Laser Hair Removal

The Not-So Painful Truth

Laser Hair Removal
Randall Nelson

I shaved and got razor burn. Waxed and got ingrown hairs. Can you relate? I've always been curious about laser hair removal: Is it really permanent? How many treatments does it take? What does it really cost? After dropping about $400 over the course of ten months getting bikini waxes, and ending up with deep ingrown hairs—a common side effect—I figured it couldn't cost much more to try laser treatment. There was no going back to shaving—there's nothing like having a pro clean up an area that's not easy to see. I was going forward and high-tech.

I shopped around and found that clinics' prices vary widely. I consulted with one place before choosing the clinic my doctor recommended, Rejuvenation Partners. It was a better fit for me—less clinical, with a friendly staff and a technician with whom I felt comfortable. Rachel Delzer explained the procedure to me without trying to sell it and kept me updated on my progress for the next six months. After my first bikini treatment, I even decided to splurge for my underarms.

But on to what everybody asks me: How badly does it hurt? I prepared for the worst and was happily surprised when it was much less painful than waxing. Most clinics say each laser pulse feels like a rubber band snap. I thought it felt much weaker than that. The pain factor greatly depends on the laser—for instance, how long are the wavelengths emitted and the laser pulses? My technician used a laser with a cold tip, so my skin was cooled immediately before the hot laser pulses.

I had better results on my bikini line than on my underarms, which require touch-up shaving about every other week. I’m planning to see Rachel again soon for a touch-up laser zap—and maybe a consultation on leg hair. 

TIMING: Start now. Patients with light skin and dark hair have the best success and require fewer treatments. People with dark/tan skin and lighter hair risk staining and more trips to the clinic. Talk to your technician about any concerns you have. Depending on the clinic, your appointments will be scheduled one to two months apart, and depending on your hair, you'll probably need five to six treatments, making the winter months the perfect time to get ready for bikini season.

PRICING: Buy a package. Most clinics charge $75 to $300 per treatment, depending on which body area you're having treated. For six treatments on my bikini line and underarms, I paid about $900.

RESULTS: It's not permanent, but it's close. Expect to have occasional stray hairs. Most technicians say you'll need a follow-up session every year or two after the first five or six sessions. (Spot treatments cost about $50 per area.) Results vary according to hair thickness, skin pigmentation, and, of course, the laser.  

Rejuvenation Partners PA, 5203 Vernon Ave. S., Edina, 952-929-1130