The main concern for most people when choosing how to best tackle their hair removal needs is the cost factor. Other important criteria include effectiveness, convenience and safety concerns. Depending on your budget and your specific needs, you may find that one option will give you better satisfaction and more bang for your buck than the other. We will try to break down some of what each method has to offer, both good and bad, so that you can make a more informed decision.
Basic Overview of Waxing vs. Laser Hair Removal
Waxing will remove unwanted hair for a period of about two weeks. The process is done by using hot wax, which will pull the hair from the roots, rather than just the surface (like shaving). Due to the fact that it pulls from the root, it grows back slower. When it does grow back, it can finer and thinner than with regular shaving.
With laser hair removal, a laser will direct an intense stream of light beneath the skin and heat up the hair follicles, which generally kills them off and eliminates the regrowth of new hair in the treated areas. The results with laser are longer lasting and usually permanent, but will require a few sessions (usually between 6 to 10 sessions) to eliminate all of the follicles.
When considering the results, they can vary from patient to patient. Waxing is going to leave the skin feeling smooth for a couple week’s time before the hair starts to grow back in. It may grow back in at a lighter color, and usually much finer. This method produces immediate results on the area of the skin being worked on.
With laser removal, the skin will remain smooth for extended periods of time, and in 90% of the cases it can produce permanent results. The amount of time before the hair starts to grow back in will vary for each individual. Multiple sessions will be needed over a period of weeks or months to fully treat a region of the body to ensure complete removal of actively growing hair. Once successfully concluded, the results can last for months, years or even longer.
With waxing, you are able to have the procedure done almost anywhere. There are various salons you can go to, or waxing studios, and there are also do it yourself home kits which can be used for hair removal.
Laser hair removal is rapidly growing in popularity with more and more clinics, spas, doctors and other establishments that currently offer the procedure today, but it can still be limited in certain areas of the country. The larger cities are usually going to have various places to get it done, while smaller suburban areas are going to have fewer options. In some instances you will have to drive out to larger cities to have the procedure done. Although it is more accessible today than when the procedure was first introduced, it still has not caught up to the popularity and availability of waxing.
With waxing services, you are going to be paying anywhere from $10 up to about $50 per session on average, depending on what you have waxed, and where you go. For those patients with fast growing hair this can add up, especially if you have it done multiple times a month or year. It may still be the less expensive option when calculated over an extended period of time.
Laser hair removal can wind up being quite an investment depending on how many areas of the body you wish to have treatment on. Different areas of the body are usually priced separately. A bikin line treatment may run $50 to $300 per session, while having your legs being done may cost $150 to $400 per session on average. With multiple sessions being needed, the price can really add up. But as the results are more permanent, and in some cases will eliminate regrowth forever, this may be the more cost effective option in the long run.
The initial, up front cost of laser hair removal is substantially more significant, but when weighed against the how often you may wax over a certain period of time, it may be worth the price, especially if you are someone who dreads waxing.
Common Side Effects of Both Methods
With waxing you are going to get certain issues like burning, ripping the skin, or ingrown hairs, which grow back thicker in certain areas. Of course there is the pain factor. Yanking the hair follicle out by the root is definitely going to cause a certain amount of discomfort, although this is usually just a quick and temporary sensation that passes after a few seconds.
With laser hair removal, some potential issues which may arise include crusting, scabbing, or burns to certain areas of the skin.
Which Method Is Best For You
Neither of the two is perfect. Due to the accessibility, lower cost, and the time proven method it has become, waxing is still a very popular option for a lot of individuals looking to take care of unwanted body hair quickly. The biggest deterrent customers have with waxing is the pain associated with the procedure. Ripping the wax quickly away from the skin and yanking the hair out by the root causes extreme discomfort and can be very painful. But, the price is usually right, so we endure the few seconds of pain.
For those looking for a more permanent reduction or elimination of unwanted hair, laser hair removal is an option worth looking into. The price and time requirements to fully treat an area are higher, but once complete, the results can be everlasting.
The choice of waxing vs laser hair removal is always going to a personal one that will vary from person to person. Factors such as cost, convenience, outcome and comfort level need to taken into account in order to find which method best suits your needs.