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Unwanted Hair

Laser And Light Energy Hair Removal There are several different kinds of laser hair removal that can be effective for unwanted hair. The appropriate selection of which laser to use depends on your hair and skin color.
Name Description Cost
Diode laser hair removal The diode laser is a good all-around player – it is effective for light to tan skin. Diode laser costs vary.
IPL laser (photofacial) IPL can work for light to tan skin tones and dark hair – though keep in mind that because the light’s all over the spectrum, there is a higher risk of side effects, like burns and...more Around $600 per session - although most patients require three to five treatments to achieve...more
Neodymium (Nd:YAG) laser hair removal Nd:Yag is the best laser hair removal option for darker-skinned people. It cannot be used on light hair, and it is somewhat more painful than other lasers. Hair removal with the Nd:YAG costs, on average, between $300 and $500 per treatment.
Alexandrite laser hair removal The alexandrite laser is best for light-skinned people. It is the only laser that is somewhat effective on pale hair. (Because lasers target melanin, a dark pigment, it is harder to remove...more An alexandrite Laser treatment will cost approximately $1,500, depending on the location.

Other Hair Removal Treatments
Name Description Cost
Electrolysis Electrolysis is the only hair removal method to be certified as permanent by the FDA. It destroys hair at its root by frying it with an electrical pulse, transmitted through a tiny needle...more Electrolysis costs between $100 and $200 per treatment (depending on the length of treatment.)
Waxing Waxing is a temporary way to remove hair from the body and can be done in a salon or in the privacy of one's own home. Waxing removes body hair from the root using either hot or cold wax. The...more Wide range depending on venue and body part - can be anywhere from less than $10 to more than $100.

Treatments Not Recommended
Name Description
Ruby Laser The ruby laser used to be the golden standard for laser hair removal – it was the first laser to be approved for laser hair removal. However, it can only be safely used on light skin with dark hair – and even then, it does not cover as large a surface area as newer lasers. Avoid this laser treatment.

Treatment options:

Procedures that promise to remove unwanted hair for extended periods of time include laser and electrolysis. The latter is the only permanent hair removal method recognized by the FDA. Electrolysis is the more painful of the two procedures. It works by destroying the follicles from the root by using a needle to deliver a low-level current to each hair, one by one. The hair is then removed with tweezers.

Laser hair removal on the other hand, uses a laser to intensely heat small areas of hair at a time, causing enough damage to the follicles to inhibit future growth. Laser hair removal works best on individuals with fair skin and dark hair, and requires several treatments. It does not guarantee permanent hair removal.

More intensive treatments can also be prescribed in topical cream and pill form. Eflornithine is an ointment that softens and lightens facial hair for women.