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Why Is Laser Hair Removal So Expensive?

By ULIKEBEAUTY
October 11, 2023
7 minutes
Why Is Laser Hair Removal So Expensive?

Hair removal has been troubling women for centuries. So, each woman is looking for something practical, nearly painless, and long-lasting. In the race of multiple methods of hair removal, waxing, shaving, and hair removal creams are left behind by laser hair removal

However, this transition towards non-invasive and semi-long-lasting hair removal methods has been heavy on the consumer’s pocket.

Laser hair removal uses selective photo-thermolysis to offer long-lasting results. Light pulses from the laser source target melanin, the pigment in the hair strands. Light energy is converted into heat after it reaches the hair roots. This heat burns the hair follicle without affecting the surrounding skin and results in semi-long-lasting hair removal.

Even with such a basic and simple principle, laser hair removal is expensive. It is because of expensive machines, trained staff, and excellent before-after care. So, let’s explore in detail why in-salon laser hair removal is ridiculously expensive. 

What is the Average Cost of Laser Hair Removal? 

What is the Average Cost of Laser Hair Removal?

The cost of hair removal by laser is quite variable as it is determined by various factors. These factors include the cross-section area of the body, the number of sessions taken, and the experience and qualification of the laser hair removal expert performing the treatment.

Laser hair removal is classified according to the treatment policy of any clinic. Generally, it is categorized into three categories:

  • Small Areas: These include Bikini, underarms, chin, lips, and sideburns are small areas. An average laser hair removal session in such areas costs anywhere between $ 100- $250.
  • Medium Areas: These are thighs and legs, costing around $275-$400, and arms costing around $350-$400 per session. 
  • Large Areas: The back is mainly considered a large area. It can cost between $375-$400 per session.

On further breakdown of the laser hair removal cost, it is safe to say that each area requires a-8 sessions for optimal hair reduction. Therefore, you should multiply the cost of individual sessions. 

6 Reasons For Why Is Laser Hair Removal So Expensive 

1. High Acquisition Cost

High Acquisition CostLaser hair removal is primarily costly because laser technology is quite expensive. The machines used for laser hair removal require precise calibration for their effective and safe operation. 

Moreover, these machines must be FDA-clear to ensure the safety and efficacy of the claims through valid scientific evidence. Out of all the companies offering laser hair removal machines, the forefront of medical technology is Rolls-Royce laser machines. They offer expansive yet foolproof technology. 

Despite the sky-high cost of an average FDA-cleared laser machine, you will still find some salons or clinics offering laser hair removal sessions at a very pocket-friendly price. It could be because such clinics have unbranded and less effective machines. 

Furthermore, laser machines can be purchased from anywhere in the world at a low cost without FDA cleared. Such unproven and untested machines are not safe for the skin. So, you shouldn’t get yourself treated by such machines just to save a few dollars. 

2. Maintenance Cost of Laser Machine

Laser devices are pieces of machinery made of multiple mechanical parts. So, they have their need for basic maintenance as well. Laser hair removal machines undergo daily, weekly, and biannual maintenance checks to ensure the proper functioning of the laser machine.  

For routine maintenance checks, the laser clinic has to hire a trained staff who checks the equipment before the clinic starts working. They ensure that the device is calibrated correctly, with the optical system working and the cooling system intact. If not, this will affect the quality and precision of the laser beam. Paying such staff members adds to the financial burden on the clinic. 

For biannual maintenance checks, a laser technician who is well-versed in the complexities of the machine is hired. A single service, once every six months, costs around $1500.

Professional services are needed to do these maintenance checks accurately. The expenses of these regular services are reflected in the cost of laser sessions.

3. It Needs Trained and Certified Professionals

It Needs Trained and Certified ProfessionalsAn expert dermatologist and laser hair removal expert are also needed to ensure the effectiveness and safety of the laser procedure. Thorough research followed by selecting an experienced and well-reputed professional is mandatory before opting for a laser hair removal session. 

So, skillful laser hair removal experts are always in demand. This demand makes them charge the clinic a good amount of money for their impeccable services. Also, people who lack skills and just know a bit about laser charge lower fees. Therefore, you should beware if your clinic is offering laser hair removal at minimal charges. 

Such practitioners lack the required training and experience for doing laser hair removal sessions safely and accurately. Any error by an inexperienced laser surgeon can lead to complications like scarring, hyperpigmentation, and skin burns. Furthermore, they are not educated enough to adjust and maintain your follow-up treatment sessions either.

