Are you tired of waxing your underarms and shaving your legs? Is a bikini wax a constant source of embarrassment? If a resounding yes is your answer to these questions, then you're a good candidate for laser hair removal. The question that immediately follows is, "How much does it cost?"
According to 2019 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of laser hair removal is $287. This doesn't include other related expenses, such as procedure costs and medical prescriptions. Costs also vary depending on which area of the body needs it and where you live. There are single sessions that can cost up to $1500. If laser hair removal is being offered at very low costs, be wary. Those usually turn out to be too good to be true.
The most common area of the body that women target for laser hair removal are the legs. To be completely fuzz-free, an average of six sessions is needed. These sessions are spaced a month apart to follow the hair's growth cycle.
Once you've booked a session, stop using photosensitive medication or skincare. Antibiotics are usually photosensitive, and so are skincare products with retinoids and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Good Housekeeping writes that these ingredients speed up skin cell turnover, making skin more vulnerable to the sun. Your skin could end up more irritated during the treatment period. Also, stop waxing and tweezing. The roots of the hair need to be intact for the laser to pick them up and destroy them. Laser hair removal targets dark pigment and zaps them. You will be asked to shave at least two days before your session so that the laser can penetrate the roots of your hair.
Dermatologist and laser hair removal expert Dr. Jessica Weiser describes how the procedure feels. As she tells Vogue, "It feels like a rubber band being flicked against your skin multiple times." While some women take it like champions, others with low pain tolerance opt to use topical anesthesia.
Your skin will be heated after your laser hair removal session. A little redness and swelling are normal. Cool it down with cold gel compresses or take a cool shower. You can also try cooling serums or a soothing aloe vera gel. To prevent hyperpigmentation, avoid sun exposure, and wear sunblock with a minimum of SPF 30.
Consider your razor to be your best friend during the course of your laser hair removal adventure. New York dermatologist Dr. David Kim says, "Patients should not wax, pluck, or thread the treated areas in between treatments, because it's essential for the hair follicles to be intact in order for the treatments to be effective at the next session."
Related article: Is Hair Removal Permanent?
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