People have been trying to permanently remove unwanted body hair for many years, with the first laser device can be traced back to the early 1960’s. It was invented by Theodore H. Maiman, and although it worked, it was very primitive, causing skin irritation and in some cases major skin damage.
When the first home laser hair removal device was approved by the FDA in the United States, and introduced to the consumer marketplace in 1997, the selection was limited, and the prices were extremely high. Conclusive clinical trials and extensive studies were almost non-existent, and many potential buyers were skeptical about making the investment until more proof was available. Further, the price of these devices were extremely high and beyond reach for most consumers.
Today, laser hair removal and intense light pulsed light therapy have become widely accepted, and what was once performed by dermatologists and licensed technicians, can now be performed at home. Home laser hair removal devices have proven to be safe, highly effective, and affordable for most budgets.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost At A Clinic?
Although the price of professional treatments varies by clinic, qualifications of the individual administering the procedure, and region, we will do our best to answer the question, “How much does laser hair removal cost?” Further, the numbers presented are based on information derived from the United States and can be extrapolated to estimate the cost in other countries.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2017 the average cost charged by physicians and surgeons for one laser hair removal treatment was $293 USD. It is unclear as to the exact services this covers.
Whether you are having hair laser treatment done at a professional hair treatment centre, a spa, or a salon, they will generally undergo an initial consultation. During this consultation, you will be asked to complete a medical profile form where you will need to provide information such as chronic medical conditions, previous surgeries, a list of current medications, allergies, and any skin-related issues.
Next, a technician or nurse will ask about the areas which require hair removal, examine them closely, and determine whether skin tone and hair color are conducive for a laser hair removal treatment. Finally, the procedure will be discussed in-depth, the associated risks will be presented, and the required number of sessions and cost will be determined.
Some clinics charge an initial consultation fee of $200 to $400, while others offer a free consultation. In some cases, the fee collected is applied to the first treatment.
Pre And Post Treatment Medications
In some cases where aggressive laser hair removal treatments are targeting sensitive regions such as the armpit and pubic areas, a local anesthetic may be administered, for which a fee may be charged, over and above the fee for the treatment.
Post treatment, you will likely feel some discomfort, mild pain, as well as redness and swelling around the treated area. These conditions can generally be treated with ice packs, over the counter drugs such as Aspirin or Tylenol, or Aloe based creams. In other cases, you may be prescribed stronger pain killers or antibiotic creams to prevent the potential of infection. In either case, there is a cost involved which should be factored into to equation.
Cost Calculator (Average Price By Body Area)
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The prices stated above are in US dollars, and are averages based on information published by numerous United States based laser hair treatment centers. Many centers do not publish pricing for laser hair removal services and require an appointment in order to receive an accurate quotation.
We have found that pricing can vary for women and men, and some centres offer discounts if multiple sessions are paid for upfront. This information is meant to provide a general guideline as to what pricing to expect.
As you can see from the chart above, the cost of laser hair removal treatments can be very expensive, especially if numerous treatment sessions on multiple parts of the body are required. For example, to treat the arms, legs, and face for 8 full sessions would cost upwards of $3,000.
Recognizing the need to make laser hair treatments affordable, numerous financing companies have been formed to specialize in helping consumers pay for expensive cosmetic medical procedures on a monthly basis. These organizations work closely with dermatological clinics, spas, and salons allowing their patients to receive on the spot financing.
Alternatively, most laser hair removal treatment facilities accept credit cards, and some will provide in-house financing arrangements to meet the patient’s specific financial requirements.
Is Laser Hair Removal Covered By Insurance?
We do not profess to be insurance experts and recognize that coverages in various insurance plans differ immensely. We do not wish to paint all plans with the same brush, however, in our research, we found that most plans issued by United State based insurance companies do not cover laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal in most cases is considered an elective procedure and is not deemed to be essential to the health and well being of an individual. On the other hand, there have been situations where a doctor has gone the extra mile and made a strong case for coverage. The doctor must prove that excessive hair growth is a medical condition that adversely affects the ability to the patient to lead a normal life. In most cases, the negative psychological impact is stressed. Although it may be a long shot, it is definitely worth a try.
How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost At Home?
Performing laser hair removal at home using a personal home laser hair removal device is extremely cost-effective. In fact, the cost is the one time fee for the purchase of the hair removal device. Other than replacing a flashbulb every 1, 2, or 3 years, there are no additional costs involved other than electricity, or battery replacement in the event of a battery operated unit.
