Did you know that excess hair growth, also known as hirsutism, affects about 10% of all women in the United States alone? Both men and women can suffer from excess hair growth and this problem can not only be frustrating to deal with but it also can lower one's self-esteem. More than that, traditional methods of removing hair such as waxing or shaving can become very expensive over the years.
But how does the full body laser hair removal cost compare? For many, full body laser hair removal is one of the most effective ways to get rid of unwanted hair. But what is laser hair removal exactly and how can you know whether or not it's the right choice for you?
Keep reading and learn more about the process with this laser hair removal guide.
What Is Laser Hair Removal Exactly?
Laser hair removal may sound like a scary procedure, but it is actually quite simple and straightforward. Laser hair removal involves the use of a special laser that is designed to detect melanin within hair shafts and follicles. Melanin is a dark pigment that occurs in the hair and skin, producing a dark color.
It is actually melanin that makes skin tan in the sun. Some people are naturally born with more melanin than others which is what accounts for differences in hair and skin color. When the laser in the laser hair removal procedure locks onto the melanin in one of your hairs, it will interact with the melanin and produce heat as a result.
This heat will be hot enough to vaporize the hair shaft and damage the hair follicle. This may sound like a bad thing but in the case of hair reduction and removal, it is actually exactly what you want. The hair follicle, of course, is what allows a hair to grow because it provides all the right nutrients to the hair shaft.
Damaging the Hair Follicles
However, if you stunt the hair follicle and damage it several times over, it will no longer be able to provide enough nutrients to the hair shaft in that follicle. As a result, that hair shaft will not have the means to grow as long and dark as it usually would. This is precisely how laser hair removal works.
Keep in mind, however, that you won't get perfectly hair-free results after one hair removal session. To get the results you want, you'll likely need to get several sessions. Most people find that they start to see a noticeable difference in their hair growth between 2 and 6 sessions.
However, if your hair is particularly stubborn, you may need more than 6 sessions. Whatever the case, after enough sessions, you should notice that your hair growth has been significantly reduced. But keep in mind that laser hair removal is not a treatment for permanent hair removal but rather permanent hair reduction.
Hair will eventually grow back in the damaged follicles, but the hair will be quite different. It will be very light and fine and you might not even be able to see it once it grows back. The hair will also grow very slowly so you won't need to shave nearly as often as usual, if at all.
However, there are some things you should keep in mind before you opt for laser hair removal such as the color of your hair and skin.
Things to Keep In Mind About Laser Hair Removal
As mentioned before, laser hair removal works by using a laser that detects and reacts with melanin within shafts of hair. As you can imagine, this procedure wouldn't work very well if your hair doesn't contain a lot of melanin. This is often the case for those who have blond, red, or white hair.
Because lighter types of hair don't have a lot of melanin, the laser will not do a good job of detecting the hair shafts. However, if the hair on your head is light but your excess hair growth is a darker shade, you may still be a good candidate for laser hair removal. As long as there is a strong contrast between your hair and your skin in the treatment area, the procedure should work well.
There is also a problem with those who have dark hair and dark skin. This is because there is not a strong contrast between the hair and skin if they are both dark. The laser will not be able to detect much of a difference between the melanin in your hair and the melanin in your skin.
In this case, an alternative hair removal option such as electrolysis may be better. But otherwise, as long as there is a contrast between your hair and skin, you should be a good candidate for laser hair removal. Another thing you should know about laser hair removal has to do with your pain tolerance.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
Many people worry about laser hair removal being a painful experience, but you should know that laser hair removal is quite a pain-free experience. You will only feel a slight sensation when the laser interacts with your hair shaft and zaps your hair follicle. When this happens, you may feel a snapping sensation.
Some people find that the feeling is similar to snapping their skin with a rubber band. While the feeling may be very sudden, it should not be painful. You can also ask your laser hair removal provider to lower the strength of the laser so that the zaps are not as intense. On the other hand, you can also ask the provider to strengthen the laser.
This is ideal if you have a strong tolerance to discomfort and want more potent results from the laser. You also shouldn't feel any pain after the procedure. You may experience some redness or sensitivity in the treated areas, but not much more than that.
If you experience any pain or swelling in the treated area, the laser may have been set to too powerful a setting for your skin.
How Much Does Full Body Laser Hair Removal Cost?
The cost of laser hair removal will depend on a variety of factors. For example, it will depend on the size of the treatment area, the location of the procedure, and how many treatments you decide to get. On average, one laser hair removal session is around a few hundred dollars.
This average price will change depending on where you are. For example, laser hair removal in Miami will be much more expensive compared to laser hair removal in a more rural environment. In general, smaller areas are much more affordable compared to larger areas.
For example, suppose you want to treat your upper lip. This is a very small area and you can treat it in only a few minutes. For that reason, you shouldn't expect to pay too much for such a procedure, perhaps only a couple of hundred dollars.
This price will increase along with the size of the treatment area. For example, if you want to treat half of your legs, that will be around three or four hundred dollars per session. For your whole legs, you can expect to pay double this amount.
But what if you want to treat your entire body? Having your entire body treated with laser hair removal can be an expensive endeavor, but many people find it to be worth it. In this case, you may end up paying several thousand dollars for one session.
Why Is Laser Hair Removal So Expensive?
The reason why this procedure is so expensive is that it will take a long time to treat the entire body. Your laser hair removal will only be able to work with a small wand-like tool to administer the laser to the hair across your body. For that reason, the provider will need to work in a very meticulous manner to make sure that she catches all of the hairs across your body with the laser device.
In rare cases in rural areas, you may be able to find full body laser treatment sessions for under a thousand dollars. You can also decide whether or not you want to focus on certain parts of your body. For example, suppose you want your entire body to be treated with laser hair removal except for your chest or back.
The chest and back are both very large areas, so by skipping on these, you could save yourself quite a lot of time and money. Keep in mind that you will need to pay for several laser hair removal sessions before you see the results you're looking for. As you can imagine, paying several thousand dollars for laser hair removal every session can quickly add up.
However, you should know that years of buying razors and wax strips are also very expensive. In the long run, you can actually end up saving money by investing in laser hair removal for your whole body.
What to Expect From the Laser Hair Removal Procedure
Once you set your budget and have decided that laser hair removal is the right procedure for your excess hair growth, you might be wondering what you should expect from the procedure. Before you get treated with the laser, your laser hair removal provider will likely provide you with some numbing cream. This is especially true if you plan on getting your face treated since the skin on your face is more sensitive compared to the skin on your body.
Your provider may not provide numbing cream to your entire body, especially not your back. This is because the skin on your back is quite thick and resilient compared to the rest of the body. Once the numbing cream takes effect, you will notice that you will not be able to detect much sensation in the treated areas.
Then, it will be time for the laser. You will sit in a reclining chair or you may lay down on a table. Your laser provider will apply a cooling gel to the laser device and your skin.
This gel will function to protect your skin from the heat of the laser. It will also reduce any discomfort you may feel from the laser. Then, your provider will start to go over the areas of excess hair growth on your body with the laser device.
As the laser detects the melanin in your hair shafts, you will feel a zap from the laser. Again, this zap should not hurt. While it might startle you at first, you will soon get used to the sensation of the laser.
If for any reason the laser does hurt you, don't hesitate to tell the person providing the treatment. The provider can turn down the intensity of the laser to make the treatment more enjoyable for you. If you are getting your entire body treated, you can expect the session to last quite a long time, perhaps several hours.
On the other hand, if you are only getting a section treated at a time such as your arms or legs, you may only be there for an hour or less. After several hair removal sessions, you will find that you will need fewer and fewer sessions until you won't need them at all.
All About Laser Hair Removal
How much does full body laser hair removal cost, you might ask? It usually costs several thousand dollars, but in some areas, it may be less than a thousand. While this may sound expensive, keep in mind that your hair growth will be permanently reduced and you won't have to deal with razors or wax strips anymore.
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