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Unwanted body hair got you down? A laser might hold the answer. Using pulses of high-energy light to make hair follicles inactive, laser hair removal is touted as a permanent fix for your smooth-leg dilemma. However, says Charlottesville Skin & Laser Center’s Laser Technician Stephanie Snell, results really depend on the person. “Things like hormones and life changes can affect how long it lasts,” Snell says.


Is laser hair removal successful? It depends.

You should expect to have four to six treatments, all at least six weeks apart depending on the area you’re treating. How much will it set you back? In Charlottesville, laser hair removal can cost anywhere from $75 for the face to $700 for a man’s back.

People who’ve had laser treatments say there’s some pain involved (like a rubber band snapping the skin, according to writer Julyne Derrick, who offers a lengthy account of her bikini and leg lasering at beauty.about.com), and you should be realistic about what “permanent” means: Nothing’s guaranteed. Derrick, for one, experienced a regrowth of leg hair in the spring following her treatments. “I’m pretty happy with the bikini treatment, but I’m not sure if I’d recommend a full laser leg treatment,” she writes.

If it still sounds like a gamble, Snell offered this tip: “The thicker and coarser the hair, the more successful you’ll be.”

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