How to Get the Most Out of Your Laser Hair Removal Dollar

How to Get the Most Out of Your Laser Hair Removal Dollar

8 Tips to Lower Your Laser Hair Removal Cost in Pittsburgh 

The Quest for an Affordable Laser Hair Removal Center

The cost of laser hair removal is on everyone’s mind when considering it. If you’ve never experienced laser hair removal and you are thinking about trying it, you’re in unfamiliar territory.

You need some advice that you can trust.

You can’t just go on your instincts alone and wing it.  That could get you could get hurt financially and even physically.

At the very least, you could get lousy results.

Here’s a good analogy. In London, they drive on the left side of the road instead of on the right side as we do in our country. All the concrete street corners are painted saying “Look right”. That’s to protect you (an American) from stepping into ongoing traffic since tourists from this country are used to looking left into oncoming traffic.

Looking left only would get you run over.

Don’t get run over when looking for the best laser hair removal in Pittsburgh. 

Just follow these helpful tips and advice to get what you want from your laser hair removal experience at a fair and affordable price.

Let’s get started.

Tip #1: Avoid the Laser Offices that Advertise Heavily 


All of the national laser hair franchises advertise mercilessly. Their theory is that people will pay for “whatever the market will bear”.

As consumers become more educated from their friends, from Internet reviews, and their experience at a doctor’s office with decades of experience – the truth eventually is revealed.

At the laser chains, your total cost will be 2-3 times what a doctor in private practice charges. 

Yes, I said it.

They charge 2-3 times what you can have done in a private physician’s office where we specialize in laser hair removal.

Be careful. Their cost per treatment will be buried in all kinds of complicated package deals that laser franchises push. Your cost will definitely include their expensive radio advertising and their upscale interior designing.

Tip #2: Choose Your Laser Facility Carefully

It sounds obvious but many people don’t heed that simple advice. Spend as much time researching the laser office as you would a TV or a car.

Pay attention to the following questions and write them down to ask when you go in for that free consultation.

  1. Are they clean?
  2. What is the total cost per treatment?
  3. Do they specialize in laser hair removal?
  4. What are the doctor’s credentials and are they on-site in the building during the treatments?
  5. Will you have to prepay and if so, what if they go bankrupt?
  6. What’s their experience of the laser specialist who is actually going to perform your laser hair removal?

Let’s start with the last question first. Experience correlates directly with great results.

With real estate its location, location, location. With laser hair removal, it’s experience, experience, experience.

Happel Laser has the longest experience doing laser hair removal in Pittsburgh. There is no one who has more experience performing laser hair removal than us.

Go to the most experienced doctor’s office in town. On-the-job training doesn’t cut it. Bar nuthin’.

This may be as obvious as saying don’t use an elephant gun to kill a mosquito but it’s hard to know how savvy a laser technician is with a laser unless you first ask.

More experience means faster results that save you money.

Make sure the laser is:

  • Not a rented machine.
  • Not a laser that is hauled from place to place in the trunk of someone’s car.
  • Not a laser-like machine called intense pulsed light that gives inferior results as compared to a true laser.

Next point.

Do they specialize in laser hair removal or do they offer a dozen other cosmetic services like Botox, Juvaderm, Restylane, Voluma, Sculptra, Cool Sculpting for fat, and cellulite removal?

We are the only laser office in Pittsburgh specializing in laser hair removal.  

If you want the best steak in town, you don’t go to a Chinese buffet. 

Make sure the laser center is hospital clean and has been inspected. They inspect restaurants and hospitals. Most laser hair med spas and franchise chains have never been inspected

Not once!

The Happel Laser Center has passed a rigorous on-site inspection.

We are very clean – hospital clean. Our cleaning equipment and sanitation solutions are effective, reliable and efficient. 

We have met all of the healthcare industry’s specific requirements for sanitation and passed our inspection with flying colors. There is no industry where the meticulous practice of hygiene is more critical than in healthcare.

The laser probe goes on the pubic area bikini line, genitals, perianal area and the face.

Tip #3: Prepaying for Any Service is a Really Bad Idea.

By the way, national laser chains either are in actual bankruptcy, restructuring, or have actually gone bankrupt or are financially struggling for survival. 

Ideal Image and Premier Laser Spa got into financial trouble and had to expand their cosmetic services out of their area of expertise. Premier Laser Spa had to declare bankruptcy last year.

American Laser Skincare (with an office in Pittsburgh) went bankrupt leaving thousands of people who each lost thousands of dollars that they will never see again.

At one time, Turkey Lake ran 23 Premier Laser Spas stores in 14 states. As of Oct. 20, 2015, it had merged several of its least profitable locations. It has reduced its total store count to 15 in 12 states. Many of their customers were often left high and dry.

Premier Laser Spa officially declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 19, 2015. 

