Is Laser Hair Removal Worth it?

By September 30, 2015Beauty & the Blog
Laser hair removal woman's hairless legs outside a car window

You drop a portion of your paycheck waxing your body, or you devote a chunk of time daily to shaving and within days, or sometimes hours, the hair is back and it’s time to start the process over. Ugh. The never-ending cycle of hair removal. Thankfully there are alternatives, the most popular being laser hair removal. At our Vancouver laser clinic, we’re often asked about the benefits of zapping those pesky hairs permanently. If you’re wondering if laser hair removal is worth it, here’s the deal:

The Benefits of Laser Hair Removal

When determining if a specific hair removal method is worth it, you need to examine the benefits. But first, take a look at what the various hair removal methods do to the body:

Shaving

  • Stimulates blood flow to the follicle, which eventually leads to thickened hairs.
  • Removes a layer of skin that is meant to act as a barrier, which in turn causes razor bumps, breakouts and ingrown hairs.
  • Dehydrates the skin because aforementioned protective barrier is gone. You can almost see the dehydration cracks on the skin and these are signs of premature aging.
  • Unless you’re magical, you’re pretty much guaranteed to occasionally nick yourself resulting in scarring.
  • Those ingrown hairs can also lead to some nasty scars and marks.
  • Skin is prone to hyperpigmentation from UVA and UVB rays.

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Tweezing

  • Stimulates increased blood flow (far more than any other hair removal solution), which causes thickened hairs. This effect is actually irreversible unless the area is treated with laser hair removal or electrolysis.
  • This increased blood flow also causes the hair growth cycles to speed up, which means more hairs out of that single follicle (great!). This is why you’ll end up tweezing that one stubborn hair every other day.
  • Thickened hairs cause enlarged pores that are noticeable even after shaving, waxing or tweezing.

Hair Removal Creams

  • These products rely on chemicals to dissolve hair but they also dissolve dead skin cells and healthy ones too. Skin irritation and redness are the most common side effects.
  • May cause allergic skin reactions that actually weaken the skin and change your skin type to sensitive or cause more serious skin conditions like rosacea, which is irreversible.
  • Excessive removal of the skin’s protective barrier is a major concern. It can cause acne, premature aging, thinning skin, which in turn leads to stunted collagen production, hyperpigmentation and spider veins.

Electrolysis

  • Electrolysis REALLY hurts and for some people it can cause thick scars and keloids.
  • It has the potential to change the color of the skin in the area where the hair was removed.
  • The needle used in electrolysis can cause enlarged pores, which is a very common complaint when the face is treated.

Now on to laser hair removal:

Pros

  • It works! The biggest pro is that it’s a super effective way to remove hair for long periods of time at the root without having to rely on inferior methods of hair removal.
  • Heating the dermis and epidermis causes the collagen in the skin to contract, which inadvertently tightens the skin. That’s a major bonus!
  • The laser also stimulates our fibroblasts, which causes a sudden boost in skin cell turnover healing old scars from nicks and ingrown hairs.
  • It shrinks the pores so the skin on your legs, bikini, underarms or anywhere on the body will look like the inside of your arms: smooth, even and pore-less.
  • Dermal heating hydrates the skin and gives you a gorgeous glow.
  • The process clears away bacteria and congestion.
  • Laser hair removal naturally extracts ingrown hairs and they never come back!
  • You save a ton of time, but we’ll get to that below.
  • There is minimal maintenance and who doesn’t want ease of life?

Cons

  • Laser hair removal can cause burns and color changes in the skin if you technician is inexperienced or if the clinic does not have the appropriate laser device most suitable for your skin type. Thankfully, NuAGE Laser carries all four systems, while other facilities carry one, and our Vancouver laser hair removal technicians are highly experienced and trained. We offer laser hair removal for all skin types.
  • 100% hair removal is unrealistic. You can expect anywhere from 80-95% hair removal. Some hairs are connected to major arteries, which requires persistent treatment. If you absolutely have to have 100% removal it can be achieved but it will take more time and money. With the typical 80-95% hair reduction you’ll be left with about 10 hairs that are fine and easy to remove probably once a month.

The Time Saved With Laser Hair Removal

Time is another important consideration. British beauty brand Escentual surveyed British women and found the average woman spent 72 days or approximately 1,7268 hours shaving her legs over her lifetime. 72 days! You certainly won’t spend 72 days receiving laser hair removal treatments. It’s not just time invested in the hair removal activity but also permanence. Let’s compare:

  • Shaving: The results of shaving last one to two days.
  • Waxing: Waxing lasts three to six weeks (but let’s be real, who ever had a wax that lasted a month-and-a-half?).
  • Tweezing: It depends on the hair being tweezed but you’ll usually see regrowth within two weeks.
  • Electrolysis: The results are eventually permanent but the length of treatment depends on the area of the body. In most cases, you’ll need regular sessions over a period of years. The laser used in laser hair removal can treat an area in seconds that would have taken more than an hour with electrolysis.
  • Laser Hair Removal: The results are eventually permanent as well. Laser hair removal requires at most an hour of your time every one to two months for the first year, an hour every three to six months for two years after that and finally one hour per year as maintenance. If you regularly maintain by doing one to four treatments per year, you’ll run out of hair follicles, which means in the long run (five to 10 years) you won’t need to continue treatments.

The Economics of Laser Hair Removal

So how much does laser hair removal cost in Vancouver? It depends on the area of the body being treated and the number of treatments necessary for your hair and skin type. For comparative purposes we’ll examine the cost of the various hair removal methods in Vancouver for the underarms over a 10-year time span.

Shaving(creams and razors) $15/month = $1800
TweezingA new pair of tweezers per year @ $20 each = $200
Waxing$20/month = $2,400
Electrolysis$60/month = $720 initial investment + $1,080 touch-ups = $1800
Laser$69/month = $552 initial investment + $1,104 touch-ups = $1,656

 

The Bottom Line

Based on laser hair removal cost, the permanence, the time saved, the minimal maintenance requirements and the many benefits, in most cases laser hair removal is worth it. Not having to worry about shaving, waxing and tweezing is freeing and the confidence that comes from having smooth, hair-free skin is empowering. In the rare cases where someone is blessed with slow hair growth, their stubble is so fine and light it can only be seen in direct sunlight and they really don’t spend much time or money on hair removal in general, laser hair removal wouldn’t be necessary. For the rest of us, it can be a lifesaver.

At NuAGE Laser Clinic we make laser hair removal accessible with our 0% financing and low monthly payment plans. Book your free consultation today at our Vancouver laser clinic and we’ll devise a laser hair removal treatment plan to suit your skin, hair and needs. Before you know it, you’ll be hair-free and carefree!

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