According to the data presented by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2019, the average cost for laser hair removal is $287 per session. This price excludes other fees; in reality, the initial laser hair removal treatment may cost around $400 - $600. Despite the price, thousands of Americans still have this cosmetic procedure done annually.
So why is laser hair removal such an expensive procedure? Professional laser hair removal machines cost quite a bit of money. Dermatologists and med spas have to invest a lot of money in procuring these machines, maintaining them, and training staff to provide laser hair removal services.
Laser hair removal is quite expensive compared to traditional hair removal methods like plucking, shaving, or waxing. There are several reasons why you have to pay a few hundred dollars every time you undergo a session, such as:
Professional laser hair removal is pricey because of the high acquisition cost for the machine. On average, one machine can cost around $70,000 - $100,000. Even a used laser machine is worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Professional laser hair removal systems aren’t cheap because it’s fairly new technology. Each quality product requires approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are also different types of lasers used, such as:
On top of these considerations, the yearly maintenance costs for the machine and other treatment materials rack up a high bill for med spas and dermatologists.
Once a med spa or clinic does acquire a professional laser machine for hair removal, they still need to pay for other business costs. They could need a larger space to house this machine so they may need to pay additional rent or business rates (taxes for non-domestic properties).
The operator and other members of the staff need to be fully trained and insured while they handle these machines. Some clinics adopt a system where you choose the aesthetician who will conduct the procedure on you. The veteran aestheticians may charge more while junior aestheticians charge less. Part of the price you’re paying for is the expertise of your provider.
The amount you need to pay your spa for laser hair removal depends on which part your aesthetician needs to work on. The general rule is that smaller areas such as your upper lip, armpit, or chin will cost less to treat since these don’t require as much energy or effort. Conversely, you would be charged a higher fee for larger areas like the legs.
Your hair may also determine how many sessions you’ll need. Coarse hair takes a longer time to get rid of and you would need more appointments. On the other hand, people with light and fine hairs won’t need to spend as much on sessions because their unwanted hairs will be removed faster.
Laser hair removal spas set their prices depending on their location. If the clinic is in a high-end area with a lot of customers, you can expect them to charge a higher price for their treatments. If the same spa was located in a rural area or a place where most people are low-income earners, they would adjust their prices and the cost would be less.
The price you will pay for laser hair removal really depends on where you want to get your services. A number of people are more than willing to pay more if it means they are sure to get high-quality hair removal services to their satisfaction.
Overall, laser hair removal is not so expensive if your goal is to have convenient and long-term hair removal. Alternatives to laser hair removal are definitely less expensive, but imagine having to shave or wax every two to three weeks. Aside from costing you time, these solutions also leave room for additional risks such as skin irritation, razor bumps, and ingrown hairs.
For patients who are no longer happy tweezing, shaving, or waxing to remove unwanted hair, it might be time to try laser hair removal. Laser hair removal works by directing pulses of highly concentrated laser light into the hair follicles.
These follicles contain melanin or pigment that absorbs the light and generates enough heat to destroy the hair growth center inside the follicle. When the hair growth center is destroyed, the existing hair would die and it would stop producing hair.
Your doctor will begin the treatment by applying a topical numbing solution to the skin’s surface. This medicine will help minimize the sting of the lazer. Your provider will also adjust the laser equipment so it can adjust to your skin color as well as the color, thickness, and location of your hair. They may also ask you to wear glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from the laser light.
Finally, the technician will give pulses of light to the treatment area. They will continue monitoring and adjusting the machine based on your skin’s reactions. Once the procedure is over, you will be given anti-inflammatory products or ice packs to ease the discomfort. You can expect your next session to be scheduled after six weeks.
Patients who are curious about laser hair removal tend to ask the following questions:
Q: What is the average cost per area?
A: Generally, small areas may cost $150 - $250 per session. Patients who are interested in getting a bikini or Brazilian bikini can expect to pay around $500, while full legs and back treatment can cost around $700 and $1200 respectively. In more expensive areas, you may be charged up to $1500 for laser hair removal.
Q: Is this procedure worth it?
A: Yes, many patients still think laser hair removal is worth its price. For a quick, safe, and effective way to get rid of unwanted hair, laser hair removal is the most ideal option. It’s also less costly in the long term when compared to other hair removal procedures, which require you to visit the salon every two-three weeks.
Q: How long do results last?
A: While it’s commonly believed that laser hair removal yields permanent results, this isn’t entirely true. With consistent treatments, the laser procedure is only effective in fully removing around 80% of the hair. This is because hair growth occurs in multiple phases and may be influenced by hormones or medications.
Q: Would I need additional treatments?
A: In order to achieve your desired results, you cannot skip a session. A lot of patients tend to skip sessions once the hair growth slows down. However, laser hair removal works most effectively after six to eight sessions.
Q: Would an at-home model work just as well?
A: There are several quality at-home models for laser hair-removal which are cheaper, but they aren’t entirely safe without proper training. The risk with doing laser hair removal at home is that you might get aggressive with yourself and pulse the target areas with more intensity than needed. For safe and effective results, it’s still better to visit a qualified technician.
The key to fantastic hair removal results is finding a qualified, experienced provider to work with. In untrained hands, laser hair removal can be dangerous and you might end up throwing money at treatments that simply aren’t effective.
At Ethos Spa we pay attention to our patients’ expectations and do our best to achieve their desired results. As one of the top med spas in New Jersey, you’re sure to get treatment that’s worth your money. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.
Read more: What Does Laser Hair Removal Feel Like?