Over the course of your life, you'll likely spend what amounts to days -- if not months -- getting rid of your body hair. Whether you're shaving, waxing or plucking, you've probably wished for a way to avoid removing your rapidly growing hair. Thankfully, laser hair removal provides a great solution to your problem.
In the past several years, laser hair removal has become one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S. [source: Springen]. This procedure, which involves a laser pulsing through the skin to be absorbed by the melanin, or pigment, in the hair follicles, can be performed on virtually any area of the body, from chin to chest to toes. With advancement in laser technology, the procedure works on people with all skin colors and hair types (though it tends to have the best results on people with lighter skin and darker hair). Plus, the procedure is relatively permanent; it destroys about 80 percent of all the hairs in the treated area and the hair that may grow back is usually finer in texture and lighter in color [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. So the million-dollar question (hopefully not literally) is: How much does it cost?
The price of the procedure depends on a variety of factors, including the area of the body to be treated, the number of necessary treatment sessions, and the type and location of the clinic. Typically, removing hair from smaller areas of the body -- like the bikini line or underarms -- cost less, around $250 to $500 per treatment. But larger areas -- like the legs or back -- cost considerably more, around $600 to $900 per treatment [source: DocShop]. Overall, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) sets the average price of a single treatment at $429 [source: Grossman].
Multiple treatments are usually required, but the exact number will depend on the area being treated. For most patients, four to six treatments spaced about four to eight weeks apart works best [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. That means that, on average, the series of treatments would cost between $1,716 and $2,574.
Location and clinic types can also play a role in determining prices. However, keep in mind that a cheap price shouldn't necessarily dictate your choice of clinic. Although there are an abundance of spas and other walk-in clinics that will perform laser hair removal, convenience and price shouldn't trump health and safety concerns. Make sure your procedure is being performed by a certified physician to guarantee a safe and effective outcome [source: American Academy of Dermatology]. Of course, as with all medical procedures, you should consult with multiple physicians to reach a balance of quality and cost.
To find out more about the cost of laser hair removal, follow the links on the next page.