Picture source: Flickr
So somewhere along the way, the hairless look became sexy, but the talk about hair removal became awkward. Like a dirty little secret. I remember totally being awkward as a teenager when my mum even tried to suggest separating my monobrow, and those conversations haven’t gotten any easier since.
In the meantime, I’ve gone from shaving, to tweezing, to waxing, and now, I’ve finally decided to make the jump: into the deep, dark world of laser hair removal.
The premise is very attractive: Go for a few treatments, and then only have to deal with hair removal only once or twice a year! Easy, right? Well if you’re looking at the manual of information that they give you before you even start treatment, it’s not exactly as simple as it seems.
How does it work?
Well the machine lets out a blast of light that targets dark hair. Yep, that means that redheads, blondes, and people with very light hair need not apply. In order for the laser to work, you need to have the hair root remaining, so if you’re a waxer, it’s 5 long weeks of waiting for regrowth so that you’re making that laser treatment count. Yes, before beauty comes suffering. The suffering of having to shave every other day because waxing is no longer an option. =(
When I went into the room, I shamefully pulled off my clothing – for some reason having hairy underarms for any reason makes me embarrassed – and put on the protective eye goggles. The lady used fitted a nozzle/torch thing with a disposable head, then proceeding to press against my skin and clicked a button to release blasts of light. It was quick, and then I was all ready to get dressed and leave.
It’s meant to go on for 6-10 treatments, with 4-5 week intervals in-between. Supposedly it takes a few treatments for results to show, so I’m waiting to see what happens!
Does it hurt?
Um, yes. It does. It was described to me as a rubber band getting snapped against the skin, and it’s quite an accurate description. What they don’t tell you that it’s really like a rubber band getting snapped against the skin over and bloody over again. And not the little bands either. The big industrial sized ones, because they can.
In short, the pain is annoying and highly irritating, but no lasting damage.
What about burns?
Well I’ve only gone for my first treatment, and I’m happy to report that there wasn’t any burning! Not yet, anyway. Apparently the burning happens when the technician pushes the setting up too high, which makes sense. Before we started they asked me – quite specifically – whether I tan or burn when I’m out in the sun, and how dark my skin is with a day-to-day amount of sun exposure, just so that they can better gauge what setting to use on me.
Is it expensive?
It cost just slightly more than my regular waxing appointments, and I’m meant to go back in 4-5 week intervals anyway, which corresponds to my waxing schedule. And if it works out and I only need to “top up” once a year, I should end up saving moolah in the long run!
What about aftercare?
When you finish, your skin is red and irritated. No two ways about it. And they tell you that, too. It’s perfectly normal for you to have irritated skin for a couple of hours after, and you’re not meant to do strenuous exercise for a couple of days after. Application of aloe vera gel helps with the irritation, and you’re meant to thoroughly exfoliate after 14 days to help encourage the dead hair to fall out.
The hardest part, though, is that you’re not allowed to wax in between treatments! And shaving is not encouraged. Feel my pain. FEEL MY PAIN.
Now I’m going to take me and my ape arms to go watch some Netflix in shame and suffering. Stay tuned for the other treatment updates!
Have you tried laser hair removal before? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments down below!