Low-cost but effective laser hair removal in NYC?
September 29, 2007 7:05 AM   Subscribe

Low-cost but effective laser hair removal in NYC?

After a decade of plucking I've finally decided I want laser hair removal for the hair under my chin. I happen to have the best combo of tones for laser (dark hair + fair skin), so I don't need a special type of laser. Just an experienced, effective person who knows what they're doing.

I care most of all about affordable price. I don't care at all about location, as long as the place is within walking distance of subway or bus anywhere in the five boroughs of NYC. I don't care at all about a "spa experience" or "pampering." I'm ideally looking for the experienced laser person who happens to charge less because she has a small, non-fancy studio in one of the outer boroughs.

I don't have any friends who can advise because they've had this done. I have tried looking at reviews on Citysearch, but so many of the reviews are so obviously fake, and I feel like even the non-obvious ones can't be trusted.

Thanks for all recommendations!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
It may help to let us know what is affordable for you.
posted by zackola at 8:13 AM on September 29, 2007

If you want low price, you won't get effective. See, here's the corners that have to be cut to give you low prices:

* Crappy laser that doesn't work very well, or hurts like hell, or requires messy cooling gels. A quality hair laser can cost $100k easy, so it doesn't matter how "not fancy" or "low rent" your facility is when you're paying a 5 year lease on the laser.
* IPL (Intense Pulse Light) instead of laser, which has crappy hair removal capability and hurts like hell and is more prone to leaving you with "burns" or pigmentation issues. Great boxes when set for skin rejuv, lousy hair removal boxes
* Lax medical supervision. Most medical boards are firm on the idea that laser hair removal is a kind of surgery and as such must be supervised by medical personnel. That does not usually mean a doctor or nurse has to be in the room, but it is often interpreted that one must be in the building. But the more people that licensed person can be supervising (in more places) the more money can be made. No medspa can afford to have a doctor pulling the trigger on a laser all day, but they can afford to have him on call as their medical supervisor.

So all things considered, I would be highly suspicious of anybody charging less than $50-60 per treatment for your chin. Be aware it may take 5-8 treatments. Don't buy a package because you don't know how your skin will react, how many treatments you will really need, or if they are going out of business next month. And IMPORTANT: you will need to stop plucking 2 weeks ahead of time. Laser works by cooking the hair left in the follicle and killing the follicle. If you pluck, there's nothing there to absorb the laser's energy.

As for finding a facility, look on Candela's website to find someone with a GentleLase or on Coherent's site to find a LightShear. I know you think it's all about the tech, but unfortunately the expensive box has a lot to do with it.
posted by ilsa at 9:02 AM on September 29, 2007

I have a couple of friends that have had great experiences at Breiers Hair Removal and Skin Care in Queens.
posted by kimdog at 1:32 PM on September 29, 2007

Do NOT go to American Laser Centers. I was not satisfied with my experience.
posted by spec80 at 4:29 PM on September 29, 2007

Try going through a doctor's office- I don't know how common this is, but I my mother is a nurse at a doctor's office (internal medicine) that offers laser; my mother actually stopped working there but continues to laser for them. IIRC, they charge less than 100 dollars for 15 minutes, which is all a chin should take.
posted by MadamM at 10:54 PM on September 29, 2007

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