We recently published a comprehensive article entitled “Home Laser Hair Removal: The 7 Best Home Laser & IPL Hair Removal Products” which provides detailed reviews of what we feel are the top 7 home laser hair removal devices on the market. Below is the list with the best pricing at the time of writing.
- Tria Beauty Hair Removal Laser 4X for Women and Men $404.10
- Silk’n Flash&Go Express Hair Removal Device $299.00
- Remington iLIGHT Ultra Face & Body Hair Removal System $768.52
- SmoothSkin Bare Ultrafast IPL Hair Removal $230.58
- Philips Lumea New BRI956 Prestige IPL Hair Removal $688.89
- Braun Gillette Venus Silk-Expert IPL 5001 $299.92
- DEESS 3 In 1 IPL Hair Removal Kit $254.99
As you can see, the price of home laser hair removal devices is relatively inexpensive in comparison to receiving treatments from a professional. To see a full description of the home laser products, click on the product name and you will be directed to the site.
Granted, there are some devices that we have not listed that reach into the $1,000 to $2,000 range, but still are less expensive than ongoing professional treatments. In an upcoming section, we will go into more depth as to the benefits of owning a home hair laser removal device.
Why The Popularity Of At Home Laser Hair Removal?
According to Statista, sales in the global market for hair removal in 2017 were estimated at $880 million USD and are expected to rise to $1.35 billion USD by the year 2022. The United States hair removal device market is said to make up the greatest share and is expected to remain on top for many years to come.
With disposable income remaining high among millennials and baby boomers, in conjunction with the trend toward a focus on personal hygiene, the popularity of laser hair removal services is at an all time high. Further, manufacturers and spending millions of dollars in research, development, and innovation to improve existing products and market themselves as having the “latest and greatest” device.
As a result, consumers have more choice and look more toward purchasing a personal hair removal device that can be used in the comfort of their own home. Following is a list of benefits of owning a home laser hair removal device versus using the services of a salon or dermatologist.
- Cost Savings
The cost savings associated with owning a personal laser hair removal device provides the greatest benefit and is the number reason individuals purchase them. Looking at the treatment pricing chart as well as the price of some of the best home laser hair removal devices above, it is clear that using an at home device is much less expensive than receiving treatments professionally.
In addition, it eliminates the requirement to buy and replenish expensive razors, razor blades, shaving cream, and depilatory creams. Further, it replaces painful waxing sessions which can range in price from $50 to $100 per body area. Waxing sessions must be performed on a fairly frequent basis, replacement of just a few waxing sessions will more than pay for most home laser hair removal devices.
- Comparable To Professional Treatments
Most manufacturers of laser hair removal devices recognize that the largest market potential is in the at home market. As a result, they have focussed much of their effort on developing and improving new and innovative technologies, to ensure that performing hair removal at home, is effective as having it done by a professional in a clinic or salon setting.
As a result, most home users report that treatments at home are comparable, and in some cases better than those performed professionally. Any device which has been cleared by the FDA in the United States, has gone through rigorous testing for quality and safety. If a device has been approved to claim that it provides “Permanent hair removal”, the manufacturer has provided extensive data to the FDA to support that claim.
- Treatments Are Fast
New technologies have allowed the actual treatment times to be reduced substantially from where they were as little as 3 or 4 years ago. Many devices will allow you to perform a full body hair removal treatment in as little as 1 hour and treat a leg or an arm in a few as 10 minutes. The perception still exists that home laser hair removal is time consuming, however, that is not the case anymore. Having a home laser device at your finger tips allows you to give yourself a treatment any time and anywhere.
Setting the tremendous cost aside, having laser hair removal performed at a clinic or salon, is time consuming. It entails booking an appointment, commuting to and from the appointment, spending time in the waiting room, a discussion with the practitioner, and the actual procedure. The process could quite possibly take an entire afternoon. In addition, if you have to take time off work, you may lose some pay.
Being able to effectively perform laser hair removal in the privacy of your own home is appealing to most people. Having to remove your clothes, and have a stranger perform the procedure on your body, especially in the private region is not pleasant for most people. A home laser hair removal device alleviates this type of embarrassment.
In this article, we answered the question, “How much does laser hair removal cost?” and broke it down further into the cost of laser hair removal at a clinic as well as the cost of laser hair removal at home. It is very clear that the cost of performing laser hair removal at home is substantially lower than having it done at a clinic, spa, or salon.
We also discussed payment and financing options commonly provided at clinics and spas, as well as information about insurance plan coverage. We then listed 7 top home laser hair removal devices, and provided links to find out more about them,
And finally, we covered the home laser device industry and listed the main benefits of owning a home laser hair removal device.