Author Topic: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?  (Read 2776 times)

englishteacheralex

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Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« on: November 11, 2018, 06:58:25 PM »
Recently it has been brought to my attention that laser hair removal, if done enough times, can more or less cause permanent hair removal. Is this true? Considering the expense of razors, couldn't this be a cost-effective move?

Opinions? Ever had this done?

Fresh Bread

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2018, 09:50:54 PM »
PTF. I did something called Intense Pulsed Light many years ago (10?) and it was marketed as 'hair reduction' and was cheaper at the time than laser. I did underarm and bikini and I think it's all grown back now but was good for a few years. IPL is less effective than actual laser treatment and I'm interested to know what the laser claims are re permanence. I think as you age unfortunately you get more hair in new places so not sure anything is 100% :(

My experience with IPL was not cost effective, but maybe if you were only going to a salon for waxes rather than dealing with it yourself it might be? And maybe if I add in a time cost? Razors would be hard to beat.

Zikoris

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2018, 10:02:20 PM »
I don't know about cheaper, but I had it done on my legs and underarms for an ungodly amount of money about ten years ago, and have been happy with it. You should be aware that it only gets the darker hairs due to the way the laser works, so if your hair is really light it won't work. I'm pretty pale myself and always had some lighter hair, so I still have that now, but it's not really noticeable so I mostly just ignore it unless I need to wear pantyhose for some reason.

It also hurts like a MF and makes people recoil in horror if they see the lasered bits for the first little while after each treatment, because you look like you were bitten by a million fire ants. Oh, and you have to do multiple sessions due to the way hair grows, since they have to zap it during the growth phase and not all of it is growing at any one time. I did five on my underarms and four on my legs, and that seemed to basically do the trick.

freya

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2018, 10:04:04 PM »
Epilating is the ultimate Mustachian hair removal technique....

I just bought my second Braun Silk Epil, after my first one gave up the ghost after 20 years of use.  Warning for the faint of heart, you probably shouldn't try this until you've had a few waxing sessions.

rockstache

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2018, 01:35:24 AM »
+1 to everything Ziloris said except the pain. My laser stung a bit but was definitely not actually painful at all. It was done more recently so I imagine the technology has just gotten better. It is best for pale skin with dark hair and during the treatment they want you to stay away from sun and tanning. I did mine in the winter but not sure that would even be an option for you.

life_travel

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2018, 04:31:40 AM »
I had underarm and Brazilian done by laser, probably 10 sessions. First 5 every 4-6 weeks then a couple every 2 months , then every 3-4.
I'm in the sun a lot so sadly my legs won't work .. It wasn't the cost saving , it was convenience . I live in climate where we wear summer clothes all year long so having underarms and bikini done was SO good.
No pain at all but I do have high pain threshold .

Catbert

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2018, 12:14:15 PM »
I had my armpits and bikini line done at least 15 years ago (maybe even 20).  4 sessions each iirc.  I had dark hair and light skin which is the ideal situation.  I only had a few colorless hairs grow back.  Plucking the remaining ones made them eventually go away. 

I also had my upper lip done with much less success.  I'm not sure if that was hormones (?) or just that the finer hairs made a smaller target than the coarse hairs in armpits and bikini line. 
 
Pain (as I remember it from 15+ years later) wasn't bad.  Like being snapped with a rubber band.

I'm not sure if it saved any money, but I would do it again in a heartbeat!  Used Groupons.

Zikoris

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2018, 02:38:30 PM »
It's great to hear that it's gotten less painful! I've thought about having my bikini line done, but hesitated due to the agony of my last sessions. I might look into some Groupon deals in the new year since they seem to be a petty common thing on there.

Milizard

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2018, 06:00:30 PM »
I got it done towards the beginning,  about 15 years ago, I  think?  Nothing mustachian about it.  Maybe it's cheaper these days--I don't know. I got bikini line, chin and lip done.  More hair grows eventually,  but I'm still happy I got it done. Those areas would have been even hairier now if I hadn't.  I would get more done if I had an excess of funds to waste. I hate having to shave all of the time.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 07:23:15 PM »
I don't think it's cheaper unless you're replacing regular waxing instead of at home sugaring/shaving but it's certainly more convenient. I had NdYag laser about six years ago. Moderately effective but extremely 10/10 painful in some areas. Then I did another round with the alexandrite laser last year. Very effective and between almost painless to tolerable.

