- The cost of laser hair removal varies by hair type and thickness, the type of laser used, body area being treated and number of sessions required
- Your geographic location and choice of provider also impact price
- You can expect to pay between $50–$500 per session
Laser hair removal is an effective, long-term solution to target unwanted hair anywhere on the body. But how much does laser hair removal cost? The answer depends on many factors, including which area of the body you’re having treated and which laser is used.
Understanding Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal involves injuring or destroying hair follicles with highly precise pulses of laser light. The light targets melanin—the pigment that gives hair its color—which absorbs the light, converts it to heat and damages or destroys the follicle.
Hair must be in the anagen or active growth phase of the hair growth cycle for this treatment to be effective. Because each hair follicle goes through the growth cycle at different times and speeds, multiple treatment sessions are necessary. Most people have 6–8 initial sessions scheduled 4–8 weeks apart, then book yearly maintenance sessions, as necessary.
While the treatment won’t leave you 100% hair-free, it’s widely accepted as a successful approach for removing hair in both men and women.
The Average Cost of Laser Hair Removal
According to 2020 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average provider fee for a session is $389. However, the total cost of your treatment will vary depending on the size of the area being treated and how responsive your hair is; thick, coarse hair requires more sessions than finer, lighter hair.
Leg Laser Hair Removal Cost
When getting leg laser hair removal, you can decide between treating the upper legs, lower legs or both. Upper or lower legs can cost about $400, while a full leg treatment can be $500 to $600.
Facial Laser Hair Removal Cost
The face and neck are comparatively inexpensive to treat and typically include:
- Back of the neck
- Lower face
- Upper lip
The upper lip could cost as little as $100 per session; the entire lower face about $250.
Chest and Back Laser Hair Removal Cost
Larger areas such as the chest or back typically cost around $500. If you don’t need hair removed from your entire torso, treatment can be individualized to target specific areas such as:
- Lower abdomen
- Lower back
- Upper back
- Upper chest
These areas typically have the same cost per treatment, which is around $300.
Bikini and Underarm Laser Hair Removal Cost
Both underarms typically cost from $175–$225 per treatment. Hair removal for the bikini area ranges from $250–$350 depending on whether the treatment area is the size of a typical bikini wax or a fully nude Brazilian, while buttocks have a similar price point.
What’s Included in the Cost of Laser Hair Removal?
Your total cost for a session typically includes all aspects of the laser hair removal treatment, including:
- The office visit
- Application of a topical anesthetic
- Laser treatment
- Postcare topical application of soothing agents and sunscreen
Laser Hair Removal Cost by Device Type
There are a variety of technologies on the market for laser hair removal treatments, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. To choose the right laser for you, consult with your provider; they will assess your hair and skin type to find the best possible option.
Alexandrite (755 nm)
Fast and extremely effective, the alexandrite laser is one of the most popular lasers on the market for rapidly treating large areas of the body. While earlier iterations of the alexandrite laser caused discomfort, newer versions are less painful.
One large-scale study review found that alexandrite lasers reduced the amount of hair by 16% more than the Nd:YAG laser and created fewer short-term complications than diode lasers. However, they had more associated complications than Nd:YAG and IPL devices.
Another study of alexandrite laser patients found that 100% of them were satisfied with their results and that any remaining hair in their treatment areas was too light to be noticeable.
Alexandrite lasers can treat all skin tones, including Fitzpatrick types IV–VI, without permanent adverse effects, provided the correct energy settings and treatment protocols are used.
Hair removal with an alexandrite device can cost between $125–$240, depending on the model. There are several brands to choose from including:
- Candela GentleLase
- Cynosure Apogee
- Deka Motus AX
- EpiTouch Plus
Diode (810 nm)
Diode lasers are a newer technology that are considered safe and effective for all skin phototypes, including darker skin tones. A diode laser penetrates more deeply into the skin, reducing the amount of energy absorbed by the epidermis relative to the hair follicle and therefore lowers the risk of scarring and burns in skin of color.
Diode laser treatments are on the expensive side, costing an average of $200 for a single treatment.
