side effects of laser hair removal treatment and those are usually minor and short-term. Typically, these side effects start disappearing within 24 hours, but some may last a few days after the treatment.
During the Procedure
Just before the procedure, your hair that will be undergoing treatment will be trimmed to a few millimeters above the skin surface. The laser equipment will be adjusted according to the color, thickness, and location of your hair being treated as well as your skin color. Once the treatment is done, over the next month, your treated hair will fall out.
Pain or Discomfort
Laser removal can be not as comfortable as you expected, with clients often comparing it to having a rubber band snapped on their skin. This usually does not last very long and often will be gone finally by a few hours.
irritation on the skin is one of the most common side effects and can appear in many different ways such as swelling, tingling, redness, itching or another kind of discomfort. Its very temporary and will usually not last more than a couple of hours, just like with other hair removal methods and is nothing to worry about at all. Just try not to rub or scratch the skin during this time as it will be more delicate.
The feature of the methods used means that while the hair is burnt away at the follicle, the skin should not burn. However, while it is a very rare case, but it is still not impossible. Treat any burns like you would in case of sunburn and be aware that it will be more sensitive to the sun until it has healed. Keep the burns clean to dry and minimize the risk of infection, especially if they develop crusts or blisters.
It is very rare too, that laser hair removal results in scarring, but again it is still possible. In the days and weeks after your treatment, moisturize your skin by a good-brand cream or body oil.
Sometimes you will experience some pigments changes. For example, dark hair may grow blonde or grey. On an extremely rare occasion, hair growth may increase.
These are the side effects that people undergo during the procedure. Make the reader aware of these before they want to try.
Discomfort or Pain?
As I have already said, the laser hair removal hurts about as much as being snapped by an elastic band. In other words, it may be uncomfortable for many, but completely tolerable for most of the people. The amount of pain you feel will also be primarily based on your own personal pain tolerance, as well as the area of the body being lasered. Sensitive areas, such as the areolae or bikini line, maybe more tender. Numbing creams may be provided by your technician, by request, and you can also take a painkiller, such as ibuprofen, beforehand.
After the Procedure
Changes in skin color
For a day or two afterward, the treated area of the skin will look and feel like it’s sunburned. Cool compresses and moisturizers may help. If your face was treated, you could wear makeup the next day unless your skin is blistering. Wear sunscreen for the following month to help prevent temporary changes in the color of the treated skin.
Redness and Scarring
Mild redness and scarring may appear after the treatment, but it won’t last longer than an hour or two.
Irritation and Swelling
Temporary skin irritation is the most common side effect and will last for a few hours or so.
Rare Side Effects
Permanent scarring or changes in skin color or hair-growth increases are a very rare side effect.
If You Want to Try Laser Hair Removal Then…
Great that you have decided to go for the treatment, now its preparation time for the treatment. I have divided this stage into three sub-stages. Such as:
1 Month Before
Do not wax, bleach, thread, shave or use hair removal creams or electrolysis in the treatment area. These actions can decrease the usefulness of the treatment. Because if there is no hair on the skin, there is no way for the laser light to treat that hair follicle.
Also, avoid exposure to direct sun. If you cannot do it, use SPF 30 minimum.
1-2 Weeks Before
Do not continue tanning and that includes beds, and sprays and self-tanning creams.
The Day Before
Shave the treatment area thoroughly. Shaving the area is a must. The best thing to do is shave one or two days before the appointment. If you don’t, the therapist may give you a razor before starting the treatment!
During the Treatment
You should Remove any lotions, deodorants, and make-up before the procedure starts. Don’t forget to dress loose-fitting clothing that will leave the treatment area exposed and easily accessible for the process. Tight or rough clothing may cause you to feel uncomfortable if the skin becomes sensitive after the laser surgery.
For your comfort, a contemporary numbing cream is available for buy too. You must arrive at least half an hour before the treatment begins for it to be used and to take effect.
Avoid excessive sun exposure, tanning and creams, hot showers, saunas, hot tubs, swimming, and strenuous sports until all of your sessions are completed. If crusting develops, it should fall off automatically. Do not pick or scratch and you should not wax, bleach, or use any hair removal creams or electrolysis on treatment area until your sessions are completely done.