I've had good luck with a handheld electrolysis device since then for modest regrowth.

G-dog

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 08:01:48 PM »
Tried it about 15 years ago. With icing the area in advance, and a cool laser, pain was  tolerable. But not for the upper lip - I jumped with every mother fíing zap.

AND it mostly did not work (and my hair is dark enough, skin pale enough). I tried two treatment rounds.

SO if it works it might approach being cost effective. If it doesnít work.... and you wonít know until you try several sessions.

ysette9

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2018, 10:45:42 PM »
I did two separate packages of sessions on my underarms a number of years ago.
Two different places with two different types of lasers. The first was very effective and didn’t hurt much. The second wasn’t as effective and was more uncomfortable.
I would get pretty bad rashes if I shaved any more frequently than once a week or so, so it was an alternative to waxing. I wouldn’t say it is necessarily more cost effective but it is fabulous to not have one more thing to take care of.

I do have finer/lighter hairs that still grow sparsely so I shave about every month or two.

remizidae

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2018, 05:57:44 AM »
So far 10 replies and no one has actually said how much it cost. Come on, spill, how much did you pay?

Personally, I pay about $10/year for razors. This is without making any particular effort to buy cheap razors. So, if you start buying your own razors at 18 and stop at 65, you're looking at $470 over a lifetime. The total cost of laser hair removal would have to be less than that to justify it from a financial perspective. (Actually, even less because of the present value of money.) Of course, most of us aren't 18, so if you're considering it at 30, it would have to be less than $350.

Other fuzzier factors also come into play: how much does it bother you to spend 2 minutes once or twice a week shaving, versus how much would it bother you to spend x minutes times 4 sessions in (however much) pain?

Cranky

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2018, 08:08:46 AM »
You have to factor in the tendency to be less hairy after menopause, too...

ysette9

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2018, 08:59:54 AM »
It was a while ago so I don’t remember the exact pricing, but I probably paid $500 for five or six sessions of laser hair reduction for my underarms. If you are comparing that to razors then it won’t come close to making pure financial sense. As I had mentioned above, my skin is sensitive enough that I couldn’t shave with any regularity without having a perma-rash. For my bikini line if I shave once it is a guaranteed rash and I grown hairs afterwards. So in my case I was having my underarms waxed, which is definitely more than $10/year.

Cassie

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2018, 09:30:04 AM »
Menopause caused the hair on my legs to mostly stop growing. However, hair now grows where it never did such as mustache and chin hair. My pits still grow fast.

CNM

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2018, 09:33:04 AM »
I got laser hair removal on my bikini line about 4 years ago.  I can't remember how much it cost... I'm thinking it was also in the $500 range and it was for 4 or 5 sessions.  It probably saved some money, as I would otherwise get waxed for at least $60 a session about 5 times a year.  While now the hair has somewhat grown back, not all of it it has and it can be more easily shaved.  Maybe I broke even money-wise, but it saved me a lot of hassle.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2018, 10:40:15 AM by CNM »

Zikoris

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2018, 09:38:41 AM »
I think I paid about $1,200 to do my legs and underarms, 4-5 sessions each.

catccc

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2018, 10:26:59 AM »
Just leaving your hair where it is is cheaper in the long run.  If that isn't an option, laser hair removal isn't permanent, so I don't think it is worth the hassle.

Quit shaving my legs many many years ago and quit shaving my pits a couple of years ago.  The pits were a hold out because DH preferred shaved pits, and I didn't mind shaving.  But he has come around, declaring "it's not un-sexy."  Admittedly, I am no poster child for not shaving because I'm pretty light on the body hair, anyway.  Bikini line grows in a neatly contained triangle and I can wear the teeniest bottom w/o any hair showing as is. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2018, 07:33:00 AM »
You have to factor in the tendency to be less hairy after menopause, too...

Body hair, yes.  Facial hair gets worse.  I had a lot of mustache hairs lasered,  the ones closest to my nose hurt like hell.  It was quite expensive.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2018, 08:31:28 AM »
So far 10 replies and no one has actually said how much it cost. Come on, spill, how much did you pay?

Personally, I pay about $10/year for razors. This is without making any particular effort to buy cheap razors. So, if you start buying your own razors at 18 and stop at 65, you're looking at $470 over a lifetime. The total cost of laser hair removal would have to be less than that to justify it from a financial perspective. (Actually, even less because of the present value of money.) Of course, most of us aren't 18, so if you're considering it at 30, it would have to be less than $350.

