Laser Hair Removal: Cost, Effectiveness and DIY

Laser Hair Removal: Cost, Effectiveness and DIY

Dazzle While Frazzled helps you Dazzle and get beautiful hairless skin even when Frazzled! We break down everything you need to know about laser hair removal and DIY at home laser devices.

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Is Laser Hair Removal Permanent?

Laser hair removal is thought of as a completely permanent solution for unwanted hair, but its actually a long-term and semi-permanent hair reduction solution. This means that it’s possible to permanently reduce hair growth for say up to 95%, to the extent that many people can stop shaving altogether.

 However, it’s essential to note that laser hair removal usually does not guarantee lifelong elimination (complete absence) of all hair in the treated area. Some maintenance treatments may be necessary over months or many years.

Scientific studies show that after completing the first round of laser hair removal sessions, patients can expect a hair reduction of approximately 70-90%.

The percentage of hair reduction and the permanence of results after laser hair removal are dependent upon multiple factors such as your hair and skin type/color, and the specific laser technology that is used.

Legs that have been treated with laser hair removal

How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

Laser hair removal functions through the use of highly concentrated light, which is emitted by a laser device and targeted at hair follicles. The melanin pigment, which is the natural coloring in the hair, absorbs this light energy, which is then converted into heat. This heat damages the hair follicles, causing them to lose their ability to grow. As a result, laser hair removal causes reduction of hair in the treated area.

The efficacy of laser hair removal completely hinges on the contrast between the skin and the pigment of the hair.

How does laser hair removal work?



During the procedure, you may experience mild discomfort, akin to the sensation of a rubber band snapping against the skin, or to a rapid rubbing of the skin. Luckily, improvements in laser technology have made the hair removal process less painful, with some devices even having certain cooling mechanisms for patient comfort.

The Science Behind Laser Hair Removal Technology

Laser hair removal technology uses concentrated light, in other words lasers, to target and disrupt hair follicles. This inhibits and reduces future hair growth. This whole procedure is scientifically called "selective photothermolysis".

Key points to explain the science behind laser hair removal are:

  • Targets Melanin: Lasers aim for the melanin pigment in hair shafts, like a beacon, absorbing the light and converting it into heat.
  • Heat destroys follicles: The intense heat from coming from the concentrated light beam damages the hair follicles, reducing further hair growth without harming the surrounding skin.
  • Multiple Sessions Required: Most people need between 2 to 8 sessions to achieve the best results. It all depends on hair and skin type, color, and the treatment area's size.
  • Effectiveness Varies: Generally speaking, laser hair removal works best on people with darker hair and lighter skin, because of the contrast between hair and skin which allows for better targeting of the follicle.
  • Regrowth Prevention: On average, patients can expect a hair growth reduction of up to 80% to 90%.
  • Longevity of Results: The results of laser hair removal can last several months to many years. Periodic maintenance treatments can prolong the effects indefinitely.

The efficacy and safety of laser hair removal have been supported by a lot of impressive studies. The side effects are generally relatively minimal.

Laser Hair Removal Side Effects and Safety

Laser hair removal is generally considered a safe procedure, at least when performed by a qualified practitioner. Despite its now widespread popularity, it’s still important that you are informed about the possible side effects and safety measures associated with laser hair removal.

Common Side Effects: What to Expect

Several common side effects can be expected post laser hair removal treatment. Here's a list of all the common side effects:

  • Redness: About 90% of patients observe increased skin redness, which normally resolves within a few hours.
  • Swelling: Minor swelling around the hair follicles, called 'perifollicular edema,' happens a lot. It kind of resembles goosebumps.
  • Discomfort: Studies show that around 70% of patients report a noticeable sensation of discomfort during the session.
  • Itching: In around 40% of cases, people start getting itchy , which is simply part of a natural healing response.
  • Tingling: A tingling or stinging feeling during and sometimes after the procedure is not uncommon because of the laser's interaction with hair follicles.
  • Tenderness: Similar to a mild sunburn, your skin can be tender to the touch.
  • Change in pigmentation: Affecting only about 10% of patients, hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation can occur, particularly for people with a darker complexion or those who do not properly protect their skin from the sun post-treatment. Definitely use suncreen!

All side effects mentioned above typically resolve on their own, without intervention. You can use a cooling cream or ice pack for reducing the redness and swelling.

