All About Laser Hair Removal

All About Laser Hair Removal
Beauty Tips

As you can probably see, this website is all about laser hair removal before and after pictures. Whether you’re seriously thinking about having a procedure done or just toying around with the idea it’s interesting and borderline kind of fun to look at some pictures. If you’re at all considering having laser hair removal done then the main questions you probably have:

  • how much does it cost?
  • does it hurt?
  • does it work?
  • how long does it take?
  • how long does it last
  • Is it worth doing?

Well, here are the short answers and I’ll get into the long answers too:

  1. how much does it cost? it depends – ranges from $150 for good deal on just upper lip hair to over $10,000 for full body treatment. You can read more about costs by skipping straight to the laser hair removal costs page on this site. Most people are going to spend less than $2,500 but it depends on how much you want done. Take a look at this site called Real Self. I think it’ll give you all the legitimate information about price that you could hope to find online.
  2. does it hurt? it depends – a lot of it depends on how sensitive an area of the body you’re having it done on
  3. does it work? most of the time – in a small percentage of cases there is something called “refractive hair” which the lasers have trouble with
  4. how long does it take? it depends – can take 15 minutes or dozens of hours. Depends on how much work you need done.
  5. how long does it last? it can last a long time – like decades
  6. is it worth doing? people seem to be relatively divided on if it’s worth doing. Seems that where the technology currently is it works better on some hair and skin types than others. How satisfied you are also

I know that was a lot of “it depends” type answers, but what were you expecting?

Let’s dive into this a little bit more so that you can make the most informed decisions possible about what to do with your body and your money.

How much does it cost?

I could just say that it depends on the procedure and where you have it done, but I’ll be more specific than that. Interestingly, it’s sometimes counterintuitive in terms of where the best deal is. For example, you might assume that’s it’s more expensive to have laser hair removal done in Beverly Hills than in Kansas City, but it’s not as straightforward as prices for laser hair removal being directly correlated to general cost of living expenses in various parts of the country. Yes, doctors in more expensive areas likely do pay more in terms of rent and general overhead at their facilities and typically those costs are passed onto the end consumer (you). However, it’s important to realize that like most other businesses competition plays a large role in terms of pricing. Laser Hair removal services can sort of be equated to doctors who perform Lasik eye surgery. In both cases it takes specialists with years of schooling to properly administer the procedures and getting these sorts of clinics setup requires a lot of up front capital and continued investments in terms of having the latest technologies, etc. At the end of the day though, when there are customers paying for the service they’re bringing in money and when the no one is using the services these highly trained professionals and their expensive equipment are just sitting idle. Additionally, the depending on where you live and the reputable options you have access to it’s very easy to get quotes from multiple locations. Don’t think you’re being rude or coming across as cheap. Be honest with the doctors you speak with.

Where to go?

My recommendation for getting the best price possible first involves figuring out which places come highly recommended by sources that you trust. After all, if you go the cheap route and have terrible results it might just end up costing you more in the long run. That’s penny wise and pound foolish. So, identify your best three, five, or ten options and schedule free consultations. Requesting a free consultation is not unreasonable at all. Even if you happen to run into a place that tells you that they don’t normally do free consultations, be direct with them and politely ask them to please make an exception for you.

If you happen to live somewhere that doesn’t have a lot of options expand your search radius. Are there places within a two, three, or five hour drive from your house that come highly recommended? This can be a pain to go to and from these places, especially for the free consultation. Whether this is worth it or not is completely up to you and your schedule. Maybe you can schedule Friday appointments and turn these doctor visits into weekend trips and get a hotel or stay with friends when you’ve already made the trip for your procedure. As an example, you may live in rural Wisconsin and your best bet is driving down to Chicago to have the best options. It’s certainly less convenient than living in West LA and having literally dozens of clinics within a five mile radius, but it’s at least something to think about.

So, what’s the actual cost?

Your actual cost will either be based on:

  • a flat fee
  • how long the procedure takes
  • per pulse charge

Personally, I suggest getting quotes for the flat fee. You’re not informed enough to make judgments on if a per pulse charge makes sense for you. Whatever method you choose make sure to get quotes from multiple places in the same metric. Otherwise you’ll be comparing a quote based on time to a flat fee and it’ll be more difficult for you to properly evaluate the choices. There are pros and cons to each of these options. It’s pretty much like anything else that you either pay someone by the job or by the hour. If you hire someone to paint your house you can pay someone a flat fee, but if you do you’re risking having the painter do a sloppy job just to collect his fee and quickly move onto his next project. Alternatively, you can pay the painter by the hour, but then you risk them dragging their feet and taking four times as long to finish the project as they should just so they can rack up more billable hours.

