Laser hair removal | gilaxia/Getty Images

Many people have to deal with removing body hair as part of their normal grooming routine. Whether it’s shaving their legs or removing the stubble from their face for a clean-shaven look each morning, people can spend what amounts to months of removing body hair over the course of their lives.

American women spend more time and money on this process than American men. A survey completed by the American Laser Centers showed that women spend more than $10,000 on shaving products over their lifetime.

Considering those statistics, it’s no surprise that many people are looking for more permanent options, such as laser hair removal. Still, the question you must ask yourself is: “How much does laser hair removal cost?”

While the upfront costs of laser hair removal are greater than the costs of other hair removal products, the long-term benefits may justify the cost for many people. Here’s what to know.

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that must be performed by certified technicians. The process uses concentrated light to target and damage individual hair follicles.

As a result, the hair in each follicle falls out, and its growth process slows. The pigment in the hair attracts the laser so that the energy is focused on the hair. Laser hair removal is most effective on hair that is dark and coarse against fair skin.

However, several different lasers are available for different types and colors of hair and skin, and for different areas of the body.

Benefits of laser hair removal

The biggest advantage of laser hair removal is that it offers permanent hair reduction over time. While multiple sessions are necessary for permanent hair removal, results are often visible in just one session. Most people require four to six sessions to achieve permanent results.

Unlike waxing, tweezing and other hair-removal options, laser hair removal causes minimal discomfort. Those who have undergone the procedure describe it as feeling like a rubber band snapping against the skin.

Speed and precision make laser hair removal an attractive option for many people. Because the laser targets the hair specifically, the surrounding skin remains undamaged.

This is in contrast to waxing, shaving or tweezing that can damage the skin by leaving it red, sore and swollen. Additionally, the laser works quickly, covering an area the size of a quarter every second.

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Laser hair removal cost breakdown

The average cost of laser hair removal is $429, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

However, the cost varies depending on a number of different factors. The biggest factor is the area of the body that receives treatment. The size of the area and the amount of time it takes to perform the procedure help to determine the cost.

The table below illustrates the average high and low costs of laser hair removal for different areas of the body.

Area of body Low cost High cost
Face and neck $600 $900
Arms $350 $500
Bikini area $350 $500
Lower legs $600 $850
Back $600 $900
Chest $350 $600

Source: DocShop.com

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The doctor or technician goes over the procedure during the initial consultation and can provide a quote for an individual procedure. The physician also can recommend the number of treatments needed for permanent hair removal, although this can change depending on how the hair responds to the treatment.

The spa or clinic may offer discounts to those who pay for multiple sessions upfront or elect to have the procedure done on several different areas of the body.

Conclusion

Laser hair removal has a relatively high upfront cost. So, before beginning the procedure, make sure you know how much it costs.

Those interested in the treatment can expect to spend several hundred dollars per session and several thousand dollars total. However, because treatments are spread out — with usually eight weeks between each treatment, payments also can be spread out.

At some locations, customers can lower the cost by paying for several sessions at once or opting for treatment on multiple areas of the body.

When considering the lifetime cost of other hair removal treatments, laser hair removal is right on par. The procedure differs in that it provides permanent hair removal after several treatment sessions, thus cutting the time needed for grooming, which is priceless for many people.

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