Cost of Laser Hair Removal

The cost of laser hair removal varies a lot depending on things such as the location of your salon, the treatment area size, the type of laser technology used, and naturally the number of sessions that are needed for you specifically. Small treatment areas like the upper lip cost between $50 to $100 per session, and larger treatment areas such as the back or legs usually range from $300 to over $900 per session.

Finding Value: Investment vs. Long-term Benefits

When talking about the value of laser hair removal, you must weigh the upfront cost against the enduring advantages of laser hair removal, such as reduced hair growth over time. Normally, laser hair removal sessions range from $50 to $900 per treatment area, depending on things like the size of the area being treated and the salon.

Investing in laser hair removal can definitely offer long-term cost savings compared to other hair removal methods such as waxing or shaving. People who shave spend approximately $132 per year on shaving products, and those regularly waxing may spend upwards of $23,000 in a lifetime. Laser hair removal on the other hand, with an average of 2 to 8 sessions for substantial hair reduction, have a one-time cost that can prevent any other recurrent expenses.

The Pros and Cons of Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal offers numerous benefits, yet it comes with a range of considerations you should definitely bear in mind. More info below:

Advantages of Choosing Laser Over Other Hair Removal Methods

Laser hair removal offers many advantages over traditional hair removal methods such as waxing, shaving, and electrolysis. One of the most important benefits being the efficacy in reducing hair growth over the long term. Clinical studies show patients can achieve a permanent hair reduction of up to 90%. Here's a list of all the benefits:

  • Ability to treat large areas: Lasers can swiftly treat large areas of skin, whereas other methods like electrolysis are time-consuming as they treat one follicle at a time.
  • Leads to less skin irritation: Laser treatments minimize skin irritation that often occurs with waxing and shaving. For instance, a study in the Archives of Dermatology compared shaving and laser treatment effects on 15 patients over a three-month period, observing more skin irritation in the shaving group.
  • Decreases ingrown hairs: Patients choosing laser hair removal often say they get a lot less ingrown hairs, which are often associated with shaving or waxing. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, laser treatment is advised for individuals prone to ingrown hairs or skin irritation post hair removal.
  • Offers long-lasting results: Post treatment, laser hair removal provides very long-lasting results compared to other methods such as waxing and shaving. In essence, it may require very infrequent touch-ups at most.

Potential Drawbacks and How to Mitigate Them

Laser hair removal offers a semi-permanent reduction of unwanted hair with benefits such as precision and speed, but it also presents potential drawbacks that should be considered. It's essential to understand these drawbacks and ways to mitigate them to ensure a safe and satisfactory experience. Here are several key points to address:

  • Ensure Realistic Expectations: While often marketed as a permanent solution, laser hair removal typically reduces hair growth rather than eliminating it forever. The FDA clears it for permanent hair reduction, not removal. Most clients experience significant hair loss, but some follicles may resist treatment or regenerate over time. Clients may need periodic maintenance treatments.
  • Prevention of Common Side Effects: Temporary side effects such as redness, swelling, and itching can occur post-treatment. To minimize these, clients should avoid sun exposure, use a broad-spectrum SPF, and apply soothing creams containing aloe vera or other anti-inflammatory agents as directed by a professional.
  • Understanding the Risks: In rare cases, adverse effects like blistering, changes in skin pigmentation, or scarring may occur, particularly in clients with darker skin tones. Providers should conduct a thorough skin assessment and patch testing before the first session. Using the appropriate laser tailored to skin type, such as Nd:YAG laser for darker complexions, can reduce these risks.
  • Consideration of Cost: The price of laser hair removal can be substantial when considering multiple sessions are often needed for optimal results. For example, a full face treatment may cost between $150 to $300 per session. Clinics frequently offer packages that can lower the overall cost.
  • Professional Selection: Choose a qualified and experienced practitioner. Research clinics with positive reviews and credentials to ensure proper technique and care. Incorrect laser settings or inexperienced providers can lead to complications or unsatisfactory results.

By keeping these points in mind and following recommended guidelines, those looking to undergo laser hair removal can make informed decisions and take appropriate precautions to improve the safety and effectiveness of their treatment.

Preparing for Your Laser Hair Removal Session

Preparing for a laser hair removal session is definitely a good idea and it involves several steps to ensure the treatment is safe and effective. Understanding these steps can improve the result of your laser hair removal experience. 