The truth of the matter is that if you’re dealing with someone reputable you shouldn’t run into these problems. These are just things to keep in mind. Fortunately because of the online would be live in today it’s never been easier to steer clear of the con artists who take advantage of under informed clients and excessively bill them through the teeth. Read some online reviews and if someone a friend recommended has a reputation of customer’s complaining about final bills that were higher than their estimates than consider steering clear of them or at least brining this up in your consultation when you talk about the price. Often times, if they’re aware that you’re aware then they’ll steer clear of anything shady.

What to ask during the free consultation?

It’s important to ask whatever’s on your mind. Every individual and ever case is slightly different so there isn’t just a blanket all-encompassing statement of everything that you personally need to ask. There are however some guidelines about issues that it’s almost always a generally good idea to get straight before you commit to any procedure. Ask about the pain, how long it takes, and what the results are. If it makes you feel more comfortable ask if you can speak to a former client who’s already had the procedure you’re considering having. Ideally, you would have found this place by getting a direct referral from a friend of yours who has used the place before and personally recommends it. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for everyone. Even if you do have a good friend or even just an acquaintance who had a successful procedure done with the group you’re speaking to, it still doesn’t hurt to talk to another person and confirm what you already suspect. You should obviously be mindful that if a doctor does provide you with a reference it’s almost certainly going to be from someone that they know will give a glowing recommendation. It’s the same thing when job applicants give recommendations. Yes, it does give an added layer of credibility that there’s someone who will say something nice about you, but you still know it’s not as good as being able to question a random assortment of past clients. Fortunately, that’s what the internet is for.

It’s never been easier to get reviews on everything from restaurants to mechanics. Laser hair removal services are no exception. If you found this website and have been reading this long, you’re certainly internet savvy enough to find some legitimate reviews. Just Google around. I emphasized the word legitimate because not all the reviews you’re going to come across are legit. First, let’s all agree that most of the people who take the time to post reviews for anything usually had really good experiences or more likely had really bad experiences. Just think about if you ordered food from a Chinese place that you hadn’t tried before what would have to happen to make you take the time to write a review (yes, I know some people are just really into writing lots of reviews). Well, if your food shows up late that might piss you off enough to write a review – if it shows up late enough anyway. What if they overcharge you or you realize after the food’s been dropped off that they gave you the wrong order? They gave you someone else’s order (that’s the worst). At first you’re thinking, well maybe someone else ordered something awesome and they know more about Chinese food than I do, but when you open it up it’s something like cold beef salad and you’re just like – seriously, who orders cold beef salad? I couldn’t get someone else’s food from a guy that got something even better than what I ordered? So, I’m digressing. The point is take the reviews with a grain of salt and remember that a face-to-face review with someone you’ve known and trust is certainly preferable.

Another thing to keep in mind are online reviews that are really just spam. There are actually businesses out there that disguise themselves as social media consultants when in reality they are primarily deceptive spam for hire services. The way this might work is that a salesperson from the social media consulting firm will reach out to the owner of a local restaurant and explain to them how they can grow their business by reaching out to people with a Facebook page, Twitter account, offering coupons on Yelp, doing Groupons, etc. The restaurant owner is typically an older guy who doesn’t know anything about Facebook, building a website, etc. If the salesperson is good they’ll be able to convince the local business owner to divert a portion of whatever he was already spending on advertising/marketing to the social media firm in the form of a monthly payment and they’ll generate more business for him by creating a positive online presence. If the restaurant/local business is legit this can actually result in an excellent return on investment. However, if the restaurant is anything less than stellar then you’ll end up seeing the social media consultants essentially posting fake reviews online. They’ll open numerous accounts. They pay people in other countries a dollar per positive review they write-up, and do all sorts of unethical things to artificially prop up this business so that they continue to get paid. So, what can you do about this? Well, sometimes the fake reviews are easy to spot because they are so self-serving.  They might just be unrealistic praise that goes on for days about the dumbest things. You just have to use your gut. Other times, especially with the brief fake reviews it’ll be pretty much impossible to tell. As with anything else, just use your best judgment. The reason I’m telling you all of this is so that you’re able to make the most informed decision possible. That’s the goal.

When you actually go into the consultation. Be honest with the doctor. You’re basically interviewing them for a job. You’re going to hire them to do a service for you. They’re trying out for you and you have other options. If you have a competitive quote and you’re close to making a final decision but there’s another option that seems compelling to you, then don’t be embarrassed to go back to them and say, “look, I know you said you would charge $500 to do this procedure, but Competitor B said they’ll do it for $400. I’d really rather go with you, but can you beat their price?” You might be surprised what you hear. The worst they can say is no. You don’t have to be a master negotiator when you have all the leverage. If the doctor you called is very popular and very good then he’ll have the leverage to politely decline your counteroffer because his reputation and business has allowed him to command a certain rate. Alternatively, if you get lucky and catch him when his work flow is light or he’s especially motivated for whatever reason to bring in some more income then he might cut you a deal rather than losing you to a competitor.

