If you are anything like me, you probably hate your hair. No not the hair on your head, although sometimes that can be an annoyance on humid days, I am referring to your body hair. Having milky pale skin with pretty much black hair means that I have probably about the worst combo when it comes to body hair. It is extremely noticeable.
When I was younger I shaved all the time, and of course that was the only option for me at the time. I had considered the electrolysis treatments of the past , but after talking to people who had it done, I decided it wouldn’t be worth the investment. A few years later I decided to start looking into laser hair removal, and I can tell you it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I have been getting a lot of questions about this topic lately, so I thought I would summarize some key points for anyone who is interested in doing these treatments.
• What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a professional cosmetic treatment that is performed to remove unwanted facial and body hair. A laser is used to beam concentrated light into hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorb the light and the hair is destroyed. After several treatments, your hair removal will become permanent.
• Who is a good candidate for the treatment?
Unfortunately laser hair removal is not ideal for people with very fine light, or vellus hair. The laser is much more effective on dark, coarse, terminal hair. Having really light hair means that the follicle will not absorb the light.
• Where can you get the treatments done, and what are the best places?
Most all dermatologist offices will offer laser hair removal treatments, and that is the place that I would recommend the most since a dermatologist specializes in skin. Sometimes you can get the treatments done in a doctor’s office or a medical spa. I personally have only ever gone to a dermatologist, simply because they are better trained professionals. You can always look up someone’s credentials, which I also recommend doing.
• How much does it cost?
The cost varies significantly depending on the areas you are treating and how many times you need to have it done. Sometimes you can get a better deal if you purchase a treatment package. I have even heard of buying 5 treatments and getting 1 for free. My arms for example cost me around $400 when all was said and done. I purchased a package for 5 treatments and that was all I needed for the hair to be completely gone on my arms. My legs were obviously more expensive. I would recommend you start with a smaller problem area first (hint hint) then work your way up to the larger areas.
• Do you see immediate results?
After you get your first treatment done you may feel a moment of disappointment when you see that your hair is growing back! That is normal. The hair is just pushing its way through and will fall out. You can usually schedule another treatment within 4 to 6 weeks. You will continue to get them done until your hair no longer grows back. Once that happens it is smooth sailing!
• What are the risks?
As with all cosmetic procedures, there are some risks associated with getting laser hair removal. For a couple of days the area of the skin that was treated will feel sort of like it was sunburned. You may experience some tenderness or slight swelling. Using cold compresses or cool unscented aloe vera gel will help to soothe irritation. There are also a number of post-treatment moisturizers that you can buy specifically for that. There have been instances where blisters can develop and even scarring. These are more rare side effects and are exactly the reason why you should always go to a skin professional.
• What do I do to prepare?
Do not tweeze, wax, thread, or do any sort of electrolysis treatment before laser hair removal. Remember the laser needs to detect the follicle, and if you have plucked it out it will not work. Also not tanning or excessive sun exposure, as this will also make the laser less effective.
• What does the treatment feel like?
If you go by my account it feels like little rubber bands snapping against your skin. Personally I find that very therapeutic. With every little zap I know a hair follicle is dying a slow death! It is not painful and should never be. Always trust your gut instinct. If something feels not quite right let the person performing the treatment know immediately! Always ask a ton of questions before and after so you can have all of the facts.
• What can I expect afterwards?
As I mentioned above, you will treat the areas like you would a sunburn. Do not, and I can not stress this enough, do not go to a tanning bed for at least 6 weeks afterwards. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! If you are a tanner this may not be a good thing for you to pursue as you will basically be advised not to tan for over 6 months if you keep up your treatments consistently. I never, ever, ever tan, never, so for me there was no great sacrifice.
If you simply abhor your body hair and you meet the requirements to have the procedure done, then this is something that you will most likely find a worthwhile investment. I never had any adverse reactions to the treatments aside from some minor irritation and redness. I love my smooth skin! In my opinion getting laser hair removal pays for itself in the long run. When you think about how much money you will save on shaving cream, razors, water bills, and natural gas and propane bills over your lifetime it’s kind of a no brainer. Also consider how much time you will save in the mornings or evenings getting ready. It would not be amiss for me to also mention the fact that not having to shave while on vacation is a mini vacation all in itself! I absolutely recommend this as an investment in yourself!
Is laser hair removal something you are considering? If you have any questions let me know!