Cost of Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal Cost

The cost for Laser Hair Removal depends on which area you want treated. The cost is usually higher for men than women (since men’s hair is coarser and there’s more of it). For example, the upper lip can cost $75-$80 for women and $90-$100 for men). Men’s back costs around $175 to $200. The bikini area costs around $95-$100 whilst the speedo area for men is approximately $120-$130. A Brazilian laser hair removal costs about $200 for women and $240-$250 for men. Underarms can cost up to $100 for women and $120 for men.

The above prices are per treatment. You will most likely require multiple treatments. Before proceeding, ask how many treatments are recommended for the area having regard to your hair and skin type. Private health insurance may cover part of the cost. You cannot claim cosmetic procedures on Medicare. Ask your surgeon for information about any rebates.

Types of Laser Hair Removal

There are different types of lasers which can be used for removing hair, including the diode, Nd:Yag, Alexandrite and Ruby lasers. Each laser has different wavelengths and pulse widths. Argon lasers are no longer used for hair removal.

The Ruby laser has the shortest wavelength of 694 nanometres (nm). It’s only safe on patients with very pale skin. Many practitioners have ceased to use the Ruby for laser hair removal.

The Diode Laser has a wavelength of 810 nm (which is longer than the Ruby and Alexandrite lasers but shorter than the Nd:Yag laser) and is suitable for hair removal on pale white skin which burns and never tans to medium skin which tans with some burn.

The Alexandrite laser (755 nm wavelength) is best used to remove hair on very pale skin. It’s not safe to use on dark, brown or even light brown skin.

The Nd:Yag laser has a larger wavelength of 1064nm (near-infrared). This type of laser is effective for laser hair removal on all types of skin. These systems are targeted for dark to very dark skin. Unfortunately, doctors claim these lasers do not produce long term results (the hair usually completely returns within six months) despite efforts to use longer pulse durations, which can also be very painful.

Alternatively, removing hair can also be achieved using IPL Hair Removal or electrolysis. Electrolysis is the only method allowed to be called “permanent hair removal”. Although it’s suitable for all hair types, it’s the only permanent option for very fine and light coloured hair.

Laser Hair Removal Side Effects

Side effects can occur if an incorrect type of laser is used for a certain type of skin. For example if a practitioner uses the Alexandrite laser on someone with brown skin (which tans and rarely burns) then possible complications include hyperpigmentation (dark patches), hypopigmentation (loss of pigment). Other risks include burning the skin, scab formation, pigment changes, acne, swelling around the follicle, purpure (red or purple skin discolorations) and infection. To avoid these complications, the surgeon must use the right type of laser with the appropriate setting for your type of skin.

Usual side effects when the right laser is used include redness, itchiness and swelling which can last up to three days. Laser hair removal treatments can also be painful, however most clinics provide numbing creams. You may be required to pay extra to have this applied.

There is also a risk of an allergic reaction to the numbing cream or the hair removal gel.

After Laser Hair Removal

After the treatment you may feel sore and itchy. There may also be redness and swelling. These symptoms usually subside within 72 hours. The after effects can be treated with ice which enables faster relief.

Depending on which area you had treated and its hair cycle length, the next laser hair removal treatment is usually within 8 to 12 weeks. Treatment of facial hair may require more frequent visits, around 3 to 4 weeks apart. However, rather than following a systematic timeline, wait until you have enough hair grow back before booking another treatment. If a considerable part of your hair has not shed within three weeks, then you may require revision treatment.