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Laser Hair Removal: Understanding Treatment for Small Areas

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure for long-term hair reduction. While results vary for each individual, understanding how area size impacts the treatment process can help set proper expectations. This guide explores what is considered a small area for laser hair removal and answers common questions about the treatment approach and outcome.

Determining what constitutes a “small area” provides helpful context for laser hair removal treatment expectations and outcomes. The following sections explore body parts commonly considered small treatment zones.

What areas are considered small for laser hair removal?

laser hair removal treatment on bikini area

Areas like the underarms, upper lip, and bikini line are routinely characterized as small treatment zones suitable for a single laser hair removal session, especially for those with fair skin types. 

Other factors like limits on the body surface needing processing between pulses of laser energy also contribute to what gets categorized as a small area.

Are underarms considered a small area for laser hair removal?

The underarms are typically classified as a small area for laser hair removal. Treatments in this region usually only require 3-6 sessions to achieve the desired results.

Is the bikini area considered a small area for laser hair removal?

Yes, the bikini area around the pelvis and upper thighs is also viewed as a small treatment zone. Much like the underarms, laser hair removal of the bikini line generally takes 3-6 sessions to see significant reduction in hair growth.

What body parts are usually classified as small areas for laser hair removal?

Common small areas include the underarms, bikini line, chin, upper lip, and smaller facial areas like mole sites. The defining factor is that they can be treated quickly within a single session without extensive processing between pulses of laser energy.

Laser Hair Removal of Medium Sized Body Areas

Full legs

Full legs would be considered a medium sized area for laser hair removal. Key factors to consider include multiple treatment sessions needed to cover the entire leg area, more time required per session, higher costs compared to smaller areas. Side effects may also be more likely given the larger surface area being treated.


The back presents a medium sized target for laser technicians. While not as extensive as legs, it requires special positioning aids or an assistant to help expose and view all back areas easily. Side effects are a possibility across the broader back region.

Full arms

Both arms together equal about a medium area comparable to legs. Costs and number of sessions are similar to legs. It provides an alternative to full leg treatments for those seeking to remove hair from their arms.

What Is Considered a Large Area for Laser Hair Removal?

Full body

Doing full body laser hair removal would encompass all body parts and be the maximum treatment area defined as large. Significant costs, 5 or more sessions, and highest likelihood of side effects are involved.


For men seeking to remove hair on their chests, this constitutes a large lower body region needing specialized large-sized applicators or machine heads.

Back and shoulder

Together the back plus upper arm and shoulder areas count as a large region close in size to a full chest or leg treatment. Multiple overlapping treatment zones are often required.

How Many Treatment Sessions Are Needed for a Small Area?

The number of recommended laser hair removal sessions can depend on factors like hair color and thickness. On average, small areas requiring 3 to 6 treatments include the underarms, chin, bikini line, and other localized regions. Consistency with follow-up visits is important to achieve the best results within these timeframes.

How many sessions are typically recommended for laser hair removal of a small area?

For small treatment zones such as the underarms or bikini line, the average recommended number of laser hair removal sessions is 3 to 6.

Do all small areas require the same number of treatments?

While most small areas will need 3-6 sessions, the precise number can vary depending on an individual’s hair and skin traits. Factors like hair thickness, color, and density may impact treatment requirements.

Can anything affect the number of treatments needed for a small area?

Yes, consistency with follow-up appointments and proper hair regrowth cycles between visits will help maximize results. Significant sun exposure or use of depilatory creams before treatments may also prolong the number of sessions required.

How much does laser hair removal cost for a small area?

Cost is an important consideration for any laser treatment process. Generally speaking, laser hair removal fees are calculated based on the size of the area as well as the number of recommended sessions. 

For small areas like the upper lip or underarms, the cost is usually more affordable per session compared to larger body zones.

Does the cost of laser hair removal vary depending on area size?

In general, smaller treatment areas cost less per session since less time and laser pulses are used. Larger areas tend to be more expensive due to the increased surface area needing treatment.

Is it more affordable to treat a small area versus a large one?

Yes, laser hair removal for small regions like the upper lip or underarms is more affordable than larger zones like the back or full legs. Costs are usually calculated based on the size of the area as well as the number of recommended sessions.

What factors influence the cost of treating a small area?

The specific facility, laser device, practitioner’s training and experience all factor into small area treatment fees. Other cost drivers include location, company reputation, skin/hair assessment, numbing agents if used, and applicable sales or discounts.

Can the cost per treatment decrease with multiple sessions?

Often the cost of each subsequent laser hair removal session for a small area will decrease incrementally or benefit from volume discounts if packages are pre-purchased. This makes continuing a treatment plan more affordable long-term.

What results can be expected for laser hair removal of a small area?

underarm laser hair removal treatment

Noticing early improvements helps keep goals and expectations on track throughout the laser hair removal process.

For small body areas like the underarms, where dark, coarse hair is common, the following permanent hair removal results may be seen: noticeable hair reduction after the first session, further strong effects within 3-4 treatments, and up to 90% hair removal permanence following the full series. 

Preventing ingrown hairs with gentle exfoliation can improve outcomes.g effects within 3-4 treatments, and up to 90% hair removal permanence following the full series.

How quickly will results be seen after laser hair removal of a small area?

For small body areas, noticeable hair reduction is typically visible after the initial treatment. Further strong results tend to be achieved after 3-4 sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart to target hair follicles in all growth phases.

What percentage of hair reduction can be expected per treatment for a small area?

Most laser hair removal providers estimate a 20-50% reduction in hair growth after each session for small areas. Multiple treatments are still required to target the entire hair follicle population.

Will all hair be permanently removed from a small area after the recommended treatments?

After the typical number of recommended sessions for a small region (3-6), up to 90% of unwanted hair can be expected to be removed permanently. Additional isolated hairs may require a short touch-up phase.

Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness is a premier medical spa with highly skilled practitioners. For a confidential consultation about laser hair removal options customized for your beauty goals and small areas like the underarms, call us today. Let our experts design a treatment plan to achieve your desires for smooth, hair-free skin.

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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