One of our editors explains everything you need to know about laser hair removal

I first heard about laser hair removal when I read about it in a beauty magazine years ago. The article explained how this hair removal method, although very effective, was super expensive. And, it also mentioned how there were few laser hair removal centers at the time. Basically, I finished the article thinking that there was no need to leave my waxing salon (or ditch my trusty razor) for a laser hair removal treatment anytime soon. Well, here we are years later, and pretty much everything about laser hair removal has changed. I didn’t realize how easy this hair removal treatment was until a girlfriend told me about her regular appointments a few months ago. “Isn’t expensive?!” I asked. “Doesn’t it hurt?” I wondered.

Let’s just say that in no time I went to her salon to see what laser hair removal was like for myself, and today I’m sharing everything about my personal experience with laser hair removal. So here’s the honest truth about how laser hair removal worked for me…

1. It’s not really that expensive.

Back when laser hair removal was first starting out (it became commercially available in the ‘90s), the treatment was extremely expensive. Even getting a small area treated was thousands of dollars. Now that laser hair removal is more common, the price tag is much more affordable. This of course depends on where you are going to go—fancy cosmetic dermatology centers will be more expensive. And it also depends on the size of the treated area—getting both of your legs treated will be way more expensive than doing your underarms. Before my first appointment, I did my research, found a clean and affordable center, and called ahead to make sure prices were within my budget. Now I regularly get my underarms and bikini line treated for under $60. Since laser hair removal is permanent after a certain amount of appointments, the price can be totally worth it if it’s within your budget.

2. It’s only half as painful as waxing.

If you’ve ever had any waxing done besides your eyebrows, you know that it’s often a painful experience that you pay money to have someone do for you. No matter how good your waxer is, it just hurts. Well, I’m pleased to tell you that, while getting laser hair removal isn’t necessarily enjoyable, it is way less painful than waxing. It only hurts about 50% as much! The machine used for laser hair removal is, true to its name, a laser that uses wavelength of light to detect and zap hair follicles. The procedure feels like tiny pin pricks on your skin, and if you’re super sensitive you can even ask your technician to turn the strength down on the machine.

3. It only takes about 10 minutes.

Yep, you read that right. Laser hair treatments are a get-in-get-out kind of appointment. Who doesn’t love those? Now, this is assuming that you are getting a smaller area treated—a full leg appointment will be longer. You will need to go in regularly, every four to six weeks, to continue seeing permanent results. But since the laser is killing off about 10% of the hair follicles each appointments, you will eventually only need to go in for touch up appointments.

4. It easier to find a laser treatment center than you think.

Like I said earlier, a few years ago I don’t think I could have found an affordable laser hair removal center if my life depended on it. Now, they are way more common. Doing a quick Google search will mostly likely bring up several treatment centers in your city that are nearby. Just do your research and make sure the price is right before making your first appointment.

5. It’s more effective for certain people than others.

The laser technicians will tell you everything you need to know before your first appointment, and one of those will be that laser hair removal is more effective for some people than others. If you have thick, dark hair and light skin, you’re a perfect candidate because the laser can easily detect the hair follicle. The closer your hair color is to your skin color, the harder it will be for the treatment to be effective. However, the latest lasers are said to work effectively on dark skin and blonde hair as well (although they will hurt a bit more). Even if you aren’t a perfect candidate, the laser should be able to detect a decent amount of follicles each time, leaving you with less hair otherwise. It’s also important to disclose any medications you’re currently taking before you go in for your first treatment, as that has a significant effect on determining whether the procedure is right for you.

Pretty fascinating right? While I can’t say whether laser hair removal is for everyone, it’s definitely something I’m thankful to have discovered.

Did you learn something about laser hair removal you didn’t know before?

Let me know if you have any other questions in the comments. And let me know if you’re going to give this treatment a try!

Team LC

  • I started doing laser hair removal more than three years ago and I LOVE it! I go about every six months for touch ups now (in and out in less than ten minutes for legs, bikini and underarms). I liken it to a rubber band snapping on your skin on more sensitive days, a poke with a dull pencil on others.

    I used to have awful ingrowns and breakouts all over and laser hair removal has totally fixed it. The time-saving and vanity factors are a major bonus, too 😉

    • LaurenConradOnline

      Sounds like it was well worth it! Those are perfect pain-scale analogies for those who haven’t tried it yet. 🙂 Very well put!

  • I love laser hair removal! Eventually I want my whole body done! haha

  • angela

    It is way more affordable now! I had a couple treatments about 7 years ago and it was way more expensive. I just looked at a place and the prices are half what they used to be. If I had known sooner how affordable it was now, I would have already done this!

  • I’ve wanted to try laser hair removal for awhile now, but I haven’t found the right one, and I’m always contemplating whether or not I should really do it. A part of me wants to just keep using my epilator, but another part of me really wants to try! Thank you so much for sharing these honest opinions!

    XO, Elizabeth

    • I used to use an epilator too, and the pain was a lot less than that! The place I use gives discounts to new customers during off season like in November so you might consider looking in to that.

  • Diamond Designs Uniform

    Great post! We have always wanted to try laser hair removal!
    Diamond Designs Uniforms |

  • You also can’t tan for at least a year! I got both my lower legs done and had to wear pants or use sunscreen like crazy for the whole duration I was getting treatments. Even the slightest tan was enough for a technician to turn me away because she said it would likely burn my skin more than kill my hair follicles.

  • I’ve always been a bit nervous about it – wondering what type of side effects come from that sort of thing – but this definitely encourages me to research it more. 🙂

    The Golden Days |

  • It’s important to remember that laser hair removal is not permanent for everyone. It really should be considered laser hair reduction – some hairs never come back and some do. It’s great because the hair that returns is usually thinner and lighter.

  • I looked into it recently, but was turned off by the permanent factor. I’m going in for my first waxing apt later this month. Wish me luck!

  • Steven Ford

    Thanks for sharing this. Got a scheduled treatment next week for me and my girl.

    A Laser Aesthetics |

  • amya

    I had my bikini and underarms done about 10 years ago and I’m still not shaving! Definitely worth any pain, money and time.
    I went to a great laser hair removal place in Denver: