For those who currently wax to remove their unwanted hair but are curious about having laser hair removal performed, a comparison of waxing vs laser hair removal will hopefully be helpful as each has benefits and drawbacks.
The main concern for most people when choosing how to best tackle their hair removal needs is the cost factor. Other essential 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.
Waxing removes unwanted hair for about two weeks. The process is done using hot wax, which pulls the hair from the roots rather than the surface (like shaving). Because it draws from the root, it grows back slower. When it does grow back, it can be finer and thinner than regular shaving.
With laser hair removal, a laser directs an intense stream of light beneath the skin and heat 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.
Waxing vs Laser Hair Removal: Results Comparison
When considering the results, they can vary from patient to patient. Waxing leaves the skin feeling smooth for a couple of weeks before the hair starts to grow back in. It may grow back in at a lighter colour and usually much finer. This method produces immediate results on the area of the skin being worked on.
With laser removal, the skin remains smooth for extended periods, and in 90% of the cases, it can produce permanent results. The amount of time before the hair starts to grow back varies for each individual. Multiple sessions will be needed over weeks or months to fully treat a body region to ensure the complete removal of actively growing hair. Once successfully concluded, the results can last for months, years or even longer.
Waxing vs Laser Hair Removal: Convenience
With waxing, you can 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 that 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. However, it can still be limited in some regions of the country. The larger cities are usually going to have various places to get it done, while smaller suburban areas will 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.
Waxing vs Laser Hair Removal: Prices
With waxing services, you will be paying anywhere from $10 to about $50 per session on average, depending on what you have waxed and where you go. This can add up for patients with fast-growing hair, especially if you have it done multiple times a month or year. However, it may still be the less expensive option when calculated over an extended period.
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. For example, a bikini line treatment may run $50 to $300 per session, while having your legs done may cost $150 to $400 per session on average. With multiple sessions being needed, the price can 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, upfront cost of laser hair removal is substantially more significant. Still, when weighed against how often you may wax over a particular time, it may be worth the price, especially if you are someone who dreads waxing.
Common Side Effects of Both Methods
With waxing, you will get specific issues like burning, ripping the skin, or ingrown hairs, which grow back thicker in certain areas. Then, of course, there is the pain factor. Yanking the hair follicle out by the root is going to cause a certain amount of discomfort. However, this is usually just a quick and temporary sensation that passes after a few seconds.
With laser hair removal, some potential issues that may arise include crusting, scabbing, or burns to some skin regions.
Waxing vs Laser Hair Removal: 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 prevalent option for many individuals looking to take care of unwanted body hair quickly. However, the biggest deterrent customers have with waxing is the pain associated with the procedure.
Ripping the wax away from the skin and yanking the hair out by the root causes extreme discomfort and can be very painful.
For those looking for a more permanent reduction or elimination of unwanted hair, a laser hair removal is an option worth looking into. The price and time requirements to fully treat an area are higher, but the results can be everlasting once complete.
The choice of waxing vs laser hair removal will always be a personal one that will vary from person to person. Factors such as cost, convenience, outcome and comfort level need to be considered to find which method best suits your needs.