Laser Hair Removal: Is It Worth It?

Updated on May 06, 2010
K.S. asks from Temple, NH
13 answers

I am a 30 year-old mother of one toddler, and I have been increasingly plagued by facial hair. It may seem vain, but my upper lip and chin grow coarse, dark hair. I have tried bleaching it, with the result only bleaching and burning my skin, with no visible impact on the hair. I have tried waxing, but 1) you have to let the hair grow enough in between waxing for it to work, which is embarrassing, and 2) waxing causes me to break out (even the stuff for really sensitive skin). I pluck everyday. Every single day. This is time-consuming, and also causes me to break out on my chin. I spend at least 30 minutes a day doing maintenance. I cannot overstate what a blow this constantly is to my self-esteem: it is distracting, time-consuming, and is generally making me completely miserable.

What I'd like to know is, has anyone tried laser hair removal for their facial hair? How long, expensive and/or annoying was the process for you? What are the end results like for you? I really can't afford it, but I'm considering selling myself into indentured servitude to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon just to finally be free of this humiliating problem. Bottom line: was it worth it for you?

Thanks so much,

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answers from Springfield on

My spouse is transgender so had a male beard to contend with. She is almost done her treatments and it has taken 7 treatments so far at $180 each, painful but well worth it. Best of luck to you.

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answers from St. Louis on

I have PCOS and am plagued by hirsuitism. I have had laser hair removal on and off for the past 3 years. It does help, but because of the cost I don't go every 6 weeks like I should. I have seen a huge improvement in the hair growth, but it did take me a long time to get there. But, it is so worth it. It is also untrue (as another posted stated) that you have to grow hair in between sessions. What I usually did is let the hair grow for just a day or two to let the laser girl see it, but even that is unnecessary. If you tell them the area to do, it covers such a radius that it will get all dark hairs in that area, visible or not.

Laser hair removal is by far the least annoying process I have used. I have shaved, tweezed and bleached with unhappy results. As far as cost, I usually spent about $200 per treatment, and that covered my belly trail line, my upper lip and my chin/neck area. I scrimped and saved and cut out where I could to be able to afford it. I have stopped going for now, as I am pregnant.

For some reason with me, the hair before it died and fell off looked very prominent on my skin, ie I hadn't taken care of it for a few days. If you get it done, I would suggest going on a day where you would not be embarrassed to be red for a few days after and have strange looking hair growth for the few days after as well. I always did mine on a Friday and then stayed in for the weekend. Usually by Monday I looked ok.

I do think it is worth it. You will probably wonder why you hadn't done it sooner! Go for it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Hi I know what ur going thru. I was the same way. I started the treatment in the summer of last year and even though I had to stop, I'm preg about to give birth, I would totally recomend it. You have to stop plucking waxing or anything you do o it. The only thing you can do is shave. The first treatments are the hardest cause ur hair grows ugly but its wort it. I went to ideal image on brodie. They have free consultations. It was pretty expesnive for me. I paid 1200 just for the chin, lower and upper lip. But totally worth it. Do ur research and go for it! Like I said I had to stop for now but what little hair I have now is nothing compared to what I had!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Yes! Ihad my entire lower body done six years ago. I had very coarse and thick hair. The process took three years, but no hair has grown back. I was worried that it would grow back when I got pregnant again, but it didn't. Best $$ I ever spent.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I do agree that you have to invest a little time doing your homework looking around because prices vary but times like these those places are begging for business so some of them run specials on their packages and I was lucky enough to get buy one (treatment of 6) get one free (6 more for free) and free maintanance thereafter, I know right??? I just started my treatment, it wasn't painful and very quick. we'll keep you posted on progress.

