9 Best Laser Hair Removal Services (Tested & Reviewed 2023)
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Our team did the very hard work of testing all the top-rated laser-hair removal studios.
Because I'm Pakistani, hair is always on my mind, given that I have so much of it. Sure, there are perks—like the nice, thick hair on my head and bushy eyebrows—but I've always been desperate to get rid of my body hair. While some people may choose not to remove theirs, and that choice is entirely valid, I personally felt self-conscious and, at times, was bullied because of my body hair (kids are vicious, ya know?). That's why I've been trying to enter my naked-mole-rat era since the ripe young age of 12...and I have a bathroom full of razors, hair-removal creams, and at-home laser-hair removal devices to prove it. However, everything changed for me in college when I started getting professional laser hair removal services—an experience that I can confidently say has changed my life.
Before getting pro laser hair removal, I had to shave every single day since my hair grew back quickly. But after six full-body laser sessions and several touch-ups, I hardly ever think about my body hair now. It has freed up so much mental space, allowing me to focus on other things, like what I’m wearing to the Barbie premiere or whether or not I want to cut my hair short.
Now the good news is that there are so many laser hair-removal studios to choose from, depending on where you live, what area you’re treating, what color your hair is, and so much more. But the bad news is that all the options can be overwhelming, which is why I did a bunch of research, tested a ton of different studios, and polled Cosmo staffers on the best places to try laser hair removal. Here’s our top faves:
Remember: Not all that glitters on Groupon is gold. Which is why I chatted with dermatologist Rachel Westbay, MD, and laser-hair removal expert, Christian Karavolas, for all the details on choosing the best laser-hair removal service for you. Below, you can find nine of our favorite, vetted laser-hair-removal services and studios, as well as expert tips on what to know before starting laser-hair removal.
“Every time I step into Laser Away, I have the most calming, chill experience ever—which is great because I show up to the studio in a chaotic state,” says Cosmo beauty editor, Beth Gillette. “The nurses and team at every location I’ve been to have always been so easy-going but are also very knowledgeable when I’ve asked a bajillion questions. Generally, they just turn on Keeping Up With the Kardashians as they go to work on my armpit hairs. I got six sessions of laser-hair removal, which def decreased the amount of hair by like 75 percent, but I occasionally go back for little touch-ups when I want my skin to look smooth as hell. Plus, I have a high pain tolerance, but I found it generally comfortable, and there’s legit zero down time or anything.”
THE REVIEWS: "I've been with LaserAway for 12 years and have been to over 10 locations," writes one tester. "I always feel so welcome and comfortable when I visit. Everyone makes me feel at home and are completely transparent about my services. I've done everything from laser hair removal, to CoolSculpting, to Botox, to filler, and soon Thermage! The front desk crew is always so kind, and I even end up chatting with them for a while!"
Skinney Medspa is Cosmo associate editor, Siena Gagliano’s favorite medspa in NYC to get laser hair removal. She says, “It’s as ~luxe~ as it gets; not only is it the prettiest medical spa I’ve seen, but they also use v-high-quality lasers that make it virtually painless for me—even in the most sensitive of areas. I’m not kidding, I legit did not feel anything, even on higher settings—just keep in mind, everyone is different, so my experience may be different from yours. After two treatments, the amount of hair growth has significantly lessened, and I’m shocked at how long I can go without shaving. Like, at three weeks, I have only the littlest amount of stubble.”
THE REVIEWS: "I've tried almost every med spa in the city, and the knowledge, attention, care and quality of the latest machines is unmatched at Skinney."
I love going to Romeo and Juliette’s chic Upper East Side studio because they have some of the best lasers on the market — even for darker skin tones. I previously went to another laser spa in Texas for a full-body treatment that didn’t do all that much, even after eight sessions. Here, as soon as they started zapping, I felt the difference.
The laser was so much stronger, and while it hurt more, there was also such a strong gust of wind with each zap that I powered through. The staff at Romeo and Juliette is what really sets it apart for me, though. I have the pain tolerance of a small, sickly child and was championed the entire time with encouraging “you can do it!” cheers, breaks when I needed them (every five zaps), and even stress balls.
THE REVIEWS: According to one review, "Romeo and Juliette is the BEST at hair removal! Everyone on staff is professional and provide individualized treatment to get the best results! I've removed hair from all the places I didn't want hair and four years later I went back for a touch up and I only had a few stranded hairs which is completely normal. Getting Lazer hair removal at Romeo and Juliette has been the BEST investment I've ever made."
You may have heard of Sev via the Kardashian-Jenner pipeline, and let me tell you, it's more than just a pretty face (but the large LED neon sign and everlasting roses are a fab touch). All of my friends who have gone to Sev say they love their results and find the staff really knowledgeable, because they even mark your body up with an erasable pencil to ensure they're only zapping hairs, not fuzz. Additionally, Sev offers other aesthetic services like Botox, Juvéderm fillers, and Kybella, making it a one-stop-shop for all your aesthetic needs.
