How Much Does Laser Hair Removal Cost? Why Is It Expensive?

6 min read

How much does laser hair removal cost? How much does laser hair removal cost?

Laser hair removal is a luxury hair removal method with a great payoff – after full treatment, it offers a permanent reduction in body hair.


But that great result comes at a high price, one that’s a lot harder to fit in the average budget than, say, cheap-o disposable razors.


What’s more, it can be tricky to gauge the total cost of laser hair removal since the cost per session varies by area and it typically takes many sessions to achieve a desired result.


We’ll go over the average cost of laser hair removal so you can budget appropriately for it.


Learn about the many factors that can affect the cost of the laser hair removal you may be considering, along with innovative, cost-effective alternatives that also offer permanent hair removal, including at-home IPL devices.

What is the cost of laser hair removal?

According to the latest 2022 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of laser skin treatments like laser hair removal is $582. This average cost has gone up by over 60% since 2019.


But before you carve out a $582-sized hole in your budget, note that that’s the average cost of one laser skin treatment – not the average cost of a full laser hair removal treatment regimen. Laser hair removal is not a one-off process. Depending on your chosen area and your hair type, you’ll need anywhere from four to ten treatment sessions to achieve full results. And even beyond that, occasional maintenance treatments may still be needed, and those typically aren’t any cheaper. What’s more, laser hair removal is priced per area – meaning that multiple treatments for multiple areas can drive your bill up higher.


Why does laser hair removal cost so much?

Laser hair removal is a medical procedure. It uses powerful lasers and equipment that should only be operated by trained medical professionals. That means you’re paying for the expense of investing in the technology (market-leading machines can cost up to $100,000) as well as salon or clinic operating costs, including rent, business rates, staffing, and other overhead.


What’s more, laser hair removal is a gradual process. It requires multiple treatments to target each hair follicle at the opportune moment of growth.


Other factors can also impact the cost, including who you visit (it might cost more to visit a board-certified plastic surgeon, for example), geographical location (rates vary a lot from state to state), and the area you’re targeting.


Another way of thinking about the price-tag is this: laser hair removal is expensive because it yields really desirable results. Until very recently, it was the only way to achieve permanent hair removal – now, affordable alternatives like at-home IPL devices are available that make that high cost a little harder to swallow.

Cost of one treatment vs cost over time

The average cost of a laser hair removal procedure is $582 – but again, the average cost of one treatment doesn’t tell you a whole lot. One laser hair removal treatment won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Expect anywhere from 4-10 initial sessions, most commonly 6-8.


If you were to just take the national average, that means you’d be looking at anywhere from $2,328-$5,820.


But going off of just an average may not be the most helpful thing in your case. For a more accurate estimate based on laser hair removal costs near you, you might want to narrow down to the specific area you’re targeting, research average session costs in your area, then do some #girlmath based on the average number of initial sessions needed.


Quick note: laser hair removal can still require maintenance beyond the initial 4-10 treatment regimen. To maintain a hairless appearance, you might want to budget for one maintenance treatment each year.

Does insurance cover laser hair removal?

Health insurance typically does not cover the costs of laser hair removal. Laser hair removal is generally considered an elective cosmetic procedure and most insurance plans do not cover those.


That being said, some clinics may offer payment plans, financing options, or package prices for multiple treatments that may make the full cost of laser hair removal more affordable. Some clinics even structure fees on an unlimited treatment basis.

Laser hair removal cost varies by total surface area

Perhaps the biggest factor that can influence the total cost of your laser hair removal treatment is the surface area you’re treating.


If you’re considering targeting upper lip hair with laser hair removal, chances are individual treatment sessions are going to cost a lot less than the national average of $582 per treatment. Then again, if you’re hoping to get laser hair removal on your entire body, it’s likely gonna cost a lot more.

Larger surface areas are typically more expensive

Small areas are typically the most affordable areas of the body to treat with laser hair removal. Smaller areas like the lower face or armpits might run you closer to $100-250 per treatment. Very targeted areas like the upper lip or eyebrows alone might even bring you below $100 per session. However, large areas like the back or legs may cost over $600 per treatment. 

Average cost of Brazilian laser hair removal

Brazilian laser hair removal is one of the most popular treatment areas. The cost varies greatly depending on your geographical location, the clinic you visit, and how much hair is removed. You can expect to pay anywhere from $200-500 for one session. Since the average amount of sessions needed for that area is 6-8, the total cost may be anywhere from $1200-$4000, not including possible ongoing maintenance costs.


Related: Bikini Hair Removal


Are there affordable, effective alternatives to laser hair removal?

Fortunately, yes!


Laser hair removal is popular because of its permanent results – though waxing, shaving, epilating, etc can be much more affordable, they require frequent maintenance. 


But laser hair removal isn’t the only type of permanent hair removal out there anymore IPL (intense pulsed light) devices like Lumi make it possible to achieve permanent hair removal at home, and they’re more cost-effective than laser hair removal.


Related: What Is Lumi?


Meet Lumi: A safe laser hair removal method up to 98% cheaper than traditional laser hair removal methods

Lumi is an FDA-cleared, at-home IPL device that uses light pulses to target unwanted body hair. Since it uses broad-spectrum light rather than medical-grade lasers, it’s less painful than traditional laser hair removal and safe to do at home. It typically takes 8-12 treatment sessions to see full results, but you can do them 1-2x a week, whereas laser hair removal sessions require 4+ weeks between each session. 


How does IPL compare to laser hair removal in terms of total cost? It’s a massive difference. Rather than paying a clinic each time you treat each area, Lumi is available at a one-time cost of $229 USD – less than the average cost of just one laser hair removal treatment. And the best part is, Lumi works anywhere and is equipped with 900,000 flashes to last you 30+ years. This means you can treat your entire body, using as many sessions as it takes, plus any touchups, for $229 USD.


Let’s compare full-body treatment costs. We’ll say it might cost $1,000 per session for full-body, top-to-bottom laser hair removal. For 6-8 sessions, you’d be looking at $6,000-$8,000 for full-body laser hair removal, not including occasional yearly touchups beyond that.


Lumi costs $229 USD – no refills or additional treatment costs needed. Lumi also comes with a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t see the results you want, you can claim a full refund. (The same definitely can’t be said about laser hair removal!)


Related: IPL vs Laser Hair Removal