How much does laser hair removal cost?
Laser hair removal in the United States
The average cost of laser hair removal in the United States ranges from $200-800, depending on the area being treated. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons believe the average cost of laser hair removal in the US to be $429.
For large areas such as the back and the legs you can expect to pay a minimum of $600, whilst the face and neck combined will also be similarly priced. The chest area tends to be slightly more affordable, with prices averaging at about $450. The areas of the underarm and armpits are usually the cheapest for laser hair removal, and in the United States you will pay around $300. Laser hair removal on the bikini area will cost a similar amount – about $350.
Laser hair removal is usually not considered to be essential for health and as such is not covered by medical insurance. In some cases it is possible to get a portion of the cost covered by insurance, if it can be proven that laser hair removal is necessary for physical and mental wellbeing: medical conditions which involve excessive hair growth that impacts upon the wellbeing of the individual, for example.
In the US, the cost of laser hair removal can also differ dramatically from state to state, with areas that have greater demand for the procedure tending to be more expensive.
Laser hair removal in the United Kingdom
In the UK, laser hair removal is classed as a non-surgical cosmetic treatment and is not available free of charge on the National Health Service unless it is medically necessary. At private clinics in the United Kingdom, the average prices of laser hair removal in the back area is around £400 ($581), whilst treatment on smaller areas such as bikini and underarm will cost approximately £200 ($290).
Laser hair removal in Australia
As with the US and the UK, laser hair removal in Australia is only available privately and is not covered by medical insurance. The cost of laser hair removal in Australia is also similar, with a full back treatment starting at around $400.
Turkey has a reputation as a provider of high-quality cosmetology and dermatology treatments, and offers laser hair removal from as low as $28. With clinics in the beach resort of Antalya as well as the bustling metropolis of Istanbul, Turkey offers a number of options if you are looking to combine laser hair removal with a vacation.
Thailand is the most popular choice for Australian patients who are looking for quality and affordable laser hair removal, with clinics in Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. Many of Thailand's clinics specialize specifically in laser skin treatments and have been established as centers of excellence in the field for decades.
Known as Europe's former 'best-kept secret', Hungary is now one of the most popular destinations for weekends and short breaks in Europe. Most patients visit for Hungary for the quality of its dental care, but increasing numbers are now traveling for laser hair removal and other cosmetic procedures. Laser hair removal can be found in the capital Budapest and in the town of Pecs from $39.
The Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur is home to cosmetic clinics which specialize in non-invasive aesthetic treatments and is also one of the most-important cities in southeast Asia for business, politics and culture. The lowest cost of laser hair removal in Malaysia is approximately $59.
Brazil is famous for its beaches and scenery, but has been attracting more and more visitors for the quality of its cosmetic treatments in recent years. Laser hair removal is available from $101 in the major cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Porto Alegre.
Laser hair removal in Barcelona, Spain, can be found from $132. As one of Europe's most-visited cities, Barcelona is now building a reputation as a destination for quality cosmetology.
What affects the cost of laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal can be performed on almost any area of the body where hair grows. The final cost of the procedure depends on which area of the body is being performed on, with larger surface areas costing more and smaller areas less. Prices also vary depending on the amount of hair that needs to be removed from the area as well as the type of hair.
Although it is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the United States, getting a clear cost estimate for laser hair removal in the US can be tough. Many clinics do not offer up-front estimates and laser hair removal is not covered by medical insurance. The final cost of laser hair removal is also dependent upon the extent of the treatment required and factors such as geographical location, doctor experience and clinic reputation.
With price and lack of access to laser hair removal in the US and the UK preventing many people from acquiring treatment, the option of traveling abroad is becoming increasingly popular. If you are considering traveling overseas for laser hair removal but unsure where to begin, MEDIGO's guide to the cost of laser hair removal abroad is designed to help you make the right decision.
In comparison to many other cosmetic treatments, laser hair removal is generally more affordable. Laser hair removal is not usually completed in one session, however, and with treatment usually priced for each individual session, you need to keep in mind that repeated expenses will be required. On the other hand, in comparison to a lifetime of temporary hair removal products, laser hair removal is an investment which lasts a lifetime.
Although laser hair removal is a relatively straightforward procedure, there are a number of different technologies utilized. With new systems constantly being developed and each year bringing advances in laser hair removal there are now a range of options available, each one varying in price. New technologies will usually cost more. Most systems will also require repeat sessions over a number of weeks, whilst others are able to complete the process within a couple of weeks – the longer the period of treatment, the more expensive it is likely to be.