What to Do Before Your Appointment

Preparing properly for your laser hair removal session is crucial for optimizing treatment efficacy and minimizing potential side effects. To ensure the best possible results and a smoother experience, adhere to the following pre-appointment guidelines:

  • Avoid sun exposure: Protect the treatment area from direct sunlight for at least six weeks prior to your session, as tanned skin can increase the risk of side effects like hyperpigmentation.
  • Stop plucking and waxing: Refrain from plucking, waxing, or electrolysis for at least four weeks because these methods remove hair from the root, which needs to be present for laser treatment to work effectively.
  • Shave the treatment area: Shave the designated area one to two days before the treatment to remove surface hair and allow the laser to target the hair follicles more directly.
  • Skip the cosmetics: On the day of your appointment, make sure the treatment area is clean and free of any makeup, creams, lotions, or deodorants, which could interfere with the laser light.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: Choose clothing that will allow easy access to the treatment area and ease any potential discomfort post-treatment.
  • Consider a pain reliever: If concerned about discomfort, consult with your laser technician about using an over-the-counter pain reliever before the session, or they may offer to apply a topical anesthetic to the area.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water prior to your laser hair removal appointment to maintain well-hydrated skin, which can respond better to treatment.

Following these instructions can lead to a more effective treatment and can help to substantially decrease the likelihood of complications. For instance, studies indicate that clients who avoid sun exposure before laser treatments minimize their risk of side effects to less than 5%. By adhering to pre-treatment guidelines, optimal laser hair removal results have been achieved, with hair reduction rates averaging around 80% after three to five sessions, according to clinical evidence. Therefore, it is imperative for clients to follow these preparation steps diligently.

Post-Treatment: What to Expect After the Procedure

After undergoing a laser hair removal procedure, patients can anticipate several common post-treatment effects. Precision in post-treatment expectations is crucial to ensure an optimal recovery process and satisfactory hair removal results from the laser procedure.

Patients should expect mild redness and swelling in the affected areas, which generally subside within a few hours to a couple of days. This is a normal reaction as the laser targets melanin in the hair follicles causing localized heat.

  • Encounter temporary redness and swelling similar to sunburn effects, which commonly dissipate within 24 to 48 hours
  • Follow specific aftercare instructions provided by the clinic, such as applying a cold compress or specialized creams to soothe any discomfort
  • Avoid sun exposure, and when going outdoors, use a broad-spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen to protect the treated areas from UV damage, as the skin is particularly sensitive post-laser hair removal
  • Refrain from other hair removal methods like waxing or plucking, which can disturb the follicles during the post-treatment phase
  • Experience some shedding of treated hair, which usually starts to occur within 5 to 14 days post-treatment; this is part of the natural hair growth cycle and an expected outcome of the procedure

The Laser Hair Removal procedure is generally safe. However, complications may arise if post-treatment care is neglected. For instance, blistering and changes in skin texture are rare but possible if the treated area is exposed to the sun without protection shortly after the procedure.

In terms of hair growth, while patients should observe a noticeable reduction after the first session, typically multiple sessions, on average 6 to 8 scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart, are required to achieve significant long-term hair reduction. Laser hair removal offers an approximate 10-25% reduction in hair growth per session, as indicated by clinical research.

For financial planning, patients should note that the cost of laser hair removal varies depending on factors such as geographic location, size of the treatment area, and the number of sessions needed, but generally ranges from $50 to $900 per session.

Patients can expect the treated area to be hair-free for several weeks to months following each session. However, maintenance treatments may be necessary to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the procedure, as individual results can vary based on the hair growth cycle and hormonal factors.

Ultimately, successful post-treatment outcomes depend on adhering closely to the post-treatment guidelines provided by the laser technician or dermatologist, and a realistic expectation of gradual hair reduction over the entire course of treatment.

Laser Hair Removal Treatment Plan

Laser hair removal usually requires multiple sessions to achieve the best results. If you’re going to a salon, your laser hair removal professional will create a structured Laser Hair Removal Treatment Plan. Multiple treatments, spread out over several weeks or even months, is critical because this procedure is most effective when hairs are in the anagen (growth) phase. The number of sessions needed varies based on individual hair growth cycles, skin and hair color and the area being treated.