THE REVIEWS: "This place is clean, the staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and depending on what your going for, they work quick," writes one reviewer. "I would definitely recommend this place, and I can't wait to go back because it works wonders."
Sometimes when you think of laser hair removal spaces, you may envision stale med-spas with fluorescent lighting and a very clinical feel. But throw that image in the trash when you think of Ever/body. At Ever/body, the uber-chic cosmetic dermatology space offers a major assortment of treatments (we're talkin' laser hair removal as well as laser skin tightening, Botox and wrinkle relaxers, dermal fillers, plasma hair restoration and injections, Emsculpt, microneedling, and so much more). Think of it as a well-decorated home for all of your beauty treatments, complete with personable staff members who give you the full rundown before each service.
But I'm personally the biggest fan of their laser-hair removal service. First of all, the pricing is v transparent and didn't require me to ask a ton of questions and practically sign my life away to figure out how much everything would cost. Plus, I felt so comfortable in the studio and never felt rushed. Honestly, being zapped here was shockingly zen, IMO.
THE REVIEWS: "My experience was a 10/10," one tester writes. "The RN that did my laser hair removal was Candice, and she was super sweet, funny, and knowledgable. She definitely made the awkward and painful process of lasering my lady parts much more enjoyable."
Another trendy all-in-one medspa on the list that offers Botox, Dysport, fillers, and microneedling is Skin Code in Los Angeles, CA. In an intimidating and expensive city like L.A., Skin Code's mission is to provide affordable services without sacrificing quality—which is totally evident based on the photos of their lovely space on IG. Reviewers noted that the nurses walked them through the entire process and adjusted their laser treatments based on their specific needs each time they come in too, which made the experience feel v luxe without the massive price tag.
THE REVIEWS: One reviewer writes, "LOVE LOVE LOVE Skin Code LA! The facility is super clean, the front desk staff is terrific, and the nurses are super welcoming. They make the process of laser hair removal super comfortable! ! I'm happy with my results, and I highly recommend Skin Code LA!"
Not only is laser-hair removal a major time saver for busy professionals, but it also helps you save hundreds of dollars on shaving products over your lifetime (those razors add up!). While no two laser technicians are the same, many reviewers praise the comforting and personable yet professional staff at Milan, who take the time to address any questions you may have. If it's your first time getting laser and you're feeling a bit wary, they offer free consultations, a comforting tour of the space, and can book you right away if you decide to take the plunge (or should we say... zap?).
THE REVIEWS: "I was referred by a friend who gets their treatments done at another location out of state to use this company for laser hair removal," one tester writes in a review. "I was nervous at first, but the entire staff at this location made me feel very comfortable and at ease. I've gone twice and have left with a smile on my face!"
This boutique spa is a hair removal respite for many Manhattanites. Unlike other laser spas that have a ton of lasers to choose from (which can get overwhelming if you don't know what you're looking for), Beam Laser Spa exclusively uses FDA-approved GentleMax Pro lasers, known for their safety on most skin types and tones (reminder: very few lasers can be used on deep-dark skin, so always talk to a dermatologist and sign up for a consultation first). Beam actually encourages booking a free consultation, during which you're able to try out a spot test in an inconspicuous area to ensure you're a good candidate and to avoid any adverse reactions to the laser.
THE REVIEWS: "I have been coming to Beam for over a year to treat my legs and Brazilian," one review reads. "I have seen great results and want to treat more areas! The staff is always professional and friendly! They always make me feel comfortable and welcomed. I recommend them to everyone I know considering laser treatments."
Another major benefit of laser hair removal? Never having to worry about dark shadows again. True Jewel uses Morpheus8 DiolazeXL, which precisely targets your hair follicle, allowing it to be used on a wider range of hair and skin colors (as per usual, though, book a consult first to make sure you're a candidate), including your face. Plus, it's shockingly comfortable, according to reviewers.
THE REVIEWS: "The women here at True Jewel made me feel so comfortable for my first treatment," reads one review. "I was extremely nervous, and Chaya was so understanding and put me at ease. Gentle touch, too. I'm looking forward to my follow-up!"
No, laser hair removal can't permanently remove hair, but it can reduce your hair, says board-certified dermatologist Rachel Westbay. Although not a guarantee, it is not uncommon for hair to regrow down the line. “This is why patients should always be informed about the potential need for maintenance laser treatments if they want to stay hairless long-term," says Dr. Westbay. Generally, you should expect your hair to disappear fully for about two months, but it can last up to two years or more depending. But, “for hormonal areas, such as the face, occasional touch-ups will likely be required,” explains laser-hair removal expert, Christian Karavolas.
