9 Essential Things To Know Before Getting Laser Hair Removal

We’ve all got body hair. Some of us choose to simply let it be and do its own thing, while others decide they want to get rid of it ASAP. If you’re nodding your head about the second option, you will be pleased to know that there are a lot of options for defuzzing.

Shaving and waxing are two of the most common hair removal methods. Plucking is also a popular one if you’re doing a smaller area like your brows or those random stray hairs on your chin. Then we get into hair removal methods that aren’t as common like sugaring, depilatory creams, and even laser hair removal.

You’ve probably heard of laser hair removal, and you might be curious about it considering the thing that most people hear about it is that it’s a permanent solution for those who want to get rid of body hair. Just imagine: No more shaving every other day, no more accidentally pulling skin with your tweezers, and no more expensive trips to the wax salon. Before you sign up for the full works at a laser hair removal clinic, there are some important things to know. Have a look at nine key things to know before getting laser hair removal.

It's Not For Everyone

Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but laser hair removal isn't for all hair colors and skin types. It actually works best for those with light skin and dark hair. That means those with blonde or red hair and light skin, or dark hair and dark skin might be disappointed with the results. The reason is that laser hair targets the pigment in hairs. So, light hairs won't be *picked up* while there isn't enough of a difference between dark skin and dark hairs for it to work properly.

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It's Expensive AF Initially

Laser hair removal doesn't come cheap. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for laser hair removal is $235 per session. But that figure can vary depending on the area being treated. Something like your upper lip or even bikini line will cost a lot less compared to your arms or your legs.

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...It Can Actually Be Good Value In The Long Run

If you're still reeling about the high price of laser hair removal, let me tell you that it can actually be worth it in the long run. If you add up the average cost of your regular wax sessions over your lifetime or the number of razors and shaving cream you have to buy, it actually isn't too bad. It obviously depends on how frequently you remove body hair for it to be a long-term good deal or not.

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It Requires Multiple Sessions

In a perfect world, we would be able to get one laser hair removal session then we would be as hairless as a hairless cat. Sorry, but that is still a big fat dream. It takes multiple sessions to see a noticeable difference. It will vary for everyone because of the amount of hair, the area being treated, the growth of individual hairs, and the color of skin versus hair, but we're talking a lot of trips as opposed to say two or three. That's also why it can get expensive.

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You Can Get It On Faces And Bodies

You can get laser hair removal on almost any part of your body. Armpits? Yup. Bikini line? Yeah. Legs? You bet. Upper lip? Sign right up. The only area where you cannot get it done is anywhere close to your eyes. But would you really want a laser super close to your eyeballs to begin with? Methinks not.

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You've Got To Tend To Hair Beforehand

It's common thinking that you just show up at your laser hair removal session au naturel then let the technician handle all the hair. However, you actually need to come in a quasi-groomed state. You don't want to shave right before the appointment because the laser targets the pigment in the hair follicles. Similarly, you don't want to wax or pluck too close to your appt otherwise there will literally be no hairs to target. But, you also don't want to show up with a week's worth of grow out. Shaving a few days before is normally the best option.

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You Will Feel It

What, you didn't think you would feel it? Of course everyone's pain tolerance is different, but most people say that laser hair removal treatments feel like you're getting snapped with an elastic band. And you experience that feeling every time the device *fires.*

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There Are Side Effects

Given that your skin and hair are essentially being attacked with a laser, there are side effects that can happen including irritation, discoloration, pigmentation, and even scarring. Your hair removal technician should do a patch test beforehand, but it's also critical to follow their instructions. Those can include always wearing SPF, avoiding the sun, and not applying any harsh skincare products after treatment.

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There Are At-Home Devices

If you're not quite ready to go to a professional for laser hair removal, you might want to consider an at-home laser hair removal device. They basically harness the same power of professional laser hair removal devices, but in a weaker, home-safe formula. They still work best on those with light skin and dark hair, and they aren't exactly cheap, either. Expect to pay between $200 to $500 for a device. Compared to multiple laser hair removal sessions at a pro, it's a pretty good deal.

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Have you ever thought about getting laser hair removal? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Heather Cichowski, on Twitter.


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