The cheapest areas for laser hair removal are generally the face and bikini areas, whilst the most expensive include larger areas like the legs and the back.
Another factor which influences the cost of laser hair removal is the experience and reputation of the doctor and clinic. Laser hair removal specialists who have extensive experience in performing the procedure will cost more, whilst you can expect to pay more at clinics which are particularly well-known and in-demand.
How do I find laser hair removal abroad?
The rising popularity of low-cost airlines combined with the growing number of quality cosmetic clinics around the world, has resulted in an increase in the amount of people traveling each year for cosmetic treatment and plastic surgery. Many people find the idea of finding a clinic abroad daunting, but with enough research and guidance you can both save money and find quality laser hair removal treatment.
Although laser hair removal is a non-surgical procedure, it must still be performed by a licensed professional who has received a satisfactory level of training. When assessing a clinic it is a good idea to look at the qualifications and experience of its staff, as well as any certifications and accreditations which indicate competence.
Though there is no specific transnational accreditation for laser hair removal, you can look for general international certifications such as the ISO 9001 and JCI (Joint Commission International). Accreditations from national bodies are also important, though it's worth keeping in mind that quality standards may vary between countries.
As laser hair removal requires numerous sessions, you need to allow yourself sufficient time when traveling abroad to ensure that the course of treatment can be fully completed. Some clinics may be able to compress sessions into the space of a few days, but it is important to know exactly how long you will need to stay before booking any treatment.
The biggest concern that many people have is the uncertainty of undergoing treatment in a foreign country. Language barriers and cultural differences can sometimes prove a problem, but by finding a clinic which offers assistance in these areas you can make your trip as smooth as possible. Most clinics will have multilingual staff who are able to communicate with international patients, and many also offer additional services such as airport transfers, hotel booking, car rental and local tourism information.
Clinics and hospitals which provide these services can help remove some of the logistical burden and help to ease any concerns you might have about finding laser hair removal overseas. Likewise, the MEDIGO patient care team is on hand to provide assistance throughout the entire treatment process.
Patient reviews are another good indicator of how well a clinic treats its international patients. Reading the opinions of former patients can provide an insight into the overall patient experience and help build a broader picture of the clinic beyond the official description. Patient reviews must be read with caution, however, as it can be hard to verify if the information provided is accurate.
Laser hair removal is a procedure in which communication between patient and specialists is vital. It is important to fully explain your end goals and aesthetic wishes before undergoing treatment, but this can be hard if you are not able to meet with a doctor or visit the clinic beforehand.
Many clinics recognize the importance of the patient-doctor relationship and therefore offer consultations by phone and online, which gives you the chance to build a rapport with your doctor and communicate your wishes with them.
How does laser hair removal work?
Exposure to intense sunlight and excessive waxing and plucking should be avoided in the two months prior to the treatment. The area which will be treated with the laser should be shaved one or two days before the procedure takes place.
Before beginning the treatment, the technician will place a laser on the skin for a few minutes and adjust accordingly in order to find the correct settings. As long as the skin does not react badly to this, it is safe to proceed. Specialist cooling gels are usually applied to the skin to protect it, make the procedure more comfortable, and help the laser safely pass through the surface layers.
The technician uses a hand-held device which is passed over the areas that have been chosen for hair removal. The device releases high-frequency pulses which permeate the hair follicles and prevent regrowth, with each pulse able to treat numerous hairs.
Depending on the extent of the procedure, the type of hair and the areas being treated, the laser hair removal session can take anything from 15 minutes to 2 hours to complete.
After the procedure you might be given cooling lotions or anti-inflammatories, though only 1 in 4 laser hair removal patients report anything more than minor discomfort. The skin may appear sunburned and slightly swollen for 24-48 hours following the treatment, but you can return to everyday activities almost immediately.
Laser hair removal treatments are usually spaced between 6-8 week intervals, which gives the skin time to heal and provides optimum results. You will start to notice hair loss over the month following each session. Treatment will continue until you are satisfied with the level of hair removal, which generally needs 3 or 4 sessions.
Most patients find that laser hair removal results in around a 90% loss of hair. The results of laser hair removal are permanent, but you may wish to have 'top-up' sessions every few years to ensure that hair does not start to grow back.
Find and book Laser hair removal at clinics and hospitals worldwide through MEDIGO.