There is no "best" laser hair removal machine for professionals, as the pros will use a handful of different lasers for different purposes, skin tones and types, and treatment areas. Karavolas recommends the GentlemaxProPlus by Candela (which is fairly gentle), Elite IQ by Cynosure, Clarity II by Lutronic, Synchro Replay Excellium 3.4 by Deka, and/or the Splendor X by Lumenis. However, “it's hard to universally say which machine is the best," says Dr. Westbay, "as there are many different types of lasers used for hair removal with variable degrees of efficacy, and the appropriate choice for what is most suitable for a given patient is often predicated on skin color.”
Four to six sessions, spaced one month apart, are required to remove hair, on average, according to Dr. Westbay. However, the number of laser-hair removal treatments needed varies from person to person, depending on several factors such as age, skin type, the amount of hair in the treatment areas, hair texture and thickness, as well as any hormonal issues. For instance, people with PCOS tend to require more sessions, as they can have more resistant hair and might take longer to respond to the laser.
Although that super-affordable laser spa might sound better on your wallet, it might not end up being the best (or safest) option. Make sure that the person performing your treatment is licensed and knowledgeable (aka read reviews, DM people on Instagram who've posted before and afters—FWIW, we vetted all of the above studios carefully).
While there are many spas that offer laser-hair removal, they aren't always performed by qualified or licensed laser techs, as licensing requirements vary by state, and some states have no requirements at all. In certain states, “certified” technicians may only have a background in cosmetology and receive limited training, which may not adequately qualify them to operate lasers safely or choose the appropriate device for each patient.
“My preference is always to seek out a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for your laser hair removal sessions," says Dr. Westbay. Or, she says you could try a medspa, as these are usually overseen by a physician. This ensures that the physician has received legitimate training in laser physics and operation, which is required to pass the board examination at the end of their residency training and is inherent for safe and effective treatments.
Because some devices are more suitable for specific skin and hair types than others, it is crucial to inquire about the type of machine a facility uses and determine if it is the best option for you. Book a consultation to make sure you're a candidate. You can also set up an appointment with your dermatologist beforehand to go over the laser and make sure it's suitable for your skin type, tone, and hair color.
Hey, I won't sugar-coat it: Laser hair removal can hurt a lil bit, which is why it can be so important to seek out services and studios that feel comfortable, maybe even a bit ~zen.~ If you're into a studio that feels more like a spa than a sterile office, be sure to look up photos, or tour the space in advance. TBH, all of the above studios we ranked have a great environment that makes you feel like you're getting a fun lil self-care treat... not destroying your hair follicles.
Iman Balagam is a beauty contributor at Cosmopolitan with nearly three years of experience writing beauty stories that range from curling irons to mini flat irons. She’s an authority in all hair categories, but is an expert when it comes to laser hair removal, thanks to years of personally researching and testing different studios and services.
Iman Balagam is a freelance writer who has been in the beauty industry for nearly five years. She has written for and contributed to top women’s magazines and digital brands such as Harper's BAZAAR, Allure, Byrdie, Elle and more. She will try *nearly* anything and spends a lot of time looking for new ways to store her beauty products in a small New York apartment.
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15 Best Eye Creams for Smoother, Brighter Skineverything changed for me in college when I started getting professional laser hair removal servicesI hardly ever think about my body hair now.Locations:Price: Treatment areas:I have the most calming, chill experience everTHE REVIEWS: Locations: Price: Treatment areas:It’s as ~luxe~ as it getsTHE REVIEWS: ""Locations:Price:Treatment areas:Here, as soon as they started zapping, I felt the difference.. The staff at Romeo and Juliette is what really sets it apart for meTHE REVIEWS: Locations:Price:Treatment areas: You may have heard of Sev via the Kardashian-Jenner pipelineTHE REVIEWS:Locations: Price:Treatment areas: offers a major assortment of treatments the pricing is v transparentTHE REVIEWS: Locations:Price:Treatment areas:provide affordable services without sacrificing qualityTHE REVIEWS: Locations:Price: Treatment areas:they offer free consultations, a comforting tour of the space, THE REVIEWS:Locations:Price: Treatment areas:exclusively uses FDA-approved GentleMax Pro lasers,THE REVIEWS:Locations: Price:Treatment areas:precisely targets your hair follicle, allowing it to be used on a wider rangeTHE REVIEWS: No, laser hair removal can't permanently remove hair,There is no "best" laser hair removal machine for professionals,Four to six sessions, spaced one month apart, are required to remove hairMake sure that the person performing your treatment is licensedlicensing requirements vary by state“My preference is always to seek out a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeonseek out services and studios that feel comfortable, maybe even a bit ~zen.~Rachel WestbayChristian KaravolasIman Balagam