Laser hair removal has become a go-to method for managing unwanted body hair, and there’s no denying how silky smooth your skin feels without that excess stubble. But laser hair removal treatments aren’t cheap, especially if you want lasting, quality results delivered by an experienced professional.
Laser hair removal in the UK can cost as little as £85 for an upper lip treatment and as much as several hundred pounds for more extensive procedures. The price of laser hair removal depends on the area you want to treat, your skin type, the number of sessions required, and a clinic’s location.
In this article, I’ll explore the factors that can increase the cost of laser hair removal in the UK and what you should watch out for if you’re looking to have laser hair removal done for the first time. I’ll also elaborate on the average price points for most types of treatments, so you’ll have a better idea of the price range for your procedure.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Laser Hair Removal in the UK
There are a few factors to consider when determining the cost of laser hair removal. According to the NHS’s website on laser hair removal, you should expect to pay more for the procedure based on the area that you’re having treated.
In this chart, you’ll find an overview of the price points indicated by the NHS, and a renowned clinic’s recommended number of sessions needed for each area:
|Treatment Area||Upper Lip||Underarms||Arms||Bikini Line|
|Number of Sessions||2 – 6||6 – 8||6 – 8||6 – 10|
|Price per Session||£85||£110||£270||£130|
As you can see, the smaller the treatment area, the less your procedure may cost, and the fewer number of sessions you’ll likely need. However, many clinics will determine their price points on other factors too.
Here’s a detailed look at those factors:
Area of Hair Removal
The areas that you want your hair removed will impact how much your treatments will cost. For example, an upper lip treatment is often much cheaper than treatments on the legs or even a bikini line – as noted from the chart above.
Larger areas, such as the chest, legs, arms, and back, tend to be more expensive because more hair will have to be removed.
The practitioner may not be able to treat all of the hair in the first session, and instead may have to be performed in sections, or patches. This is in conjunction with the subsequent appointments needed to maintain your results.
According to SK:N Clinic, your skin type can also affect the price of your laser hair removal treatments.
The clinic classifies skin types into 6 categories, which range from extremely fair skin that burns easily, to darker brown skin that doesn’t burn at all. This scale is important because it helps practitioners determine the best approach to your laser hair removal procedure.
According to the same source, darker skin tones are typically much more challenging to treat because of the competing pigments between the hair follicles and the skin, leaving those with deep tones more prone to burns or injury.
However, experienced practitioners should have no problem navigating your skin and hair’s pigments, and should be able to ensure your laser treatments are successful and safe.
To learn more about how laser hair removal works on those with darker skin tones, check out this YouTube video from Dr Simi Adedeji, a UK-licensed health professional with over 19 years of experience in the medical field:
Number of Sessions
As noted in the chart, laser hair removal treatments are rarely successful after only one session. Even for smaller areas, most treatments will require multiple sessions to prevent the hair follicle from producing new growth. The number of sessions you’ll need can depend on your skin and hair type, and your hormones.
However, almost everyone that has laser hair removal services will require more than one treatment, which can boost the overall cost of your procedure.
According to the NHS, most of your sessions will be spaced out by 4 – 6 weeks, so you probably won’t achieve the complete results until at least six months after your initial treatment. This means that you may have to spend several hundred pounds before your procedure is complete.
Your practitioner may also recommend more treatments if your skin and hair type are prone to quicker regrowth.
Location and Reputation of the Clinic
When it comes to cosmetic procedures, it’s essential to do your research and check the ratings and reviews of different clinics. For laser hair removal, the prices of your treatments can also vary depending on what region you’re located in and if the clinic you’re enquiring about is reputable.
Clinics located in metropolitan areas, such as London, can be more expensive than clinics in smaller towns and suburbs.
For example, a top-rated clinic in London charges over £100 for a single upper lip treatment, while a salon in Staffordshire can provide the same treatment for only £55.
Clinics that have lower ratings or employ practitioners with less experience may also charge a lower price for their services, but this doesn’t mean you should automatically jump at the chance for cheap laser hair removal.
Since laser hair removal is a painful procedure as it is, you’ll want to opt for a professional with extensive experience that’s also licensed and certified to provide quality results. You can ask the clinic to see photos of before and after shots, check the clinic’s customer ratings and reviews online, and ask to see the practitioner’s licence.
Laser Hair Removal Prices for Men vs Women
While the previously mentioned factors can affect the cost of laser hair removal treatments, it should be noted that some clinics may have higher prices per session for men’s hair removal services than for women. This is often because the removal area for men is much larger (usually the chest and back).
Depending on their hormones, some men may also grow more hair quicker, which will require more frequent sessions than women. This can drive up the overall price of laser hair removal treatments for men.
Alternatives To Laser Hair Removal
According to the NHS, laser hair removal is not permanent unless you receive several treatments. Each treatment is intended to delay new hair growth by stunting the hair follicle. After several sessions, most people find that their hair grows back slower or not at all.
However, there are alternatives to laser hair removal, including a treatment called electrolysis. Electrolysis is another hair removal method that uses electric vibrations to traumatise the hair follicles and prevent new growth.
Like laser hair removal, electrolysis also requires a few sessions before the treatment is completely successful and the procedure is safe for all skin tones.
Hair Removal Devices
The other alternatives to laser hair removal include at-home devices that you can purchase to zap, burn, or pull the hairs from the follicles. While these devices may be helpful for some, I personally wouldn’t recommend them, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Waxing is another alternative, but this option isn’t the best if you have hair that grows back quickly, since you’ll need to re-wax the area quite frequently. Too much waxing can also cause skin irritation.
Hair Removal Creams
Instead, I prefer using hair removal creams, also known as depilatory creams, that can be applied directly to the skin and washed off. These creams usually provide quick hair removal and don’t tend to cause as much irritation, nor do they penetrate into the hair follicle.
However, depilatory creams typically can’t be used on your face or around your genitalia, unless you purchase specific ones. These creams can also be used in between your laser hair removal sessions.
They can safely be used on your back, chest, arms, underarms, and legs. For a smooth finish, I recommend hair removal cream specifically made for sensitive skin – click here to see a selection on Amazon.
Not only are these creams affordable, but it’s also incredibly nourishing. I use Veet and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry or scaly after the hair has been removed. It also keeps me smooth for everyday comfort, but ensures I don’t damage my hair follicles for my next laser session.
After going through this article and learning more about laser hair removal, I hope you were able to find the information necessary to make an informed decision. As always, you should consult with a licensed professional before beginning any hair removal treatments.