Well-known diode laser brands that are currently on the market include:
- F1 Diode
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
While not a true laser, IPL works on a similar principle: it uses pulses of light to destroy hair follicles. Rather than a single wavelength, it emits a broad spectrum of visible light.
IPL’s use for hair removal is limited, as good candidates must have fair skin and dark hair for treatment to be effective. If your hair and skin color are too similar, the light will be absorbed by melanin in the skin, causing pain, blisters and burns.
IPL hair removal prices vary depending on the model and can range from $50–$200 per treatment.
A few popular IPL devices used for hair removal are:
Nd:YAG Laser (1064 nm)
The Nd:YAG laser is an effective, safe choice for hair removal on all skin types. It’s currently considered the best choice for darker skin tones. Expect to pay $200–$500 per session, depending on the size of the treatment area.
Some Nd:YAG devices commonly found at medspas and laser clinics include:
- Cynosure Elite
- Cutera Excel
- Medlite IV
Ruby (694 nm)
The first laser hair removal device made commercially available, the Ruby is designed for use on lighter skin and dark hair. It’s not safe for darker skin tones, as this wavelength tends to destroy melanin in the skin; it can’t effectively treat blond, red or gray hair because these colors lack the pigment necessary to absorb the light.
Despite its limitations, the Ruby has decades of data to back up its safety profile and is relatively inexpensive compared to new technologies, costing approximately $200 per session.
Common Ruby lasers include:
- EpiPulse Ruby
Your Location and Other Cost Variables
Laser hair removal prices are influenced by geographic location and your choice of provider. Typically, urban areas are more expensive than rural areas, and a highly experienced technician at a medical spa will charge more than an aesthetician at a beauty salon.
To reduce your risk of side effects, choose a reputable provider who is well acquainted with laser treatments.
Laser Hair Removal Financing Options
Laser hair removal is not covered by health insurance as it’s considered an elective cosmetic procedure. It may be covered if it’s treating a condition that causes hirsutism, excessive dark hair growth, which is one symptom of polycystic ovarian syndrome.
To help make treatment costs more manageable, many providers offer financing options such as CareCredit. These options are low- or deferred-interest credit cards designed specifically for medical and cosmetic treatments not covered by insurance.
Additionally, some providers offer yearly packages or flat rates for limitless hair removal on a specific body area, no matter how many sessions you need. If you think you’ll require a large number of sessions, these can be more cost-effective than paying a per-session price.
Laser Hair Removal vs. Waxing and Other Hair Removal Methods
In some cases, laser hair removal can be more cost-effective than other depilatory methods.
For example, if you visit a salon for a $100 Brazilian wax every 3 weeks, you’d save money in the long run by investing $3,000 in laser hair removal.
In other cases, the treatment might be more expensive than other methods, yet still preferable. For instance, if you have unwanted facial hair, laser hair removal can be more convenient than shaving every day.
Laser hair removal is a highly effective, long-term solution for unwanted body hair and facial hair. The cost varies widely depending on the size of the treatment area, the number of treatments required and the technology being used. You can pay as little as $50 for small areas and up to $500 for large areas, per session.
Ruby lasers, older alexandrite lasers and IPL treatments are relatively inexpensive; however, they’re more painful and less efficient than other options and aren’t safe for darker skin tones.
Newer alexandrite, diode and ND:YAG lasers are safe options for all skin types, with the Nd:YAG being considered the best for darker skin tones. While these technologies are more expensive, their versatility makes them the most common devices used for laser hair removal today.
To make treatments more affordable, many providers offer package deals as well as financing options through deferred-interest credit cards.
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- American Society of Plastic Surgeons.2020 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2020/plastic-surgery-statistics-full-report-2020.pdf
- Pashazadeh F, Yaaghoobian B, Hajebrahimi S, Pashazadeh H. Technology assessment of long-pulsed Alexandrite laser device for hair removal: A systematic review. Medical Science. 2019;23(99):820-828. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336370767_Technology_assessment_of_long-pulsed_Alexandrite_laser_device_for_hair_removal_A_systematic_review
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- Ismail SA. Long-pulsed Nd:YAG laser vs. intense pulsed light for hair removal in dark skin: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Dermatol. 2012;166(2):317-321. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2011.10695.x