With warmer weather around the corner, this is the perfect time to address “what lies beneath” before we put away our winter woolies and haul out bikinis and shorts.
In other words, it is time to declare war on every hair follicle that is not on our heads or eyebrows. Only if you want to of course - it is a personal choice. For me, I’m not happy unless I am hair free.
Over the years I have regularly paid to be tortured - plucked, tweezed, waxed on every part of my body. One hair removal treatment I had not tried is laser, mainly as I thought it was expensive, and I wrongly supposed that it would be super painful.
But the permanence of laser hair removal does appeal, so when my favourite beauty clinic came up with a two-for-one offer - where you can choose two areas of your body for hair removal for the price of one - I went for a consultation with Blaise, one of the laser specialists at the clinic who also has a great name for a laser therapist!
In fact, I quickly discovered you can balance payments out over a period of time. When I looked at what it would cost me weekly, I noticed that it’s actually less than I was forking out in hair removal costs.
Not only could I ditch the hassle of shaving and waxing, I would get lasting results that are actually very cost effective.
You can choose to have any area of the body treated: face, neck and chest, arms and underarms, back, legs, stomach and bikini line/Brazilian.
I opted for the two-for-one offer, selecting legs and Brazilian. When I’d had leg waxing in the past it was bearable pain, but when it comes to a Brazilian wax, although the results are great I dreaded going and would sometimes scream out in pain.
So I had lots of questions for Blaise about pain levels. She explained that they start off with the laser at a lower power, so you can get used to it.
I had heard it described as like the flicking of an elastic band, but that analogy wasn’t helpful as, thankfully, I have never been flicked by an elastic band - especially not between the legs!
The initial consultation also includes an assessment of whether laser is right for you. The laser works by targeting colour in the hair shaft and follicle – so best results are with darker hair. For that reason, blonde, red and grey hairs cannot be removed.
Some underlying medical conditions or medications may also exclude you from the treatment, so the initial consultation checks all of this as well, to assess your suitability.
What is laser hair removal?
The clinic use diode laser, which shoots a beam of light through the targeted area where it’s absorbed by the pigment in the hair shaft and follicle. The heat that this generates loosens the hair and also disables the cells involved in hair growth to prevent future hairs from forming.
They recommend having at least eight treatments, with each treatment performed around five-to-six weeks apart.
Blaise explains that while I will be able to see results after the second or third treatment, the average person can expect to lose at least up to 80 per cent of body hair over the course of the treatment.
Some people achieve up to 98 per cent, but each person is different depending on a number of factors, including age, hair type, hormone levels, existing medical conditions and other factors.
To prepare for the first session, Blaise advises to shave the whole area. You also need to stay out of the sun and avoid tanning products before the treatment.
Blaise and her colleague Rata, who also does laser therapy, are very calming. The treatment is carried out in one of the beauty rooms. Blaise preps the skin and marks out where she is going to put the laser, while I just lie back and pray that it is not going to hurt like hell.
The good thing about the diode laser is that it has a cooling tip, making the treatment more comfortable. The legs were fairly painless, and although the Brazilian area was definitely a challenge at times - especially when we went through the course and upped the power on the laser - it was less painful than a Brazilian wax.
It is over quickly. I always brought my headphones and had a ‘laser playlist’ of songs to get through. The therapist can adjust the laser if you are finding it too painful, but I would say that as you go through the sessions it does become more comfortable.
Afterwards, a cooling gel is applied and the therapist will give you post treatment advice which includes skipping the gym, pool and spa for 48 hours to avoid excess heat or sweating.
My skin was a little pink after the session, but this went away quickly although it may last up to 24 hours. If it is pink or tender, you can apply a cold compress.
Now at the end of my treatment, I am loving the results of having hairless, smooth skin. I am also looking forward to a summer where I don’t have to factor in hair removal when I am thinking of going to events or to the beach.
I would definitely recommend it - it is very cost effective and I felt very safe and reassured. The levels of pain are easily manageable.
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