For many women with unwanted body hair, the idea of permanent hair removal is an attractive solution. Turn on the television, and you are likely to see any number of commercials with beautiful women touting the benefits of both electrolysis and laser hair removal. But while the allure of smooth legs or a clean upper lip might be enough to convince you to follow through with the procedure, the one thing that might hold you back is the cost.
Electrolysis is a method of hair removal in which a thin, metal probe is inserted into the hair follicle and charged with an electric current. Provided the hair follicle is in the active growth stage at the time of the procedure, the hair will likely not grow back. The cost of electrolysis varies on the type of hair being removed (lip hair vs. leg hair), as well as the size of the area that’s being treated. You can expect to pay anywhere from $45 to $125 an hour (costs as of 2009), and most treatments require a commitment of at least several hours.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a process that uses an invisible beam of light and heat source to destroy the hair follicle at the root. The procedure works best on those people with fair skin and dark hair, because the light beam is attracted to the melanin in the hair. Therefore, those people with naturally dark skin, or those with light-colored hair, will not experience the same results. Laser hair removal is a relatively timely and cost-efficient method of removing large areas of hair at one time, such as from the back or legs. Most people need anywhere from three to five laser treatments to see about an 80 percent reduction in hair. The cost of laser hair removal varies from one clinic to another, and it is also dependent on the area of the hair that’s being removed. Some clinicians might charge by the hour, while others charge according to the number of pulses delivered. Expect to pay $400 to $800 dollars for lip hair removal, and $6,000 to $12,000 for full leg hair removal.
Even though unwanted facial and body hair can be socially damaging to some individuals, permanent hair removal treatments are not covered under medical insurance policies. These types of treatments are classified as a cosmetic procedure and not viewed as medically or surgically necessary. Therefore, before beginning any hair removal treatment, it’s important to discuss and understand all associated costs, as well as how your clinician will bill your treatment.
To determine if electrolysis or laser hair removal is a viable and cost-effective option for you, schedule a consultation with a trusted clinician in your area. He will be able to talk about the differences between the two choices as well as go over the risks and long-term effects associated with each procedure.
Although electrolysis is a permanent method of hair removal for approximately 90 percent of patients, it can be a very painful and tedious process. Furthermore, electrolysis can also cause localized skin damage. Laser hair removal, as well, can cause minor skin irritation and burns during the procedure, so topical anesthetics and cooling mists are usually applied. Laser hair removal can also cause short and long-term skin discoloration.