3 comments to How expensive is the laser hair removal procedure?

3 comments to How expensive is the laser hair removal procedure?
  • Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

    Swimsuit season is coming and I need to remove the hair around my bikini line. I’m also tired of shaving my legs twice a week. Do you recommend any methods to permanently remove hair?

    Signed,

    Hairy

    Dear Hairy,

    There are methods for hair removal or epilation, but no proven method to permanently remove hair.

    BeautyNet at http://www.beautynet.co.za provides details on the pros and cons to various methods of hair removal. Some methods will “permanently reduce” hair, with reduction lasting longer with more expensive methods such as electrolysis, laser, and photo epilation. Because we have millions of hair follicles, some hair may grow back.

    Less expensive hair removal methods are temporary (shaving, mechanical epilators, depilatories, tweezing, and waxing).

    These methods vary on skin irritation, risks, expense, time involved, and hair growing back too quickly. Besides commonly shaving with a safety razor or electric shaver, the following are brief descriptions of other various methods for hair removal as outlined by BeautyNet.

    MECHANICAL EPILATORS:

    Mechanical epilators pulls out the hair and should not be used on sensitive skin areas such as face, genitals, or armpits because the method tends to be painful. In addition, the hair must be about ¼ inch long to work, and the epilator could still miss some hair. Mechanical epilators cost anywhere from $50-$100. Results last about a week.

    DEPILATORIES:

    Depilatories have been described as chemical shaving. Depilatory creams or lotions contain chemicals that dissolve the protein structure of the hair and cause it to separate from the skin. Some depilatories can increase acne and cause skin irritation or chemical burns if the formula is too strong or the cream left on too long. Depilatories cost $5-$10. Results last about a week.

    TWEEZING:

    Tweezing pulls hair out from its root, but is a very laborious method since each hair must be removed individually. Some pain, skin irritation, and inflammation of the hair follicle can occur. Tweezers cost anywhere from $3-$30. Results last about 3-8 weeks.

    WAXING:

    Waxing pulls sections of hair out from its root. This method can be very painful and pain-reducing gel is often recommended before applying the wax. Some skin irritation can occur from pulling off the wax as well as inflammation of the hair follicle. Wax should not be on skin that is chapped, sunburned, or on the face if you are using a facial product such as Retin-A or Differin as these weaken the skin and the skin tearing could result when the wax is pulled off. If a professional performs the waxing, treatment cost is about $25-$50 for legs. Do-it-yourself waxing products can be purchased. Hair needs to be at least 1/8 inch long for waxing to be effective. Results from waxing last 3-8 weeks.

    ELECTROLYSIS:

    Electrolysis is a very laborious method since each hair must be treated individually. With electrolysis a needle is inserted under the skin and an electric current is passed through the hair follicle to damage it. A qualified professional should perform needle electrolysis and it can be very expensive since it is time consuming and multiple treatments are needed. Electrolysis can be painful and there is a risk of scarring and infection. Estimated cost for completed treatment is $1,000-$3,000 for legs. Results are long lasting, but some hair may grow back.

    LASER:

    Laser hair removal is FDA approved. Working with small areas of the skin, the laser beam destroys hair follicles and impairs hair regrowth. There is less pain and it is less time-consuming compared to electrolysis, but there can be redness or pigmentation changes of the skin. Laser treatment works best on people with light-skin and dark hair. In addition, laser treatment will not work on deeply embedded hair follicles such as the underarm or the bikini line. A licensed professional should perform laser hair removal. Laser is very expensive and multiple treatments are necessary. The estimated cost for completed treatment is $$500-1,000 for facial hair removal and $2,000-$3,000 for legs. Results are long lasting, but some hair may grow back. If hair grows back, it is sparse and finer.

    PHOTO EPILATION or PULSED LASER:

    Photo epilation is FDA approved. This treatment uses an intense pulsed light to destroy hair follicles instead of the laser treatment’s steady beam. Photo epilation will work on underarms, bikini lines, light and dark-skinned people since the device can be adjusted to skin type, location, and depth. The photo epilation beam is broader than laser, so the treatment can be done in less time. A licensed professional should perform laser hair removal. There are minimal side effects, but a series of treatments are necessary and the estimate for total cost is high, $2,000-$3,000 for legs. Results are long lasting, but some hair may grow back. If hair grows back, it is sparse and finer.

    There are precautions to follow before and after using any hair removal technique. Follow the directions carefully, or discuss the details with a professional.

    For more information go to http://www.beautynet.co.za

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