Laser hair removal

Jacob Allred

I’ve always hated shaving. I vividly remember an experience when I was a teenager with a bit more peach fuzz than was socially acceptable. My dad pulled me aside to talk to me about it. “I know ingrown hairs can be uncomfortable,” he said. I remember trying to figure out what he was talking about, and what ingrown hairs had to do with anything, and trying to figure out if I had ever had one. It then dawned on me that he thought ingrown hairs were the cause of my lack of shaving, and that, if given time, he would eventually get around to telling me that I need to shave anyway. What he didn’t realize was that I just hate shaving. It takes too much time. It irritates my skin. I’ve never found a razor that gives me a good shave. It just sucks.

Not long after that awkward father/son moment I learned about electrolysis. This process zaps each individual hair with electricity in an attempt to stop it from ever wanting to grow back. It is tedious and uncomfortable, but fairly effective. Sadly, there were a few obstacles I’d have to overcome. First, it was prohibitively expensive, at least for a teenager. Second, I wasn’t aware of any nearby places that offered the service. Third, I wasn’t old enough to electrocute my hairs without parental consent. So it never happened.

A few years later, while serving my mission I think, I learned of laser hair removal. This process is a bit more intense than electrolysis. Instead of zapping one hair at a time, they use a laser beam about the size of a quarter to fry lots of hairs all at once. The heat from the laser permanently discourages your hair from growing. Again, several obstacles. First, it was prohibitively expensive (for a missionary at least). Second, there wasn’t a place that offered the service within my assigned missionary area. Third, I was afraid someone would see me and call my mission president, and I suspect he wouldn’t have approved of the activity.

So for the past decade or so I’ve been dreaming of having a permanently clean-shaven face. As if by providence, a laser hair removal office opened up right next to the Target where I do my grocery shopping. I called to get pricing information, but they refuse to give any pricing information unless you go in for a consultation.

So today I went to Ideal Image for my consultation. I was sad to learn that although the hair on my head is quite brown, my facial hair has a lot of red and blonde mixed in. Laser hair removal doesn’t work on red or blonde hair. So even if I went through all the treatments, I’d only get maybe 50% hair removal on my face.

I was also sad to learn that these people are thieves. I’m under no obligation to keep their prices a secret, so this is the price list they gave me:

AreaPer session9 sessions50% discount for package
Full face$855$7,695$3,847
Upper neck$475$4,275$2,137

To get my whole face I’d be paying $855 per session, or I can pre-pay for 9 sessions and get a 50% discount. Sounds reasonable, right? WRONG!

First, most people don’t need 9 sessions. Most people need at least 3 sessions. Nearly everyone has reached the best results they are going to get by the 6th session. This means they are making you pay for (and suffer through) 3 sessions that are pretty much guaranteed to be superfluous. They know this. If they don’t know this, then that is even scarier because they are wielding a laser that can leave you permanently scarred and apparently know less about the process than I do.

Second, even their discounted price of $427 per session is drastically higher than the prices I’ve found online. Most people report prices in the $100-$250 range. Even a full 6 treatments at the costly price of $250 per session would only cost $1,500, or in other words, $2,347 less than Ideal Image.

Perhaps it isn’t Ideal Image. Maybe things just cost more in Connecticut, and I’ll have to wait until we move somewhere more reasonable. But I don’t think so. There are other hair removal offices in this area, so I’m going to go get some quotes and find out.