Other fuzzier factors also come into play: how much does it bother you to spend 2 minutes once or twice a week shaving, versus how much would it bother you to spend x minutes times 4 sessions in (however much) pain?

Where are you buying razors? I have never seen razors that inexpensive.  How many do you use a year? How are you sharpening them? $10/year does not seem at all reasonable of a price comparison.  What kind of shaving creme are you using?

Also, how are you preventing razor burn in extremely sensitive areas. That sometimes looks as bad as the hair did... that's why people pay for waxing.

And do you reallly only shave twice a week? I have to shave my legs daily in the summer. And 2 minutes?  Wow- you can do arms, legs, bikini way faster than me!

I haven't gotten laser treatments done, but this is really setting up a false cost comparison to say $500 over a lifetime, and just a few total hours.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2018, 09:21:26 AM »
I was a very early adopter, and then had a second round a few years ago to see if it could reduce the remaining amount.

Both rounds were extraordinarily effective. i.e. Probably 85% of mine disappeared permanently with the early machine, and after the more recent round I'm down to maybe 2% of what I started with.

I had good hair for it -abundant and dark on lighter skin- and no hormonal issues, etc, causing it.

I'd do it again countless times over, for how my life improved. I easily and joyfully live with the teeny amount left, and leave it be without a thought. The first time I used a numbing gel so little pain. The second round I used ibuprofen (?) before the appt.

I don't remember how much I paid. I can't imagine forking out if a person has "regular" or light growth, but for those of us who had hair on the far end of the hair spectrum, it can be lifechanging and I'd highly recommend it.

Go only to a reputable place that knows their stuff, though. Different machines for different needs.

Cranky

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2018, 12:14:48 PM »
You have to factor in the tendency to be less hairy after menopause, too...

Body hair, yes.  Facial hair gets worse.  I had a lot of mustache hairs lasered,  the ones closest to my nose hurt like hell.  It was quite expensive.

I got a lot of chin hairs at first, but noticed recently that after persistent plucking, theyíve evidently given up. And my leg hair has pretty much given up the ghost, too!

Itís nice that at least one thing has improved! ;-)

remizidae

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2018, 10:38:06 PM »

Quote

Where are you buying razors? I have never seen razors that inexpensive.  How many do you use a year? How are you sharpening them? $10/year does not seem at all reasonable of a price comparison.  What kind of shaving creme are you using?

Also, how are you preventing razor burn in extremely sensitive areas. That sometimes looks as bad as the hair did... that's why people pay for waxing.

And do you reallly only shave twice a week? I have to shave my legs daily in the summer. And 2 minutes?  Wow- you can do arms, legs, bikini way faster than me!

I haven't gotten laser treatments done, but this is really setting up a false cost comparison to say $500 over a lifetime, and just a few total hours.

It's all accurate! I buy razors at CVS. $10 for 8, which last me a year (I use the ones with multiple blades, so they can be reused for a long time). I don't sharpen them or use fancy creams--just soap. Never had any issues with razor burn.

I shave once or twice a week. If you do shave daily and like the fancy creams, I imagine your cost would be higher. You're welcome to run the numbers. But, even if your cost is three times mine, it's still only $1410 (if you're 18 now) to $1050 (if you're 30). So, as all the other responses seem to agree, laser removal *might* be worth it if you really hate shaving or have rash issues, but it probably won't save you any money.

Cranky

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2018, 04:20:09 AM »
Cheap hair conditioner, like suave, is better than any shaving cream. Plus, I was in my 30s before I realized they made ďwomenís shaving creamĒ - I have no idea when it was invented, as Iím not much of a shopper, but I got along fine without it.

Iím glad dh and I met in the 70s when the natural/hairy look was popular. Heís seen me a lot hairier than this and is fine with it, and I donít really care about anyone elseís opinion of my underarms.

mc6

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2018, 06:14:01 AM »
I had many sessions on my legs, pale skin with black hair.  Itís now very fine for the most part and no longer black.  My chin hair has grown silver so there is no zapping those away for good.  The laser hair removal I had done around 2008 were much more painful than what Iíve had done 10 years later.  Groupon was doing bundles in my area for around $700 for full legs at 3 sessions.  I am fat and inflexible so legshaving in the shower is a drag.