Do not shave treated area for 1 to 3 days post-treatment if crusting or blistering occurs. In case the treated skin appears red or irrational happens, apply cold water, ice pack.
You should be able to put on makeup, lotion, and even continue shaving and apply skincare products to the treatment area on the next day as long as the skin is not broken, and you feel comfortable and no unusual sign on the skin. Thoroughly remove makeup and creams gently with a soft, clean cloth and mild cleanser. Pat to dry.
Avoid perfumes, deodorant, and hot showers also, for the next 48 hours of the treatment and then have a warm bath.
Please remember, the treated area on your body is susceptible and should be treated with extra care. Rubbing excessively can reopen the area and may lead to scarring. Contact the provider immediately if scabbing, blistering or signs of infection occur.
Worried about the Expenditure?
I have discussed some of the financing options for this procedure because you might find it expensive or difficult to afford. And to make it worst, insurance companies are unlikely to cover the cost of treatment as laser hair removal is an elective procedure. For that reason, many patients have been unwilling to pursue this treatment. They believe that the out-of-pocket cost of it was beyond their affordability. So, some alternative sources are paying for the whole course of treatment up front.
No matter which area of the body you are interested in having treated, financing options are available to cover your full body laser hair removal cost. You will find further information below, about the different financing options that are affordably available for the laser treatment.
Financing Options for Laser Hair Removal
There are many financing alternatives that patients can utilize to counterweight the cost of laser hair removal. Most providers will accept payment with most major credit cards, and many dermatologists and cosmetic surgery centers provide in-house financing and installment plan options. In other cases, credit from independent financing companies affiliated with the specialist can be a means of obtaining affordable laser hair removal.
In most cases, whether using the doctor’s own installment options or requesting assistance from an independent lender, patients can apply for financing in their treatment provider’s office. Most providers will be more than happy to assist patients in determining the best course of financing and guide them in the actual application process. The response is generally instant, allowing patients the freedom to proceed with treatment as soon as they wish, so they can start enjoying the benefits of laser hair removal treatment.
Here’s What Happened When I Took Such A Procedure
I was always a fanatic of smooth skin, but I was also hesitant to go through a laser hair removal. To be honest, I was so nervous before the first treatment. Prior to the procedure, I had a super informational conversation with one of my friends who shared her story of how laser hair removal changed her life. Talking with that girl made me think of how much time and money I spent on shaving and waxing during all these years!
So, I opted for the treatment and found a laser hair removal near me. Surprisingly, the treatment did not hurt me at all! After a few “shots” of a laser, I was saying, “that’s all? Where’s the pain? if it doesn’t hurt, does it mean that it doesn’t work?” The whole procedure took about 15 minutes, including the time for taking my clothes off and on again. It amazed me that laser hair removal was much less of a deal than I expected.
While I didn’t feel any difference at all in terms of where the laser treatment was taking place on my body. Maybe, it has something to do with the fact that I have super dark hair and super pale skin. While my friend has a darker skin tone and lighter hair. And that is why they felt a lot of pain.
But the weirdest part about it all is that after a few days after my laser treatment appointment my hair started falling out in patches. When it first happened, I totally forgot that I actually went through a treatment. I sort of freaked out about what was happening with my health. But it turned out to be a good thing in respect to how my hair reacted to the procedure. Honestly, after that first fall out incident, I expected all of the hair would fall too. But nope, I looked like a partly hairy, partly bold leopard until my next touch-up appointment.
Now let me say a few words about the results. Even though I went through just a single treatment, my skin looks hairless and smooth like a newborn baby’s butt after the procedure. Imagine a perfect, poreless, super smooth skin that you’ve always dreamed off that’s exactly how it looks after my laser treatment.
In my humble opinion, I can guarantee you the treatment is definitely worth trying. Laser hair removal doesn’t promise to remove 100% of your unwanted hair, but the few laggards that do grow back are pretty much invisible. I’ve gone more than three months without shaving my legs after the treatment, and my prickly woes are all gone. Basically, continuing laser hair removal treatments equals your freedom from the stubble struggle. Though you will need to undergo multiple sessions, and therefore it might seem very expensive to you, but in the long run, laser hair removal can prove to be cheaper and well worth having than other forms of hair removal.