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Waxing or Laser? Which Hair Removal Treatment Is Right for You?


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photo Credit:  ©istockphoto.com / Yuri_Arcurs

Torn between laser and waxing? We did the legwork for you and got expert opinions on the pros and cons of both. 

Laser Hair Removal

How it Works: “You come in for a consultation where we assess your skin and hair types and ask you a few background questions,” says Avnee Shah, MD, a dermatologist with practices in Rutherford and Verona. You’ll be asked how often you wax, pluck or shave and how fine or coarse your hair is. “Then we determine if the procedure’s right for you and discuss which laser would be best, since there are different ones for different skin colors,” says Shah. After that, you’ll need to follow up with four to six visits once every few weeks. Before you commit to a place for treatment, ask friends who they’ve had a good experience with. Be sure to see a trained, board-certified dermatologist.

Cost: Treatments range from $200–$1,000 per session depending on the size of the area being treated.

Pros:

•  Reduces bumps from acne or shaving

•  Hair grows back lighter and fine

Cons:

•  It’s pricier than waxing.

• Sessions can be painful and cause a prickling sensation. 

•  Follow-ups are needed and though hair removal lasts a few months, it isn’t permanent.

Waxing

How it Works: You lay down and soft, hot wax is applied and pulled off quickly with a paper strip until unwanted hair is completely removed. “Make sure your hair is long enough (about the length of a grain of rice) when you make your appointment,” says Melanie Coba, a beauty expert at European Wax Center, a national company with locations throughout NJ. Be sure to moisturize and exfoliate the area at home regularly between visits, she adds.

Cost: $12–$80 per session depending on the size of the area being treated.

Pros:

• Wax exfoliates the skin, leaving it soft and refreshed.

•  Hair grows back finer and sparsely.

• You don’t need an initial consultation. 

Cons:

• Waxing requires some hair growth in order to be effective, so you’ll need a week (or two) to get it to the right length.

• It can be a serious irritant for anyone with sensitive skin.

•  Waxing only lasts three to six weeks.        

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