Laser Hair Removal 101

The aesthetic and cosmetic industry is comprised of various procedures that help individuals improve different aspects of an individual’s appearance. Due to the introduction and development of new procedures and technologies, the aesthetic industry is continuously changing. However, one constant that has remained over the years is the growing popularity of laser hair removal.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, laser hair removal ranked 3rd in the top five noninvasive procedures performed in the US with 1,035,783 treatments in 2016. As statistics show, the laser hair removal shows no signs of slowing down. More and more aesthetic practices, medical spas, and physician clinics are looking to add this highly profitable procedure to their list of services.

This blog post discusses the overview of laser hair removal and how it works, how to price treatments for your clinic, and reviews the various types of technologies used to perform this treatment.

How Hair Removal Works
Thanks to advanced light-based technologies, shaving, waxing, plucking, and other bothersome hair removal methods are becoming a thing of the past. Unlike these traditional methods that require constant upkeep and maintenance, laser hair removal attacks the root of the problem (literally) and delivers long-lasting and sometimes permanent hair reduction with just a few treatments.

Laser hair removal works by destroying the root of the hair follicle. During treatment, flashes of light are distributed over the skin and absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle. The energy from the laser heats up and damages the hair follicle, successfully stunting the cells that stimulate regrowth. It is important to note that hair grows in a cycle, and that hair removal is only effective during the active growth stage.

There are three stages of growth that every hair goes through the anagen phase, catagen phase, and telogen phase. Each hair in your body can be at a different stage in the growth cycle at any given time. For example, one strand may be in the anagen phase, while another may be in the catagen phase.


The Anagen Phase
The anagen phase, also known as the growth stage, is the duration in which your hair actively continues to grow. During this stage, the papilla, a structure at the base of the hair follicle, supplies nutrients to nourish hair growth. This stage can last anywhere from two to seven years.

The Catagen Phase
The catagen phase, also known as the transitional phase, is when the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the papilla, cutting off its main supply of nourishment. This phase lasts about 10 days to two weeks.

The Telogen Phase
The telogen phase, also known as the resting phase, is when the old hair is released and falls out. When the old hair sheds, the hair follicle re-attaches to the papilla and re-enters the anagen phase, repeating the cycle.

To target the hair during the anagen phase, multiple laser treatments are necessary to target the numerous hair follicles during their growth stage. Most patients need 4 to 6 treatments to remove all hair and achieve long-lasting removal results. Depending on the technology being used, light-based hair removal is safe to use on all parts of the body.

However, not all laser or light-based systems can deliver permanent hair reduction on all skin types and hair colors as effectively as others. Because laser hair removal targets the pigmentation in the hair follicle, patients with dark hair and light skin respond best to treatment. That being said, some laser clinics are unable to treat light blonde or grey hairs on light-skinned patients. Astanza Laser hair removal systems can safely and effectively treat all hair colors from all skin types and generate smooth, long-lasting skin results.

How Much Do Treatments Cost?
Hair removal pricing varies by state, clinic, competitive market, and the size of the area being treated. In 2016, the national average cost for a laser hair removal treatment performed by a physician or surgeon was $354. Again, fees vary considerably by geographic region, market, and also by the provider. According to a 2017 cosmetology blog by Beauty Pros, the US national average price range was as follows: Low $60, Average $329, High $900.

While individual clinic pricing may vary, most pricing structures are consistent across all hair removal providers. Majority of clinics determine per treatment pricing based on the size of the area being treated. This is a common pricing method that is also used in the laser tattoo removal industry. Similarly, hair removal clinics also provide special treatment packages and bundles to help patients save more on multiple treatment plans and receive treatment on multiple parts of the body.

At first, laser hair removal pricing may seem daunting at first, but treatments can save patients a lot of money in the long run. A recent article by Harper’s Bazaar compared the cost of 3 sessions of hair removal to 35 years of continuous waxing. The results showed that laser hair removal is less than a third of the cost of waxing. Not only does laser hair removal save money, but it also saves time and pain too!

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