Rural

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2018, 08:51:39 AM »
My cost for shaving is a lot less than $10 a year; I use the Dr. Bronner's soap I wash with and a pack of pink razors from the dollar store lasts a year or more. So maybe a dollar a year. Laser or electrolysis if you want to spend your money on that, but no one should pretend it's somehow a money saver. Choose the expense and own it if the life improvement is worth the cost to you. That's okay - it's your money and you get to decide.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2018, 09:04:14 AM »
Hey, thanks everybody. I didn't tend to this thread because I figured it's good information for anybody wondering about this topic.

Personally, I'm pretty sure I'm too lazy, too busy with my job and little kids, and too cheap/addicted to status quo to change my current routine of just shaving every other day in the shower in favor of high tech hair removal.

As far as my shaving goes...man, my razors are crazy expensive. I use those Venus ones. Just soap, not shaving cream. I think I probably change razors every 6 weeks or so? It's  ~$25 for an 8 pack of them at Costco and pisses me off every time I have to buy them. Which is about...once a year. 

Putting it that way, I guess I don't spend that much on razors, despite how ungodly expensive they are.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2018, 09:39:17 AM »
...I'm pretty sure I'm too lazy, too busy with my job and little kids, and too cheap/addicted to status quo to change my current routine of just shaving every other day in the shower in favor of high tech hair removal.

Yep. For me, it was basically a medical issue and the removal was medical treatment. That's what made it worth the cost. If not needed as medical treatment, it would be a major luxury cost and one I wouldn't really encourage (because I'm a fan of frugality in optional things).

Cranky

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2018, 10:49:22 AM »
I noticed last summer that amazon is selling their own brand of razors. I bought what I guessed to be a yearís worth, and it was pretty darned cheap.

Also, now itís winter and Iím not bothering with the whole thing and I canít bend my leg anyway, so I think theyíll last me more than a year!

Milizard

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2018, 11:51:19 AM »
So far 10 replies and no one has actually said how much it cost. Come on, spill, how much did you pay?

Personally, I pay about $10/year for razors. This is without making any particular effort to buy cheap razors. So, if you start buying your own razors at 18 and stop at 65, you're looking at $470 over a lifetime. The total cost of laser hair removal would have to be less than that to justify it from a financial perspective. (Actually, even less because of the present value of money.) Of course, most of us aren't 18, so if you're considering it at 30, it would have to be less than $350.

Other fuzzier factors also come into play: how much does it bother you to spend 2 minutes once or twice a week shaving, versus how much would it bother you to spend x minutes times 4 sessions in (however much) pain?
I got it done soon after it started to be offered as a service, so it was so long ago that I honestly don't remember.  I also suspect that it cost more in the beginning than it does now.  If I had to guess, I'd say it was $1500 for the 3 small areas that I got done.  Again, to repeat what I said earlier--nothing mustachian about it.  I wasn't using any razors on my chin, I was plucking with tweezers.  But I was extremely embarrassed because they's seemingly pop up out of nowhere and I couldn't always see all of them until I was out somewhere.  This was in my late 20's, and I had dark hair and fair skin. Also, I would often avoid doing activities that involved swimsuits due to the painful razor burn/ingrown hairs that I experienced after dealing with my bikini line.  The growth was expanding outward/upward, and embarrassing as well.  I didn't have as many dark hairs on my upper lip, but threw that in with my chin because the deal from the doc was pay for 2 areas, get the 3rd free.  That much I do remember.

So, none of those areas need too much razor use at all, but your price for razors is extremely cheap.  I use the triple men's razor blades and they must be made of gold for as much as they cost these days.  I've tried cheaper ones, but they don't work as well, so make up for it with more swipes, exacerbating razor burn as well as using up the razor that much quicker.  I've tried all the alternatives to shaving cream that have been mentioned here, with various rashes as a result.

So, my opinion is that it probably won't save you money (unless maybe if you're paying for waxing all the time), but it could save you a ton of aggravation, depending on the state of body hair you wish to remove.  Just consider yourself lucky if you only need to shave twice a week in the summer.  I only do that by wearing long pants half the days.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Laser Hair Removal: is this cheaper in the long run?
« Reply #31 on: November 18, 2018, 07:54:40 AM »
For me it was the pain of plucking facial hairs all the time - I hurt once with the laser and they were gone.  I still get a few, but most are too pale to be removed successfully, so I just live with plucking.  Shaving underarms and legs was never a big issue.  And even less now, yeah to menopause.