Laser Hair Removal: Your Questions Answered
I first set out to try laser hair removal five or six years ago (can’t remember the exact timing). I was so sick of waxing my bikini area (ouch), my underarms were constantly getting uncomfortable rashes from shaving, and my upper lip would break out every time I waxed it. So I found someone through a friend and decided to give it a try. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. After about five treatments (can’t remember exactly it was so long ago) I had no more underarm hair at all and never had to wax my bikini line or upper lip again. Game changer.
A friend recently talked about how much she loved her laser hair removal experience and it dawned on me that I should go back and do my legs. I found a medical spa in Vermont and did my first treatment two weeks ago. I also had a touch up on my underarms and bikini line, more on that below (we’re talking a few strands of hair, nothing major). To my delight, the treatment was even better than it was five years ago. It was absolutely painless, and I can’t wait to never shave my legs again! I know a lot of you have questions, so I did my best to answer all of them in this YouTube video. I’m also writing it all out here as a reference. Read on for my laser hair removal experience and everything you need to know about the procedure.
Laser Hair Removal
Does it hurt?
The short answer is no. When I went to my appointment two weeks ago I was SHOCKED that it was totally painless. I didn’t feel a thing and if that was the case five years ago I probably would have done my legs then. I assume that it may depend on the machine but it seems like laser technology has come a long way. The first time I did laser years ago, it was uncomfortable but not painful. This time around I felt nothing. The machine used for my laser treatment this time was The Spectrum by Rohrer Aesthetics.
how to find a reputable laser hair removal clinic?
I found a great place in Vermont through the recommendation of my esthetician. The good news is laser hair removal has become really popular which means there are a lot more options. I recommend doing a search locally and checking reviews. Find out what kind of laser they use and make sure it’s not outdated equipment. You can typically search the name of the laser online and find customer experiences. It can’t hurt to ask around with friends or your esthetician, dermatologist, etc.
How many sessions does it take?
The answer here is, it depends. Speaking from personal experience, my first laser hair removal took about 5 treatments, and I’m planning for around 5 this time as well. It could be less and it could be more, it depends on your hair type and how well you respond to the treatment. It’s really important to time your treatments properly with your hair growth cycle which is why it’s also helpful to do it during winter. You can’t have any sun on your skin (or fake tan) when doing laser treatments.
how much does laser hair removal cost?
I’m repeating myself here but again, it depends. Cost will be impacted by where you’re located, what body parts you’re doing, and how many treatments it will take. Typically laser hair removal clinics offer packages, and they should be able to give you a ballpark idea of the cost. A lot of locations offer a free consultation so I recommend doing that if it’s an option. I don’t remember the cost the last time I did laser hair removal several years ago, but this time the cost is $400 per session for my legs with the 4th session free. I assume I will have to go for four or five sessions.
Does the hair grow back after a pregnancy?
Speaking from personal experience, very minimally. I had a few hairs grow back under my arms (we’re talking 3-4 strands of hair) and a few hairs on my bikini line. It’s so minimal that I’m not even being charged for the touch up at the place I’m having my legs done.
Do you still have to shave or wax after laser hair removal?
Once you’re done with your series of laser hair removal treatments, no, you will not need to shave or wax at all. While you’re going through the treatments you will need to shave in between treatments. Your provider will give you advice on exactly when to shave and when to schedule appointments so you can maximize the effectiveness of the treatments based on your hair growth cycle.
does laser hair removal work on light hair?
I’m sorry to say, but most likely no. I asked Amy, the woman who did my recent treatments and she said the same thing I’ve heard from other providers, laser hair removal doesn’t work on light hair. The lasers need pigment in the hair to work. If you’re unsure, it can’t hurt to get a consultation, but for very light or red hair, you’re not an ideal candidate for laser hair removal.
Thanks for writing this! For your upper lip, are you allowed to keep waxing it in between treatments?
Hi Marissa. I’m honestly not sure. I didn’t but that’s something to ask a provider. You need to make sure there’s enough hair follicle for the laser to pick up, so you might be able to, but you’d need some growth when you went to get a treatment if that makes sense.
You typically can shave but no waxing/depilatory between treatments. The laser only works if the follicle has something inside it (hair root). With waxing/depilatory, you are removing the entire hair instead of the hair that is above the surface.
Hope this is helpful!
Thank you for clarifying this Melinda!
Hi Jess! I decided to start laser treatments late last year and will never go back to shaving or waxing again. It’s a game changer! Do you have the details of your suit? It’s beautiful!
That’s awesome Hannah! I got this suit a few years ago from Anthro but I can’t remember the brand I will check and get back to you.
Sorry for the delay the suit is Lenny Niemeyer.
I got laser hair removal on my legs 4-5 years ago and LOVE it, but I definitely do still need to shave! The difference is before I felt the need to shave daily if my legs were going to show, and afterwards it was once a week. Now, 4-5 years later and 2 years post partum, I’ve definitely had some hair return, but sparsely. I’d say I shave 2x a week in the summer now, for example. Shaving is also pain-free now, which I did not know was possible. Just wanted to add my experience! Still found it very worth it, plan to eventually do touch-ups and other areas.
That’s so good to know thanks for sharing Alice.
If anyone is looking for a place to get laser hair removal in the Phoenix area, my company has an on-site med spa. Our aesthetician is fantastic, the device she uses (Senza) is very comfortable and our prices are SO reasonable, plus they are 35% off packages of 6 (for any area(s)) through the end of February! Single treatments are 25% off through the end of the month also.
The website is being redone, but you can find us on Instagram @sanaaskincarecenter and you can DM or call 602-682-6446 to book or ask questions.
I am also happy to chat with anyone who has questions about our specific location/services/pricing/etc.
I had my underarms done years ago too and have been thinking about doing my legs! How long is it between leg sessions for you? I’m wondering how long I should estimate for the full process and if there’s time to get it done before shorts/dress season!