Earlier we talked about online reviews and how their reliability can vary. Another aspect to be aware of when it comes to online reviews is that an increasing amount of professionals in the laser hair removal industry understand the importance of keeping up a goof reputation online. One sour review can literally costs them tens of thousands of dollars in clients who simply didn’t pick up the phone because they read one scathing review. When you have your consultation let everyone know that you’re active on these review boards (even if you’re not) and that if you have the positive experience that you hope to have then you’re recommend the place you used to all of your friends on Facebook, Twitter followers, you’ll write lengthy positive reviews online, you’ll talk up the place on message boards. Just be reasonable. Hearing these magic words might be what it takes for you to be offered a better price and/or receive preferential treatment. Do you think restaurants step up their game when they know a restaurant critic is dining with them? You bet they do. Today’s empowering system allows anyone to get the red carpet treatment as if they’re a critic who can influence hundreds or thousands of potential customers, and it’s because you can.

Have you ever seen what happens if you tell two friends about something, and then those two friends each tell two friends, then everyone they’ve told tells two new friends? Well, by only the twentieth level your influence will have reached well over a million people.

Do I think you’re going to influence a million people? No, but stranger things have happened. Plus if you just influence two people that’s immediately more money in the bank for the laser hair removal facility you’ve chosen.

Enough about the nuances of figuring out where to go and how to get the best deal. Let’s talk about specific prices and whether or not it’s going to hurt and if so, how much.

Typical prices:

First, let me say that I recommend a website called Real Self. It seems to have a lot of legitimate reviews with actual dollar amounts, details of procedures, etc. Here are some examples from the site:

There are extremes like a girl in Irvine, California paying $10,500 to have all of the hair from her neck down to her toes removed. That sounds like quite an extreme procedure. She said it hurt too.

Someone else says they spent over $10,000 on numerous sessions at $500 a session and have very little to show for it. They had a miserable experience because the doctors eventually told her she had something called “refractive hair” which made it very difficult to impossible for the lasers to zero in on her hair.

Other procedures like removing hair from the upper lip can be done quickly and in some instances costs as little as $150.

Most of the time with bigger projects you will probably buy sessions. For example a hairy back might take six one hour sessions and you might pay $300 -$500 per session. Part of the reason for breaking up the procedures into sessions is so that your body can recover. It’s also nice to be able to make some gradual progress. If you’re happy with where you are after three or four sessions maybe you’ll use the other couple of sessions for something else.

Does insurance cover laser hair removal?

This answer is almost always no, but there is some small chance that if you have an amazing gold plated insurance policy that things like hair removal and massages are covered.

How long do sessions take?

Sessions can take anywhere from as short as ten to fifteen minutes for a very small area like a bikini line or upper lip to an hour for larger areas. While some facilities may do ninety minute or longer sessions it’s nice to break the sessions up so that your body can recover and you don’t have to worry about a physician getting fatigued. It’s generally advised that you wait from four to six weeks between sessions.

Am I a good candidate for laser hair removal?

Honestly, the most ideal candidate is someone with fair skin and dark coarse hair. As a side note try not to get tan or sunburned before having a procedure. Keep in mind that just because you’re not the ideal candidate from a skin tone and hair type doesn’t mean you can’t see excellent results. Schedules some free consultations and find out for sure what sort of success you can expect.

I encourage you to check out the pictures on this website. At the end of the day though, results will vary. Even though it’s interesting to see these pictures you really can’t tell by looking at most of the pictures if someone underwent a laser hair removal surgery or just shaved.  Ultimately, you’re the one who can best imagine what it would look, feel, and be like to eliminate or at least greatly reduce unwanted hair wherever it’s bothering you most on your body. In fact, often times it’s areas that you’ve shaved for years (decades) and you’re really just deciding if it’s worth the cost and hassle to free yourself from the regular chore of shaving your legs, armpit, neck, or having your bikini line waxed. For some of you reading this, it’s about getting treatment on an area that you can’t manage by yourself – most likely your back. Do yourself a favor and schedule at least one appointment for a free consultation with a local laser hair removal practitioner in your area. I wouldn’t suggest buying anything on the first visit, even if there are hard sales techniques. Maybe you’ve experienced something like that when signing up for a gym where they’ll cut you a great deal like waving the $150 initiation fee if you sign up today. Be smart and shop around. This is a big decision.

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