Some were told to drive over a hundred miles to the nearest available office. Their customers in Columbia, South Carolina launched a Premier Laser Spa Fraud Facebook group.  They discussed a class action lawsuit. Some spoke to attorneys who told them, “I expect you won’t get much recovery in the bankruptcy case.”

Syracuse Laser Spa by Premier is another branch office that has shut its doors, without notice, telling customers they must drive 138 miles to Albany to continue their treatments. That’s a drive many customers do not want to make.

Similarly, customers in the closed branch office in Columbia had to drive an hour and forty minutes to Greenville, South Carolina to complete their treatments.

Co-owner of Premier Laser Spa, Edward Naylon admits to “insufficient training, resulting in inconsistent management across the stores”.


Is that a laser franchise where you would like to prepay for laser hair removal services?

The bottom line is – more effective results with fewer treatments at a doctor’s office that will not go bankrupt will save you money.

How Not to Choose a Laser Hair Removal Center  

  • Don’t choose your laser center by price alone or the closest place.
  • Don’t choose the cheapest place or use Groupon for laser hair removal.
  • Don’t go to the laser chains that are the most expensive and advertise incessantly.

The biggest laser hair removal regrets that people have when they see us after going somewhere else, is they chose the closest or listened to an ad. The status quo at laser chains is mandatory packages that cost thousands of dollars and include unnecessary treatments. The packages require nine mandatory treatments and are heavily front-loaded to account for fake discounts.

Our approach to last hair removal pricing is unique. The best part is that it really saves you money.

More Quick Tips to Help You Save Money Finding a Laser Hair Removal Center  

Tip #4: Check out the Type of Laser They Use

Don’t assume that all lasers are the same.

Make sure the laser is an Alexandrite. Avoid IPL.

Candela is the best. They dropped Ryan Lochte as a sponsor over his shenanigans.

Intense pulsed light is harder to learn and use. That’s because IPL can never be used for darker skin tones, including tanned skin. Laser is without a doubt much more effective than IPL.

If you are a Caucasian, the Alexandrite laser, saves you money. It provides more effective clearing of hair follicles with the most efficient laser in the world.

Tip #5: Shave Before Your Laser Hair Removal Appointment. 

It’s OK to shave before your laser treatment. The laser can “see” the hair follicle below the skin even if you can’t. However, don’t pluck, wax, or tease the hair follicle before a laser appointment. If you do, the laser has no target. In those cases, the treatment will be ineffective.

Shaving first saves you money.

Some places will charge you if they have to shave you first.

Tip #6: Don’t Miss Your Scheduled Appointments.

Since hair grows in cycles, you want to catch the hair follicle while it is actively growing.

We recommend waiting four to six weeks between laser treatments. If you skip treatments, the hair will not be damaged during its cycle. Your previous treatments may be wasted because the hair will just grow back.

To reiterate, missed appointments will cost you money and negatively affect your results.

Tip #7: Have Realistic Expectations. 

An 80 to 90 percent reduction in hair is realistic. Some areas will show different results depending on the person.  Your hormonal balance, the area on the body, the color of the hair and your skin, and the coarseness of the hair will dictate the results. 

We stress that 100% total removal is probably not going to happen. Periodic touchups are usually required.

Unrealistic expectations cost you money by making you have more treatments. Laser hair removal is reduction of hair (not total removal). If you don’t understand this, you may be going for more treatments than the laser technology can realistically produce.

Tip #8: Choose a Doctor’s Office.

There are two kinds of risks. Financial and medical. 

You can be hurt financially by signing up for packages where you are not getting a deal. Another way you can be hurt from laser hair removal is physically.  Here are examples of burns and scars from laser hair removal done improperly.

Here’s an article about the risks you take not going to a doctor’s office to have laser treatments.

Read how laser can go wrong outside of a doctor’s office.


We get it.

The cost of laser hair removal is very important.

By following our eight quick and easy tips to finding the best laser hair removal center, you can navigate that laser hair removal minefield without getting hurt financially or physically.

Our hair removal advice will help you to cut costs and save money. It will get the best laser hair removal for you at a price you can afford.

Remember to avoid laser franchises that push expensive packages and make you sign a contract. 

It’s a shame that people respond to repeated advertising. The results and the entire laser experience at laser chains are clearly inferior. In addition, the price per treatment is jacked-up 2-3 times the cost of laser hair removal done in a doctor’s office.

If that isn’t insanity, it’ll do until insanity gets here.

-Cormac McCarthy from No Country for Old Men

Laser hair removal is our focus. We are the only center in Pittsburgh that specializes in it. We don’t do Botox, injectables fillers, cellulite treatments or fat removal.

Our discounted – pay for only what you need – approach is as disruptive to the huge franchised laser chains as craigslist is to classified advertising in newspapers or Uber has been to the taxi empires. 

Call us at 724-969-0600 or contact us here to learn more on how you can save money and also find the best laser hair removal center available in the world.

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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