Developing a Customized Laser Hair Removal Regimen

Developing a customized laser hair removal regimen involves creating a tailored plan based on an individual’s hair type, skin color, and the area of the body being treated. Customization ensures the most effective reduction of hair while minimizing potential side effects.

  • Analyze Skin and Hair Type: Clinicians consider factors such as skin tone, ranging from very light (Type I) to very dark (Type VI), and hair color, which influences the laser's effectiveness. Dark hair with light skin typically responds best to treatment due to the higher contrast for the laser to target.
  • Target Treatment Areas: Commonly targeted areas for laser hair removal include the face, such as the upper lip and chin, the bikini line, underarms, and legs. Each area may require a different approach due to varying skin sensitivity and hair density.
  • Session Calculation: The average number of laser hair removal treatments ranges from 2 to 8 sessions, with intervals of about 4 to 6 weeks in between to align with hair growth cycles, ensuring optimal results. Additional sessions might be required for coarser hair or larger areas.
  • Adjust Machine Settings: Laser hair removal uses different devices—like the Alexandrite laser for rapid treatment of light to olive skin, or the Nd:YAG laser for darker skin tones—set to specific wavelengths and pulse durations according to individual needs.
  • Consider Potential Risks: While laser hair removal is generally safe, potential risks must be assessed, including temporary redness, itching, or swelling, and in rare cases, changes in skin pigmentation or scarring.
  • Cost Evaluation: The cost of laser hair removal varies depending on the size of the treatment area and geographic location, but one can expect an average range between $50 to $300 per session for smaller areas like the face and significantly more for extensive areas like the full back.

Ultimately, creating a customized laser hair removal regimen involves careful assessment and planning, taking into account the specific characteristics and goals of each individual, to ensure safety, efficacy, and satisfaction with the hair removal process.

How Many Sessions Will You Need?

The number of sessions needed for laser hair removal can vary depending on several factors, including hair color, skin type, and the area being treated. Generally, laser hair removal requires multiple sessions to effectively reduce hair growth. Here are the specifics:

  • Typically, laser hair removal clients undergo between 2 to 8 sessions.
  • These sessions are spaced about 4 to 6 weeks apart to target hair at different growth cycles.
  • For facial hair removal, like the upper lip or chin, sessions may be more frequent due to the faster hair growth, while areas like the legs may require fewer sessions.
  • People with dark hair and light skin often respond better to laser hair removal as the contrast helps the laser target the pigment in the hair.
  • After completion of the initial set of treatments, some individuals may need occasional maintenance sessions.

For example, according to American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of laser hair removal was $389 per session in 2020. Clients looking for a Brazilian laser hair removal might see prices ranging from $150 to $450 per session, with full body treatments costing up to thousands of dollars in total. It's important to note that darker skin types may need more sessions due to the specialized lasers required.

Prospective clients should consult with a certified laser hair removal technician to get a more accurate estimate tailored to their personal hair removal goals. Clinics like Milan Laser Hair Removal or Ideal Image often offer free consultations to determine how many sessions will be required for an individual's treatment plan.

Facial Laser Hair Removal: Special Considerations

Facial laser hair removal requires special attention because of the sensitivity and visibility of the skin on your face. Several key factors must be taken into account:

  • Skin sensitivity: For most people the skin on the face is slightly more sensitive than on other body parts, making it more susceptible to side effects such as redness or irritation after laser treatment.
  • Exposure to sunlight: The skin is highly sensitive to sunlight, which is why you need to use sunscreen and take measures to avoid direct sun exposure to prevent hyperpigmentation.

Does at home laser hair removal work?

At-home laser hair removal devices can be effective, but they are generally less powerful than professional treatments. The efficacy depends on the individual’s skin and hair type, with the best results seen on those with light skin and dark hair. These devices use diode lasers or intense pulsed light (IPL) to target the melanin in hair follicles and reduce hair growth over time, usually requiring multiple sessions over several weeks.

Does Braun laser hair removal work?

Braun Silk Expert Pro 5Braun laser hair removal devices, which actually use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology, not lasers, can effectively reduce hair growth over time. This method works by targeting the melanin (the pigment that gives color to your hair and skin) with light energy, which is absorbed and converted into heat, damaging the hair follicle. This can lead to a reduction in hair growth after multiple treatments.

Clinical studies have shown variable efficacy rates for IPL devices, depending on the area treated and the individual’s hair and skin type. For the best results, candidates with dark hair and light skin typically respond better to this treatment because the contrast allows the IPL to target the hair more effectively.