Consequently, with the increased demand for laser hair removal experts in the market, there has been a proliferation of random salons and clinics offering the procedures cheaply.

Small independent salons and clinics have been known to reopen under different names once they are legally shut down as they use either substandard technology or practitioners without professional licenses. 

So, you should ensure your chosen clinic is registered with a professional body and fully insured for laser hair removal treatment. A well-reputed and legally registered clinic will charge you more than a random clinic or salon. But know that this price will be worth it.

4. Laser Hair Removal Requires Multiple Sessions

The laser targets the hair in its early growth phase, as the amount of the target pigment, melanin, is most significant during this phase. After each laser session, 30% of the hair follicles are long-lastingly destroyed as they are in the active phase while the rest of the treated hair enters a non-growing or resting phase. 

This resting state lasts a few weeks, after which certain hair follicles enter a new growth phase. Thus, multiple sessions are required to remove all the hair follicles in the target area. 

This makes laser hair removal a multiple-step or session-requiring procedure instead of a one-time thing. As the whole procedure of laser hair removal requires 4-6  sessions on average,  it demands a lot of time and money. 

After finishing this 4-6 session treatment, most patients remain hair-free on the treated skin for months or even years. When the hair regrows, it is less dense, finer, and lighter in color. A patient may need maintenance laser treatment sessions to keep the area hair-free.

5. Laser Hair Removal Charges Vary With Body Area and Type

Laser Hair Removal Charges Vary With Body Area and TypeAlong with the high cost and maintenance of the machine and training of the staff, the body area being treated and the features of hair also significantly add to the price of each session.

Laser hair removal can be done on any body part, including the face, chin, upper lips, arms, underarms, legs, back, chest, and bikini line. The price of hair removal treatment varies depending on which body area is being treated.

As thin fine hair has less melanin, it requires multiple laser hair removal sessions in comparison to thick hair. A single laser treatment gives a 2 to 6-month delay in hair regrowth in black or brown hair, whereas the same treatment prevents hair growth for 3 months in blonde hair.

So, if you have thin blonde hair, the laser hair removal session will cost you more than your friend with thicker and darker hair.

6. Potential Hazards Can Further Increase the Cost

The laser hair removal system also requires accessories like cooling gels, numbing creams, laser protection glasses, and shields. To minimize skin sensitivity, it is necessary to avoid sun exposure after laser treatment and keep the skin well moisturized. So, Investing in a high SPF physical sunscreen and a non-scented moisturizer is essential for a successful laser hair removal session.

These preventive measures are neither advised nor required with traditional hair removal methods like waxing, shaving, or plucking.  However, these skincare items are a must for laser hair removal and definitely add up to the cost of sessions.

Affordable Alternative to Laser

IPL hair removal device

So now, when you are tired of traditional hair removal methods and are more than willing to opt for a newer method, the laser technology appears quite expensive. In this state of confusion, the IPL hair removal device is right there to offer you long-lasting hair removal within a reasonable price range.

IPL is a broadband pulsed light source whereas laser is a single wavelength light source. Other than that, both IPL and laser hair removal devices target the melanin pigment within hair follicles, which leads to long-lasting hair follicle destruction. Both of these hair removal systems require 6-8 sessions to gain maximum benefit.

 To make you think twice before choosing laser over IPL, here is another reason. Where a laser hair removal system requires multiple appointments with a skilled dermatologist, the IPL hair removal device renders a home spa experience.

Sapphire Air3 IPL device for Hair Removal by Ulike offers a nearly painless hair removal session for the whole body, within just 12 minutes. The device is designed to minimize the risk of skin burns by maintaining an average epidermal temperature during the whole session. Three inbuilt modes within this device cater to different body areas. The  Auto Glide Mode delivers flashes every 0.7 seconds. Results are visible within the first three weeks, and maximum results are seen within 7-10 weeks of treatment.

Wrapping-up

In this technology-driven era, as you are constantly urged to kick aside the traditional method of removing unwanted hair, laser hair removal or IPL hair removal methods appear as the new norm. Whether IPL or laser hair removal, both work on the same principle and have the same factors determining the success of the procedure. These factors include skin and hair color, hair thickness, and hair growth stage.

As the high cost of laser hair removal is the major limiting factor, this option might not be affordable for everyone.  IPL device offers you the perks of long-lasting hair removal at a reasonable cost, that too within the comfort of your home.

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