Laser Hair Removal: The Brutal Truth – Happel Laser of Pittsburgh

Laser Hair Removal: The Brutal Truth – Happel Laser of Pittsburgh

Laser Hair Removal is Not a Sure Thing

This article was written to uncover the brutal truths of laser hair removal.

When the truth has been found to be – lies.

And all the joy within you – dies …

     Jefferson Airplane

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.

Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

     Marcus Aurelius

Let me be insanely honest.

From my perspective, laser hair removal is not for everyone.

Facial hair for women is extremely embarrassing in our culture. The question for many women is – what is the best way to get rid of it?

Don’t even consider laser hair removal on your facial hair if your hair is light colored, blonde or red. It simply will not work.


Lasers and intense pulsed light machines require a dark target (your hair follicle) on a light background (your skin) to work. If either of those conditions is not met, you will not be happy with your laser hair treatment.

Although YAG lasers are marketed as being effective for people with dark skin, the results are simply not as good.

Electrolysis or waxing are better options in those cases.

Continuing on the line of honesty is the best policy, what if your facial hair is dark and your skin is light. Laser hair removal is now your best choice to get rid of your unwanted facial hair.

Laser is faster, less painful, and gives permanent hair reduction. It is also less expensive in the long run.

You must realize that some places advertise that laser hair removal is permanent.

It is not permanent hair removal.

Don’t fall for advertising that promotes permanent hair removal rather than permanent hair reduction.

The difference is that for most people, laser reduces the amount of your hair by 10 to 20% with each treatment. In the same vein of being completely honest, results can vary. The same is true of any type of medical treatment.

Multiple treatments are always required. That after the initial series of laser hair removal treatments, often periodic maintenance is required. Truthfully, some people don’t need touch ups for years. Others could require them once every season of the year.

Your genetics and hormonal balance determine how many treatments that you will need. They also determine how frequently that you will need maintenance touch ups.

Why do you read that Kim Kardashian is addicted to laser hair removal? It’s not because she had it a couple of times and really liked it.

Her genetics cause new hair to regrow frequently. Since money is no object, her frequent touch ups keep her hair free.

Be Careful Whom You Choose to Treat Your Face with Laser Hair Removal

Now we are talking about trust.

Whom can you trust to work on your facial hair?

In all candor, if you decide that you want the cheapest laser hair removal for your face, you will pay the price. That price takes the form of ineffective and wasted treatments, burns, pigmentation issues, and scarring.  Beware of laser hair removal complications and risk when done in the wrong hands.

Lasers are very expensive to buy, to maintain, and to pay for expensive warranties. Laser warranties alone average about $9,000 per year. Labor costs, office rent, and – for many places – expensive advertising are all taking their toll.

Another One Bites the Dust

Laser hair removal facilities are dropping like flies.

Many laser hair removal chains are in severe financial trouble.

Many have also recently declared bankruptcy. Others have completely closed their doors without warning. This includes the following big names. Many have branch locations in Pittsburgh.

  • Premier laser spa declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 20, 2015 and closed five locations.

Their customers at their offices that were closed were outraged. Premier Laser Spa customers were sold packages days before their doors closed forever at some of their offices. The company knew they were going to close these offices but still sold unsuspecting people packages that they knew they couldn’t honor.

Sound familiar?

Or learn more by doing a Google search, “The top 201 complaints about American Laser Centers”

The moral of the story is never prepay for laser hair removal package marketing.

Read reviews on the internet about Ideal Image before going for your free consultation where laser hair removal  packages will be pushed – hard.

Starting to sound like a pattern?

Their clients also lost thousands of dollars each. They were told to drive 138 miles to Albany to use up their prepaid package of laser hair removal treatments. These “lucky ones” were given an option to drive far from home to the nearest participating city where a branch was still open. There will be no refunds.

The travesty of these closings is that their clients who were coerced into buying expensive packages often lost all of their money that they spent on package “deals” – (thousands of dollars).

Because the laser hair removal industry is fiercely competitive, only the strong survive.

Those with flawed business models and spend extravagantly on advertising fail.

Others often underestimate the difficulty of running both a medical office combined with a cosmetic business.

For these reasons, never buy risky expensive packages for laser hair removal from anyone.

You too could lose a large amount of money when they go under.

Let’s Make a Deal

Deals are advertised with what appears to be huge discounts. If you examine these so-called discounts a little closer, you see that the 50-70% off is a gimmick. The initial price is ridiculously front-loaded.

Do you want a place that is just starting out doing laser hair removal on your face?

Truthfully, the field of laser hair removal is over saturated. Many places that are starting up need to try to get up to speed quickly in this highly competitive field.

If people choose the cheapest laser hair removal they must understand that corners will certainly be cut. That is the truth. Groupon deals for laser hair removal are a joke. They usually involve just three treatments, which is never enough.

In Pittsburgh, chiropractors, eye doctors, physical therapists, and medi spas currently offer these Groupon deals.

Do you really want to entrust these kinds of places to using a laser, on your face?

You have to ask yourself if you are really taking this seriously.


Buddha said three things cannot be hidden – The sun, the moon and the truth.

The old adage that truth and honesty is the best policy could never be truer especially when discussing laser hair removal.

If you are considering laser hair removal, the truth is that laser hair removal is a great medical advance. However, it’s not for everyone.

When dealing with your face, don’t you want to take your time when choosing your laser hair removal facility?

Common sense should dictate that you would get the best results at an experienced and reputable doctor’s laser office that has been established for decades.

For safety reasons, even Dr. Oz recommends that laser hair removal should not be done at medi spas and pseudo medical laser chains, which are not physician’s offices at all.

Be careful of so-called medical facilities where the supervising doctor is not the owner. Chances are they will not even be in the building or available when you have your treatment.

Our honest advice is that you should only entrust your face to a true medical office for laser hair removal.

Call us at 724-969-0600 or contact us here for more information.

About The Author

Dr. John Happel

Dr. John Happel has been in practice as a surgeon since 1986 in the Pittsburgh region. He specializes in vascular surgery and has subspecialized in the treatment of varicose and spider veins since 1999. Dr. Happel is board certified in vascular surgery and recertified in vascular surgery in 2012. He was chosen in 1985 to fulfill the position for the vascular surgical fellowship at the world renowned Mayo Clinic.

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