Safety and effectiveness are improved when the device is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Braun claims their IPL devices are safe to use at home and provide a sensor to ensure the right intensity for different skin tones.

To maintain hair reduction results, periodic maintenance treatments are usually necessary after the initial treatment course, which generally involves several sessions spread out over a period of months.

It is important to highlight that while Braun’s IPL devices are FDA-cleared for hair reduction, complete and permanent hair removal is not guaranteed, and individual results can vary.

Nood Flasher 2.0Does Nood laser hair removal work?

Nood laser hair removal uses IPL technology to target and damage hair follicles, resulting in reduced hair growth over time. The effectiveness of Nood, like other laser hair removal devices, depends on several factors, including skin tone, hair color, and the individual’s hair growth cycle. Individuals with light skin and dark hair typically see the best results, as the contrast allows the laser to more easily target the melanin in the hair. Multiple sessions, usually 2 per week for the first 2 months, are required for significant hair reduction.

These sessions are necessary because hair grows in different stages, and the laser is effective only during the active growth phase. It is crucial to follow the provided guidelines for use and safety measures. Individual results may vary, and some may need touch-up sessions to maintain the hair reduction over time.

Ulike Laser Hair RemovalDoes Ulike laser hair removal work?

Ulike laser hair removal devices use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology to reduce hair growth. They work by emitting light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair. This light converts to heat, which damages the hair follicle, hindering future hair growth.

Effectiveness varies depending on individual factors such as hair color, skin type, and the consistency of use. Generally, optimal results require multiple treatment sessions, typically spaced several weeks apart. People with dark hair and light skin usually see the best results, as IPL is more effective on high contrast hair-to-skin color combinations. Lighter hair colors, like blonde, red, or gray, might not absorb the light as effectively, so results can vary.

For a device like Ulike, the user might start to see noticeable hair reduction after three to four treatments. However, most users are recommended to complete at least 8-12 treatments to achieve significant hair reduction, followed by occasional maintenance treatments.

Safety features often include skin tone sensors and adjustable intensity levels, allowing for a tailored and safe user experience. It is particularly important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on frequency and methods of use to both ensure safety and achieve the best results.

While some users report effective results, others might not see the desired reduction in hair growth due to the reasons mentioned above. Hence, while Ulike devices have the potential to work, there is no universal guarantee due to the variance in individual responses to IPL treatment.

Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4XDoes Tria Beauty laser hair removal work?

Tria Beauty laser hair removal devices use diode laser technology, which is the same type used by many dermatologists, making it effective for reducing hair growth over time. These devices are FDA-cleared for home use and are designed to target the pigment in the hair follicle, heating it and disrupting the hair growth cycle. Results can vary based on an individual’s skin type and hair color, with the best outcomes seen on light to medium skin tones with dark hair.

The Tria lasers typically require multiple treatments, usually once every two weeks for the first three months, and then as needed for maintenance. Users may start to see results after two to three treatments, with more significant results after around three months of consistent use. The level of hair reduction can vary, but studies have shown that devices like Tria can achieve up to a 70% reduction in hair after a 2 months.

Comfort levels during treatment can also vary, with some users experiencing a sensation similar to a rubber band snapping against the skin. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and safety, including performing a patch test to check skin reaction before a full treatment.

The device is less effective on blonde, gray, or red hair and is not recommended for very dark skin due to the risk of skin injury. The treatment area size with Tria devices is smaller compared to professional laser treatments, which means it can take longer to treat larger areas.

In summary, Tria Beauty laser hair removal can work, provided the individual’s skin and hair type are suitable for the device, and they adhere to the treatment protocol.

What is the best at home laser hair removal device?

The best at-home laser hair removal device depends on individual needs and skin/hair type, but popular choices include the Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X, which uses diode laser technology similar to professional clinics, and the Nood Flasher using IPL technology. The Tria 4X is FDA-cleared for permanent hair reduction, offers five adjustable power levels, and is effective for light to medium skin tones with naturally light brown to black body hair. 

Both devices are designed for use on body and face, are proven to provide results after consistent use as directed, may require multiple treatments for desired results, and have safety features like skin sensors to ensure proper use. The choice of device should align with the user’s comfort level, skin and hair type, desired treatment area, and budget.

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