Why Laser Hair Removal?
It’s common for many people to spend significant amounts of time and money on removing unwanted hair. Shaving, plucking, and waxing all must be done frequently, and the cost of having the service (or of buying the materials to perform it oneself) adds up to be quite significant over time. Women commonly shave or wax the legs, underarms, and bikini line, and often pluck the eyebrows, while men commonly shave the face. For anyone who wants to be free of unwanted hair on a semipermanent (or, sometimes, permanent) basis, laser hair removal offers an escape from the hassle and expense of all of this shaving, plucking, and waxing.
If you’re choosing laser hair removal, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that laser hair removal is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the laser hair removal procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a single session of laser hair removal is $301. Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual provider, so you should check with the clinic(s) you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the procedure. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
In most cases, the provider’s fee includes all of the expenses of the procedure. However, you should check to be sure that there won’t be extra charges for certain items, such as topical numbing cream (if you choose to use it). Additionally, keep in mind that you will need to have the procedure more than once for optimal results. Typically, four to six treatments are needed for complete removal of unwanted hair. The results will then be permanent or semipermanent.
It’s also important to make sure you have access to a little extra money, via financing or savings, in case you have medical complications from the procedure (for instance, if you develop an infection). Your insurance usually will not cover complications from an elective surgery. While complications from this procedure are not common, they do happen to a few people, and so you should be prepared in case that rare person is you.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Medical insurance does not cover cosmetic dermatology, with very rare exceptions. If you believe that you may be one of those rare exceptions (which would mean that there is a functional, rather than purely cosmetic, reason to have your procedure), then you can call your insurance company to be sure. Usually, you’ll need to pay all of the costs above: the surgeon’s fee, any extra fees, and any postoperative complications that may arise.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying hundreds or thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many physicians offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Cosmetic Dermatology Financing page.