Human hair growth is a result of heredity and hormone levels. For many individuals, embarrassing hair growth is a daily struggle. As most women know, waxing, plucking, and shaving are painful and hair grows back quite rapidly. Luckily, various types of permanent hair removal exist and they are now painless and affordable than ever. These include laser and electrolysis. Prescription creams and chemical depilation can result in long-lasting hair removal as well. According to the National Laser Institute, since 2000, laser hair removal has risen by 51% in the United States. In addition, more than 2.8 Americans have used permanent hair removal treatments in 2017.
Types of Hair Removal
- Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is one of the most common types of hair removal procedures in Canada. It is especially beneficial for removing unwanted hair from legs, arms, chin, face, underarms, and bikini areas. Special lasers target the coarse hair, leaving surrounding areas undamaged. Laser pulses take only a fraction of a second and are relatively painless. Permanent hair loss is seen after 3 to 7 sessions, which should be spaced 4 to 8 weeks apart. Costs are approximately $250 USD per session and range from $150 to $500 USD.
Lasers can be broken down into 4 main categories.
- Ruby Laser – The Ruby Laser is best suited for individuals with lighter skin tones with finer hair. It is the oldest known laser.
- Diode Laser – The Diode Laser works best on individuals with fair and medium to dark skin. It is one of the newest and one of the most commonly used laser systems.
- Alexandrite Laser – The Alexandrite Laser is best suited for individuals for olive skin tones. It is considered one of the quickest methods on the market.
- ND: YAG Laser – The ND: YAG Laser is best for individuals with darker skin tones.
Smaller areas, such as the bikini line ranges from $350 to $500 USD. Underarms cost $250 to $350 USD. The abdomen area costs $150 to $400 USD.
Medium areas, such as the chest range from $350 to $600 USD, arms are $350 to $500 USD, while half legs are $250 to $650 USD. Brazilian bikini waxes range from $250 to $500 USD. The chin and neck area starts at $125 USD.
Larger areas, such as the back average about $600 to $900 USD, while legs (upper and lower) are $600 to $850 USD.
- Electrolysis Hair Removal
Electrolysis can be used on all parts of the body with unwanted hair. The process uses shortwave radio frequencies in fine needles to destroy hair follicles. It is considered the best permanent hair solution by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but a few sessions are recommended. Costs are approximately $35 to $100 USD per session, with sessions spaced 1 or 2 weeks apart. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that on average, costumers spend about $429.Treatments take approximately 15 minutes to 1 hour. Best of all, there are no permanent side effects.
- Prescription Creams
Prescription creams inhibit the production of enzymes that stimulate facial hair growth in women only. Results last up to 8 weeks. Monthly costs are approximately $50.
- Chemical Depilation
Chemical Depilation rids individuals of unwanted hair through over-the-counter gels or creams. Unfortunately, since the hair follicle is not targeted, results only last for 2 weeks.
Factors Determining the Price of Hair Removal
- Hair Density – The biggest factor affecting price is hair density. At times, denser or thicker hair requires many more treatments to achieve permanent results.
- Part of the Body – Certain areas of the body, such as the face, are less expensive than other areas, such as the back.
- Size of the Area – Smaller areas, such as the upper lip, are much cheaper than larger areas, such as the legs.
- Skin Tone – Individuals with darker skin tones will pay much more than those with fairer tones, because more sessions are required to permanently remove the hair.
Permanent Hair Removal Vs Traditional Ways of Removing Hair
Although costs for permanent hair removal appear high at first, in the long run, they are significantly cheaper than waxing and plucking.
Techniques such as waxing and plucking have to be repeated frequently, adding up costs. For example, at $10 to $15 USD per session, waxing can total $250 USD per year.
For shaving, razors, while relatively inexpensive, can up to a few hundred dollars per year as well. Time spent shaving every day also should be factored in.
In comparison, while many permanent hair removal methods, such as the laser, cost approximately $3,000 USD in total, over a lifetime, shaving costs can reach a whopping $10,000 USD. Waxing is even more costly, with costs rising to $23,000 USD.