Pain Index for Underarm Hair Removal… is it worth it?

Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly content series, delivering a quick fix, home remedy, or clean beauty product suggestion for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.

We all know that keeping our bodies hairless in all the right places isn’t always easy. That’s why laser treatments seem so appealing! The idea of never having to shave my armpits again? YES PLEASE! But do you know the real costs behind opting for laser treatments? Here’s a look…


Before even considering laser hair removal as an option, you need to understand that it doesn’t work for everyone. This is because laser treatment uses a concentrated, pulsating beam of light that is actually absorbed by melanin in the hair. This energy is then converted to heat, which kills the hair follicles beneath the skin. This process is called selective photothermolysis So the higher the melanin, the higher the success rate. 

Hence, the ideal candidate that will see quick and permanent results are those with coarse, dark hair. The thicker and darker your body hair, the better the treatment. 

On the contrary, if you have thin hair, blonde hair, or red hair, you won’t have enough pigment for the treatment to be effective. This means you may not see effective results, OR it may take twice as long as it would someone with darker hair. 

That being said, the color of your skin ALSO matters because the laser beam targets dark pigment, so if the skin around dark hair is pale, the laser will concentrate on the hair follicle solely. This is the same reason many women of color have horror stories of burns and extremely painful laser treatments; the laser is targeting the pigment in their skin and turning it into  heat, ouch! 

So if you’re reading this and thinking “well I have thin hair, or blonde hair”, or if you have darker skin, then laser hair removal may not be the right treatment for you. That being said, almost anything is possible depending on how much you are willing to spend… 


To put things into perspective, I thought I would break down the average cost of laser treatment in North America.

The average cost for underarm laser treatment is $100/session. For a person with thick hair, 4 to 6 sessions are the norm. That’s around…$600? 

Now if you have fine hair, it may take up to 12 sessions or more to see effective results. That’s $1200 for a small area like your underarms…and because you have thin or blonde hair, you still may not see more than 70-80% effectiveness. 

So is it worth it? Again…it all depends on the size of your wallet, and how much you are willing to spend. 

However, keep in mind that the above don’t include yearly maintenance costs, which you need in order to never shave or wax again. 


When it comes to any hair removal method, there are more than just monetary costs involved. But there are pros and cons to almost every decision we make, and at the end of the day there is no right or wrong method. So we decided to lay out the pros and cons of each method for you, so you can make a better and more informed decision!

In the end I think what really matters is your threshold for pain (should you choose laser or waxing) your budget and your time to make a decision on what makes the most sense for you personally as not always is waxing or laser going to solve your problems they could potentially create some new ones when shaving is not really that big of deal once you form the habit.  Ultimately like most things with you body there is NOT  a one size fits all solution.


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