All the best



answers from Boston on

Hi K.! I have always had a problem with waxing/break-outs myself so I splurged on laser before my wedding. The results were great in areas that were not "hormone" affected (eg. bikini . Though, bear in mind, the hair does come back and it is not as painless as they claim... then you must stay out of the sun, cannot tweeze (must cut hairs at the root until the next session). Also, the darker your skin tone, the more visits you will need. On the bright side of things, the coarser/darker the hair, the more immediate the results.
Before going for it, speak to your doctor - rule out any possibility of hormone relation. Also, the aesthetician that had treated me, had insisted on electrolysis for chin rather than laser.
Good luck and don't let it get to you!



answers from New York on

I went to Med Spa in New Jersey...i think its worth friend got in done in India and she is happy with it...i think its a little expensive here...I ll get it done surely after some time...i have a same problem like you...but K. u have to grow facila here between laser sittings (sessions)


answers from Hartford on

I also had a positive experience, but it does grow back, so you do have to maintain it. Before the laser treatments, I was always tweezing. At some point during my 30s, my chin became irritated (possibly ingrown hairs?) and I decided to try something else. I had investigated eloctrolysis, which is permanent and about the same cost, but I just did not have the time to devote to it. I never had any pain or reaction to the laser treatment, but I had the best scenarion - light skin and dark hair. I went to a very experienced provider that was part of a plastic surgeon's group. I paid for 4 treatments up front and then some follow-up visits. I also had my bikini done which required follow-ups only every 4-6 months, but the chin needed it every 2-3 months. Anyway, I ended up getting an at home laser that is working great to keep the hair under control. I would not recommend it however, unless you see a professional first to learn how to control it, how your skin reacts, etc. Bottom line: I feel free and I love it.
Good luck,



answers from Boston on

Hi K.,
I can relate~ on how frustrating and embarrassing facial hair can be.. You are NOT alone! ; ) I find bleaching my upper lip to be one of the easier spots to do.. (compare to other culprits of unwanted hair!) I use Jolen, and find it to be fairly mild.. just watch it closely so you don't burn.. But recently I started trimming it .. (i found a small pair of cuticle scissors, good for trimming nose hairs.. (yikes!) and areas like the upper lip. My feeling is, as long as it's not dark, black hair, and it's not too long, it looks natural if there is short, soft blondish colored hair there. I also heard recently on Dr. Oz, that it was okay to shave.. that is is a myth it will grow back thicker .. although I'm a little skeptical and afraid to start shaving there! But I do think that tweezing.. (which i have been doing for years as well..) is no help.. and seems to stimulate more growth around the tweezed area! Now the chin.. that's another story.. ready for this.. i'm only 40 and started getting white hairs there... just like my 90 year-old grandmother.. as if motherhood could deal us one more blow! Since there are only a few random ones.. I would consider lasering those.. if it would work.. (I look forward to reading your responses.. to learn about that..) Also, they say electrolysis could work.. but I heard you may need to have a few treatments before the hair completely stops growing back. Best of luck to you.. and all of us dark-haired beauties.. in our never-ending quest to rid of unwanted hair.. I look forward to hearing from other moms on their experiences. xo



answers from Boston on

absoutely yes! I did experience some breakouts after a session, but it probably isn't anything more than what you are used to experiencing. You do need to let the hair grow for a couple of days before each session. I had about 6 sessions, and now I just tweeze a few hairs every now and then....



answers from Lewiston on

K. - I have the same problem. I can't use the sensitive skin stuff for waxing as it just doesn't take any of the hair off. But one thing I found works a bit for the break outs in between is making sure to wash my face really well right after and then using a salicylic acid topical treatment in the areas I have waxed. If I keep up with it daily and nightly I get far fewer pimples. I have read though that if the facial hair is caused by a hormonal imbalance new follicles will appear and it will not fully work. I don't really know though. I have never done it, I simply can't afford it, especially if it might not work. I would be very interested to hear if you do it and it works!



answers from Providence on

Hi K..
Thank you so much for asking the embarrasing question that so many of us are dealing with. I also have a similar issue with hirsutism, but mine is caused by a genetic disorder called Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. I was prescribed a steroid and told the hair would thin over time... long story short, 10 years later it is just the same as it was before. But, I would check in with your doctor or endocrinologist just to make sure there is no medical abnormality causing the hair growth. I cannot wait to get laser hair removal done. I would love to just wake up in the morning, get dressed and go, instead of spending 30 min tweezing my hair. Be sure to check around different places, I have found the prices vary greatly from place to place and there are different kinds of lasers that are used. Good luck and please let us know if you found a place and the results!!



answers from Boston on

have you talked to your doctor about this? facial hair can be a sign of hormonal imbalance.

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