At-sea spa barons Steiner Leisure recently signed an agreement to acquire laser hair removal specialists Ideal Image for $175 million. Bearded ladies came to mind first, followed by a more relevant question: Is it only a matter of time before hairy upper lips are zapped from cruise ships?
“We don’t know definitely, but there might be an opportunity on some ships in the future,” says Stephen Lazarus, Steiner’s chief financial officer.
But like permanently removing underarm hair, the prospect is not without pitfalls. “Here’s the challenge with [performing the procedure] on ships: By virtue of nature of the service, it generally takes a long time. You typically have 10 week spacing between treatments, to let the follicle grown back, so naturally, you’re not [at sea] long enough for the full series of treatments,” explains Lazarus. “You’re also not supposed to go out in the sun after laser hair removal, though underarms are okay.”
And the machines aren’t cheap. Each one is a couple hundred thousand dollars.
Still, there may be some sort of accommodation made. Providing some form of onboard education — i.e. an explanation of how one of the only FDA-approved hair removal procedures works — could be an option, says Lazarus. And, if lines want the machines, passengers could get their first treatment onboard, then finish the de-follicle-cation at one of Ideal Image’s 70-odd land-based locations. (There are plans to expand.)
Lazarus says it’s really still too early to speculate — but if the cruise lines will it, Steiner will have the lasers ready.
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