That's a very hard question to answer. And if someone answers it with a very short, easy answer spitting out one number they are not truthful. Laser hair removal is a process. We are slowly damaging the follicles so that hopefully, well in most situations, the follicles will get damaged enough that they are not able o produce a viable hair at some point.
At any given time the hairs are in different hair cycles. If the hair isn't in the antigen stage (the growth stage) the follicle will get slightly damaged but not in the way that it will if in that initial growth stage. At any given time roughly 15-20% of the hairs are in the first growth stage.
For most they will get total shedding of the hairs (both the slightly damaged and the others in the antigen stage) right around the 10 day mark after your treatment. Then depending on the area you will have between 3-5 weeks without hairs before they start growing back- now slightly damaged and weaker. We continue that process very 5 weeks for the face, every 6 weeks for other body areas. And sometimes that time frame has to be tweaked a little if your body seems to be on a different cycle- rare but can happen.
Since we do not know what hairs are in what stage and what may be going on in your body as far as hormonal issues or other issues depending on what meds or treatment that you are on no one can ever tell how long the process will take. The average amount of treatments needed can vary widely- typically 5-10 (many between 6-8 but not everyone).
And the government says that no one can ever guarantee that you will be hair free for life. Again, we cannot control what is going on in your body. They say that it should be called laser hair reduction due to the unknowns. It is very common that after the initial laser treatments to need to come in periodically for touch ups for any straggler hairs that may pop up. At that time we will charge accordingly depending on how much needs to be done.
And if the hairs are due to hormonal issues you may need to come in on a regular basis. Read the blog about hormonal areas for more info. But even in that situation your hairs will be very light and fine and very manageable, and you will have weeks without those hairs. We have hundreds of clients that have medical issues such as PCOS, take testosterone or other meds and are very happy to have the hair under control. much lighter and finer and have weeks without any hair.
Is that process still worth it? YES!! Many have very little maintenance, if any, at some point. And in the long run it is still makes more financial sense to spend the money on laser initially and pay for the maintenance then pay for waxing treatments every 3-4 weeks or pay for razors and shaving cream for life. I started the laser process 12 years ago even before getting into the business. I have not had any growth other then a few stragglers a year at the most on my legs, arms, and underarms. I am going through hormonal replacement therapy (I get testosterone pellets every 3 months) so I do get regrowth on my bikini area and face and do need to touch up the areas every 4-8 weeks but those hairs are extremely light and fine. Hair free with soft skin. I get compliments every day on how smooth and pretty my skin looks.