5 BS Misconceptions About Laser Hair Removal Everyone Thinks Are True

5 BS Misconceptions About Laser Hair Removal Everyone Thinks Are True

Misconception #1 Laser hair removal is permanent.

This idea is spread by unscrupulous marketers who are out for a fast buck.

Laser hair removal is not permanent hair removal. It is permanent hair reduction.

With every laser treatment, about 10-20% of the hair follicles in the area will be removed. The amount of permanent hair reduction depends on the area, the coarseness of your hair, the color of your hair, the color of your skin, and hormones.

The laser targets only actively growing hair. At any point in time, most of your hair is not in its active growing phase. Most hair is dormant.

As the hair follicle wakes from its dormant stage, the laser can then “see” it. Therefore, it takes multiple treatments to treat the hair follicles to reach the hair when it finally becomes actively growing.

As the hair falls out, you will notice the underlying skin feels softer and suppler. Some people notice fine, soft and lighter colored hair. That is called villus hair. Villus hair is seen in newborn babies over their bodies.

For some people, that means never having to shave again. For most, periodic touch ups or maintenance is required to prevent new hair growth.

The final results are very long lasting and satisfying for most people.

Misconception #2 Laser hair removal is expensive.

Compare laser hair removal cost to the alternatives. The cost of laser hair removal is relative. Let’s start with the lifelong cost of shaving and razor blades.

For disposable razors, the cost is about thirty cents per shave.

Gillette charges around $28.00 for eight cartridges. With normal use, that comes to twenty-seven cents per shave. Over a lifetime, that adds up to more than the cost of laser hair removal.

The same goes for waxing. Depending on the frequency that you wax, the hidden cost of a life time of treatment is staggering. The other considerations are that waxing is only a temporary solution.

It results in ingrown. Worst of all it really hurts!

The best estimate of the cost of laser hair removal which is listed as the #1 web site chosen by Google is www.docshop.com.

Here is what they quote:

On average, the cost of laser hair removal in the smaller, bikini area is between $350 and $500. By contrast, the cost of treating a larger area, such as the back, averages between $600 and $900 per treatment session. However, treatment of the chest will only cost between $350 and $600.  Jul 3, 2015

At Happel Laser, the cost of laser hair removal is significantly less than this quote.

At the laser franchises like Ideal Image and LaserRX in Pittsburgh, you will pay 2-3 times more than Happel Laser because they force you to buy expensive packages.

Misconception # 3 Laser hair removal is painful.

Pain is relative. Take it from a doctor who injects spider veins. Some people don’t move at all or say anything when the tiny needle is inserted into their spider veins. A few people actually cry.

However, for most people laser hair removal is very tolerable. The right laser set at the right setting is key.

That comes from experience and actual medical laser training. Most laser offices learn how to operate a medical laser from the company that sold the laser!

In our Pittsburgh office, cryogen freezing spray shot a microsecond before the laser zap offsets the heat of the laser.

In addition, there are techniques that we have taught that make the laser experience very tolerable. Here are the ways that we make the laser hair removal virtually painless.

Misconception #4 Everyone is a candidate for laser hair removal.

The best candidates for laser hair removal are people with light skin and dark hair.

If you are tanned, laser hair removal is contraindicated. That’s because the laser is programmed to target dark objects like hair. The laser doesn’t know the difference between dark hair and dark skin.

Some lasers like a YAG laser can be used on people with dark skin. However, the results aren’t as good as Alexandrite or diode lasers which require that you have light skin and dark hair for them to be maximally effective.

Misconception # 5 Anyone can perform laser hair removal.

Most people don’t even consider that there are risks.

That is why you need to have this done in a doctor’s office that has decades of experience.

Do you know what’s really sad?

People have actually died from laser hair removal!

That’s right.

Multiple people were given lidocaine cream to numb large areas of skin prior to a laser hair removal treatment. They died from lidocaine toxicity. It was applied over large areas like both of their legs or the back. The amount of lidocaine that was absorbed through their skin killed them while driving to the laser hair removal office.

Others risked death.

More common complications include burns and scarring from the laser.

The incidence of these complications is increasing. 

Laser hair removal laws have just recently changed in Virginia.

A janitor was doing them and burned someone.

Here is a story about the bill that was recently passed in Virginia to protect the public from the unregulated use of laser hair removal which is rampant.

March 1, 2017. ….Laser hair removal regulation: HB 2119 would limit the practice of laser hair removal to someone under the supervision of a doctor or trained health professional. Virginia and New York are currently the only two states that allow non-licensed professionals to perform laser hair removal


There are many misconceptions about laser hair removal.

This blog post sets the record straight on the five most common laser hair removal myths in terms that everyone can understand.

Here is a great tip about laser hair removal that you should heed.

Performed in a doctor’s office in experienced hands, laser hair removal is very safe.

Since it has become more popular, operators have taken lasers into nail salons, beauty salons and med spas where serious complications have occurred.

Your best bet for safe and cost effective treatments is to have it done in the safety of a doctor’s office.

Choose a laser hair removal office with over a decade of experience to be safe.

At the risk of hubris, we have been doing laser hair removal longer than any other office in Pittsburgh.

Experience means a lot.

Judge us by our reputation as a respected doctor’s office in our community.

Call us at 724-969-0600 or click here for a free consultation and a free demo. Kick the tires before you start to make sure you are happy.

Our patients often tell us it’s the best thing that they have ever done for themselves.

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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