I have finally decided to deal with my hair from the chin down once and for all. For years I have been researching laser hair removal but found it to be such an expensive investment that I never felt I could pull the trigger. In 2017 the prices seem to be lower than ever thanks to a huge amount of competition so decided now is the time.
Summer is when I usually start to think about this all over again for obvious reasons. If there is a sunny day in Dublin I of course want to pop on a skirt or a pair of shorts but I feel like it is a strategic event every time I want to get my legs out. Due to my dark hair and pale skin I need to time shaving and tanning perfectly or else I just have to stick with my jeans. I have decided to get laser on my lower legs rather than my full leg, mainly because the hair on my upper leg is so fine and fair that it doesn’t bother me, but also the laser machine probably wouldn’t even pick up on this hair anyway.
In the Summer I also suffer from dry skin and itchy skin when I start shaving more frequently. In the winter I can go days, even weeks in between shaving my legs, but if I shave a couple of days a week in the Summer I find myself scratching my legs raw.
My underarms never look completely hair free unless I have them waxed, as mentioned the hair is really dark and I have a shadow within hours of shaving. The hair may not be above the surface of the skin but it may as well be as my underarm can have a dark look.
I have also opted to laser my bikini area, this isn’t something that bothers me all too often but I always dread getting a bikini wax so why not deal with this once and for all while I’m getting everything else done.
I had a free consultation with Therapie on Molestreet and I felt I totally understood the process by the end. Although this is a non invasive treatment it does relate to your blood flow and your hormones can affect how successful the treatment is, so expect to answer questions on your medical history and what tablets you take, including anti-histamines for hay fever. My therapist Michelle talked me through everything and carried out a patch test on the three areas. I was really bracing myself unsure of what level of pain to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually fine. The best way I can describe it is the most painful times feel like a tiny elastic band hitting the skin, it is a very short pain that passes immediately. The worst part of the whole process is the scent of burning hair honestly.
I availed of the 70% off sale prices and a payment plan so I will pay for treatments over 3 stages, making it much more affordable for me. It would have cost about €800 upfront but I can pay a third at a time on my first three visits and it includes my after care products, which I will get into in a moment.
At this point I should also mention that the aim of this treatment is to have about an 80% reduction in hair growth. You won’t be 100% hair free, but hopefully by the end of the treatment the only hair remaining is fine and barely visible.
Be Tan & Hair Free
First thing you should you know before your consultation or your first laser appointment is that you cannot have any tan on at all. The skin needs to be completely bare as the laser is seeking out pigmentation and if you have tan on your skin the laser could aim at the tan rather than the hair follicle. The second thing you should know is that you need to shave the day before. The hair cannot be above the skin as the laser will just burn the top of the hair, rather than going down to the root.
This sounds simple enough but on my first laser appointment I had to be sent home as I FAILED on both counts. Firstly I had not worn tan in over a week and the day before I scrubbed with a exfoliation mitt and a body scrub. I came out of the shower bright red and thought every inch of tan had been stripped from my skin, but I was so wrong. Therapie have a lotion to cleans the skin before the treatment and the cotton pad picked up some tan from the skin so we couldn’t continue with the treatment. The therapist also let me know that the razor I was using was not giving me a tight as shave as they would like. I use a gillette venus which is pricey enough for a razor but she suggested I tried a mens disposable razor instead. Luckily Conor had some at home, little BIC ones that cost a couple of euro per pack and I swear this was the best shave ever. If I wasn’t getting laser hair removal I would be totally converted to mens disposable razors for life.
ANYWAY I was lucky enough to get an appointment for three days later and this appointment didn’t take away from the set of treatments I am paying for. I also want to add that in no way did my therapist make me feel bad or that I had wasted anyones time, which I personally felt I had. Unsurprisingly this is a beginners mistake that a lot of gals make as we just love our tan so much.
Finally the day came and I was tan free (this would have been a lot easier if I started in the winter!) and tightly shaved and the treatment could begin. Below is a picture of my legs before, I enhanced the image slightly just to give you an idea of how my legs look even when shaved. My pores are really visible and if I had put tan on it would have sank right in the pores giving me little brown dots all over legs.
My therapist was a different Michelle and she was so friendly and made me feel really relaxed and comfortable. A towel is provided for your modesty and you have a few minutes to take off your clothes and set yourself up on the bed. If you are someone who gets a bit awkward with nudity and strangers you just have to take a moment and think that these ladies do this all day everyday. Theres is probably nothing they have not seen before and they are total professionals. Michelle started by cleansing my skin and used a white pencil to mark out the areas of my treatment. She started with my underarms and this was mostly pain free but I could tell when the laser hit a more coarse hair and that felt like a slight pinch.
Next was the bikini and I am not going to lie this was a bit more painful in general, but totally bearable. I think that I have a low tolerance for pain and getting a bikini wax kills me and for me this was more comfortable, and a lot quicker. I think most people have a pretty sensitive bikini area so a little bit of pain is to be expected.
Finally Michelle moved to my legs and honestly this could have been a massage, I felt no pain at all and just relaxed at this point.
While the laser works on your skin there is also cold air being blasted on the area so you feel no heat and the sting is very short lived and quickly eased.
Aloe Vera gel is then applied all over and that’s the end of that. I think the entire treatment took about 30 mins, it was so much quicker than I expected and not nearly as painful as I expected. In regards to the pain, everyone is different. My sister is currently getting the same treatment and she finds her shins quite sore but isn’t bothered by other areas as much.
Once home I have my aftercare products that include the Aloe Vera gel and an exfoliant. The Aloe Vera needs to applied two to three times a day on the treated areas for a few days after the treatment to counteract the heat of the laser. If I remember correctly the laser is about 55 degrees and your skin is not used to that type of heat at all. About 5 days after the treatment you then use the exfoliant on the skin to ensure the pores are not clogged and the hair can grow out without issue.
This was a few hours after the treatment. If you look really closely you can see a little bit of redness on the skin but it didn’t feel sore or dry. For 24 hours you have to avoid any exercise, warm showers and direct sunshine which is a great excuse to keep your feet up and catch up on some Netflix.
After the treatment there is a little bit of a waiting game. The hair is still growing under the skin but is no longer attached to the follicle so it will grow out and eventually fall out, aided by some gentle exfoliation. There is no instant change and the hair will take a week or so to grow out.
I am so excited to have started my hair free journey, and I will be updating you on how well the process works for me. If you are like me and have been thinking about it for years, than I would just say go for it, get your free consultation and see if it is something that would suit you. Not everyone gets a good reaction from laser and if you have fair hair I think it is less likely to work, so just find out for yourself. I personally went with Therapie as I know a lot of people who have been treated by them and received great results, they were also slightly cheaper than other places I looked at but the prices in general seem to be low at the moment.
My next appointment is in July, 6 weeks after my initial appointment, so you can expect an update then on how the treatment has worked so far and if my second session is as painless as the first.
If you do have any questions about this treatment please let me know, I will try my best to answer them. The point of me sharing this experience is to give you an honest review and let you know what to expect if you decide to try it out for yourself.
Until next time,
I borrowed my featured photo from my latest style post, which has been my favourite Summer look so far. Get all of the details by clicking here.