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Frequently Asked Questions

Effectiveness Suitability Complications Before Treatment During and After Treatment Science

before laser treatment FAQs

Here are some of your frequently asked questions that relate to events before laser treatments for both men and women:

What is the cost of hair removal by laser?

Whilst a treatment is fairly costly, many patients find the results more than worth the price. Laser hair removal costs vary depending on the size of the area being treated, the specialist performing the treatment, the number of treatments required, the type of laser being used, and other considerations. Since all people have their own unique hair growth patterns, it is difficult to give a precise estimate of the number of treatments required to completely remove the problem hairs, and the exact cost of doing so. The best approach is to set up a consultation with a specialist in order to determine a more accurate estimate.

3 treatments is typical for most patients to remove hairs for many months. For others it will take more or less than 3 treatments to work. Many laser specialists will offer discounts for packages of treatment sessions. The table below shows indicative costs for single treatments - note that additional costs (eg. lotions) may be incurred.

Area Average cost of
1 treatment
Bikini US$350 to US$500
Back US$600 to US$900
Lower legs US$600 to US$850
Upper legs US$600 to US$850
Arms US$350 to US$500
Chest US$350 to US$600
Underarms US$250 to US$350
Face and neck US$600 to US$900

You should get a number of quotes as prices can vary wildly. Also, it's useful to note that the first consultation is typically free with most clinics.

Be aware that the price is not the only factor you should consider when weighing up different specialists. The lowest price offered may be as a result of using outdated technology or inexperienced staff, so be sure to ask questions before undergoing any treatment.

How do I choose a laser clinic?

Several potential lasers and light sources are available, each having a specific benefit for the patient, depending on the patient's skin colour, hair colour, hair thickness and density. Those laser clinics offering the greatest selection of lasers, and other light sources, will increase the likelihood of having the best choice for the patient and the best final outcome.

Ensure that the specialists who perform the treatments are appropriately qualified. Look on the internet and find out what other patients are saying about the clinic. Ask to speak to patients who have had the same treatment as you are wanting - make sure that they have the same type of skin and hair as you. Although all people respond differently, this should provide an indication on the expected duration, pain and after or side effects.

What can I expect at my consultation?

The laser specialist (often a dermatologist) with training and experience in removing hair will be best suited to decide whether you are an appropriate candidate for treatment and, if so, specify the type of laser that will work best for you. During an initial consultation, the specialist will ask about your medical history, assesses your skin and hair type and explain the risks of hair removal by laser. To reduce the risk of complications (such as blistering, burns and hyperpigmentation), the specialist may ask you to refrain from taking medications such as aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or dietary supplements such as beta-carotene, niacin, and vitamin E. Patients who are tanned from sun exposure may be recommended to wait until the tan has faded before they can proceed with treatments.

The specialist will provide instructions on how to prepare for the session. As the treatment is most effective on short, visible hairs, he/she will recommend that you shave 2 to 3 days before the procedure. You should avoid waxing, plucking or bleaching hairs at least 2 weeks beforehand.

Some specialists will discuss the option of applying a numbing cream to the area that is to be treated. Some will request that you apply the cream 45 minutes before treatment, whereas others will apply the cream in small amounts themselves. Mild anaesthetics can be purchased over the counter.

Finally, always request a skin patch test if one hasn't been recommended. Expect the typical cost of a laser hair removal skin patch test to be about $80-$100; however, this is often refundable after your first treatment.

Any questions to ask the specialist before the procedure?

Things to ask and find out about the laser specialist performing your treatment:

  • Has the recommended specialist received appropriate qualifications?
  • Is he/she experienced in using the type of laser that has been recommended?
  • Do they own or rent the recommended laser? If owned then it is likely that they have a high level of commitment to that laser.
  • How many patients has he/she treated with the recommended laser?
  • Ask to see 'before and after' photographs of the specialist's own results. Ask to see a photograph of the treated area 6 months after the last treatment in case there was any permanent scarring.
  • Ensure that he/she has treated patients with the same skin type and problem as yours.
  • Discuss all possible side effects and his/her actual results.

What should I do before treatments?

There are a number of ways you can make the hair removal laser sessions more comfortable and effective. These are:

  • Avoid the sun before treatment as the paler your skin is the better.
  • Shave 2-3 days before treatment so there is only a small amount of stubble showing.
  • Stop bleaching, plucking and waxing for a couple of weeks before the treatment.
  • If you have or experience cold sores or genital herpes, then start taking the appropriate medications for a week or 2 before the treatment.
  • Follow the medical advice provided by the laser specialist.
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