How Much Does It Cost To Get Laser Hair Removal - Infographics
Laser hair removal promises safe, fast and permanent results, so it’s no wonder it’s become the most common cosmetic procedure for women.
It works by targeting and damaging the hair’s follicle, so the hair is unlikely ever to return.
After finding out that it’s safe and effective, the next thing women want to know is: How much is laser hair removal going to cost?
The Price Varies and Here's Why
The cost of laser hair removal varies widely. The amount you’ll pay depends on five factors that include:
- The area of your face or body that’s being treated. Larger areas take more time to treat, so it makes sense it will cost more to laser a larger area. Legs will cost less than smaller areas like the underarms or bikini area.
An average price range for smaller areas is between $75 and $150 for each session (2016). For larger areas like the legs or stomach, you could be looking at paying as much as $250 to $400 per session.
- The number of treatments required. It typically takes five to seven treatments to achieve desired results with laser hair removal.
Therefore, the complete cost of treating an area can range anywhere from an average of $390 to $3,500.
You may need more treatments if you have dark skin, or if you have excess hair growth due to polycystic ovarian disease.
- The geographical location where you’re receiving treatment. This makes a surprisingly big difference. The price varies from clinic to clinic, and pricing can be higher in one city than it is in another.
While the average price in the United States for treating a smaller area of the body is $85 per session as of 2016, having that same area treated where you live may be as low as $29 or as high as $250.
- The person performing the laser hair removal. Hair removal can be performed by a physician, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant or a trained technician.
You’ll pay more to have the work completed by a physician than by a technician. You may decide to have the work done by a technician to save money.
If so, before starting any hair removal sessions, make sure that a medical professional examines you to determine your particular course of treatment.
It’s also advisable to go to a clinic that has a doctor on staff to answer your questions.
- Hair density can also effect the cost of treatment. Not every hair removal clinic will set a price based on hair density, but some do. You'll also likely need more treatment sessions on an area where the hair is very dense.
It simply takes more time for the laser to zap all of those hairs compared to an area where the hair is relatively sparse.
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How to Save Money
Laser hair removal is available in the offices of dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons, but more and more clinics are springing up to provide this in-demand service.
Laser hair removal clinics offer deals and discounts to stay competitive and attract new customers.
You can find coupons on sites like Groupon, and most places offer price breaks if you buy a hair removal package instead of paying session by session.
In many places, after your first series of treatments, you'll get half off all future sessions.
Insurance and financing
The vast majority of health insurance companies won’t cover laser hair removal, so you’ll have to pay the bill yourself.
Since laser hair removal can set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by the time you’re finished with it, any assistance in paying for it helps.
Some women have found that with a doctor's letter of endorsement, they can use funds from their own health care reimbursement accounts or flexible spending accounts to pay for the procedure.
This applies if your unwanted hair growth is caused by a medical condition such as polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Your doctor will need to argue the medical nature of your condition and make it clear that it's not only cosmetic.
Also, as stated above, you can ease some of the financial burden through financing laser hair removal directly from the laser hair removal provider.
Another option is to obtain financing through an outside lender such as Care Credit.
Lots of clinics offer financing plans and you can make monthly payments. They also accept major credit cards.
Since it’s considered a cosmetic procedure, you can’t claim the cost of laser hair removal as a tax deduction.
How to Choose the Right Clinic
It's worth it to pay more for laser hair removal to make sure it’s performed safely and effectively.
At the same time, most of us like to save money when we can.
Here are some questions you can ask during your consultation to help make an informed decision:
Check to see that the consent paperwork clearly explains any risks with the procedure.
Also, did the doctor or technician take time to answer your questions?
You can take the guesswork out of choosing a clinic by verifying this information in addition to checking customers' reviews.
To find out exactly what laser hair removal will cost you, ask for a consultation at the hair removal location of your choice.
While a low price doesn’t mean the clinic is bad news, it’s wise to beware of any pricing that seems too good to be true.
Comparison of the cost
Which type of hair removal is the most cost effective?
Methods that might initially seem to be expensive can actually turn out to be the most savings-savvy over time.
Here’s a comparison of the average cost of laser hair removal for the legs versus other hair removal methods.
Please note that these are average prices. The actual costs vary depending on a number of factors that we have discussed before.
- Laser versus Shaving: Laser hair removal for the legs takes approximately nine hours of treatment at an average cost of $3,200.
Shaving, on the other hand, will have a smaller weekly cost, but that cost will surpass laser hair removal’s cost over 10 years.
If you spend three dollars on inexpensive razors each week and $300 on shaving creams and lotions over a year, you can easily spend more than $4,500 in 10 years on shaving.
When you factor in the significant amount of time you’ll spend shaving your legs over your lifetime, laser hair removal is the more efficient and cost-effective hair removal method.
- Laser versus Waxing: I’ll use legs as an example again. Waxing is less time consuming than shaving since it’s typically done once every three weeks.
However, since it’s not permanent as laser hair removal is, you’ll have to have it done indefinitely, so it’ll still take more hours of your life to wax your legs than it would take to have them lasered.
Leg waxing at a salon has an average cost of $75. That adds up to $1,125 a year and $11,250 over 10 years.
So laser hair removal of the legs will save significant money and time compared to waxing.
- Laser versus Electrolysis: Both of these methods of hair removal produce permanent results. However, electrolysis is a painstakingly slow process since each hair is treated one at a time with a tiny, hand-inserted needle.
Electrolysis makes sense for small areas like the upper lip, but for legs, the number of sessions required would be enormous.
Since laser hair removal can cover larger areas like the legs quickly, it would cost far less to treat the legs with laser hair removal than with electrolysis.
When you look at hair removal as a long term investment, you’ll see that the methods that appear to be cheaper at first actually cost more over time since they have to be repeated indefinitely.
Permanent methods such as laser hair removal and electrolysis will pay you back over time because you’ll reap the savings of not having to pay for ongoing hair removal the way you would with shaving and waxing.
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If you’re taking a budget-minded approach to hair removal, thinking long-term is going to save you the most money.
Here are the key points to remember:
- Laser hair removal is a wise investment because you’ll save money over time. Temporary hair removal methods like shaving and waxing add up because you have to do them again and again, forevermore.
- The final cost of laser hair removal depends on the area being treated, hair density and your particular hair growth cycle.
- Choose the clinic carefully. Clinics that have a doctor on staff are your best bet. Always check references and recommendations.
- You can save your money by looking for discounts on Groupon or social media. Follow the clinics in your area on Facebook so you won’t miss out on special offers.
- If you’re short on money, installment payment plans can be your best friend.