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Laser Hair Removal

a type of cosmetic treatment to remove unwanted body (or facial) hair.

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Laser Hair Removal = Best $$ I Ever Spent

  • May 4, 2009
  • by
I got on the laser hair removal bandwagon fairly early on - starting treatments when I was a junior in college, around 2002, continuing on and off until today (literally, I just got a treatment three hours ago).

I first heard about the wonders of laser hair removal from a fairly trustworthy source: mom.  My mother had gotten her entire body "laz'd," as we dubbed it, and vowed it was the best thing that had happened to her since she discovered you could just eat brownie batter straight and not go through the trouble of "using the oven" to "bake them."  In other words, it was a very good thing, indeed.

Like my mom, I have super light skin and super dark hair, making me an ideal candidate for laser hair removal, especially seven years ago (they've since developed lasers for darker skin, or so I've heard).  Furthermore - and TMI ALERT, sorry - I had horrid ingrown hairs, esp on my bikini line and my underarms.  And I mean, really, really awful.  Not to mention, I tend to be one of those people who compulsively picks at ingrown hairs, so ... yeah.  It just wasn't attractive. Plus, my skin is so light that even when I did shave (or wax) and managed to avoid ingrowns (which never happened), you could STILL see the dark hair in the follicles underneath the skin, creating an overall effect that could only be described as ... greenish stubble. Yuck.

My experience
I forked over a ton of money (and I mean A LOT.  It's pricey, but so worth it - see bottom 'graph regarding the financial aspects of laser hair removal.), stripped down, and let a host of different ladies zap the crap out of my legs, bikini area (um, Brazilian bikini area, which is a whole 'nother level of "Intimacy with Pulsed Light & Strangers") and underarms.  Because I was a poor college student, I started with my underarms and a few sessions on my bikini line - definitely the best way to ease into it.  I saw results INSTANTLY.  It took two or three sessions and I never got another ingrown hair - ever.  By five - six sessions I didn't have to shave ... at all.  Ever.  For a woman whose stubble could once rival a drunken sailor's - this was a miracle.  I felt like those girls in the NAIR "Who wears short shorts?" ads! Except without the disgusting chemical NAIR part!

But does it hurt?
Well ... yes.  and no.  Sort of?  Okay, here's the deal: we're women.  We put ourselves through such a spectrum of pain to look & feel good - from 4'' heels to mascara to slimming devices (sorry, control top pantyhose, I'm talking to you!) to botox to that awful stair-climber thing at the gym - that this, in the general scheme of things, isn't that painful.  That said, it's not exactly like getting a massage.  It does hurt, especially at first, when you have more hair.  In fact, I used to take extra strength Advil about a half hour before my first couple of appointments.  But then, as you have fewer and lighter hairs, it almost doesn't hurt at all (like a rubber band snapping your skin.  Sort of annoying, but certainly not painful.)  And it definitely doesn't hurt more than a bikini wax!

My recommendations
  1. If you can afford it, buy the biggest package possible, but at least six.
  2. If you can't afford it, know that even only one or two or three treatments WILL help.  The biggest change I saw was from the first through the fourth treatment.  That got rid of about 50% of my hair PLUS my ingrowns, and the hair which grew back was MUCH finer, softer, and lighter.
  3. It's best to try to find a place which allows you unlimited touchups after your six treatments, or however many is in your package, because you *will* need touchups (I need them about every 3-6 months).  If they don't offer that, try bargaining for it, or at least get them to throw in 2 years of free touchups!  Especially in this economy, I bet they'll give you something!

Regarding the Price
If you're hesitant to spend the money, but you already get waxed, do the math: a bikini wax ranges from $40-$75 a pop (not including tip), depending upon where you live and whether it's a Brazilian, etc.  Let's say you get a wax every six weeks, or approximately 8x a year.  That's $320-600 / year.  For the rest of your life, or until you get married/stop caring (ha).  I've probably spent $2500 over the last 7 years on my laser hair removal, which averages out to $360/year, and had I been smart enough / had enough foresight to find a place with free touchups, I'd be paying $0, so that dollar amount would fall every year.  As it is, my touchups are still less $$ than waxing, and the myraid other benefits (ie: being able to throw on a swimsuit without having to schedule a wax = priceless.  Not worrying that guys will think I have an STD when I just have ingrown hairs = REALLY PRICELESS) would make it worth triple or quadruple what I paid.  (I hope no salon owners are reading this!)

If you live in New York, try:
Advanced Derma Tech - 420 Madison Ave, # 406, (212) 421-8858 www.advanceddermalaser.com (I got the majority of my treatments done at Advanced Derma Tech, and I can't recommend them highly enough.)
Beam Laser Spa - 1841 Broadway, # 806 (between 60th St & 61st St) - (212) 245-2577
Completely Bare - 764 Madison Avenue, # 3R (212) 717-9300 www.completelybare.com

Bare Legs Hair Follicles

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More Laser Hair Removal reviews
review by . December 31, 2010
An Effective Way To Get Rid of that Unsexy, Unwanted Hair!
This is a totally unsexy topic, but I am tackling it.      I was introduced to laser hair removal in college by none other than my dear mother.  She knew about my annoyance with having to wax and shave, so she decided that once I was in college, I was ready to be introduced to the trusted staff at her go-to medspa.  My mom treated me to several sessions of a treatment area, but due to the cost, I hadn't gotten any laser hair removal sessions since then.     …
About the reviewer
Julia Allison ()
Ranked #297
Hi. I'm Julia. I am, as I say in my bio, personally & professionally, a handful. Also? Rambunctious, indefatigable, sometimes a little over enthusiastic. But I mean well.I've been a columnist at Time … more
About this topic


Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses laser light — an intense, pulsating beam of light — to remove unwanted hair. Laser hair removal works by passing a light beam through the skin. The laser targets dark pigment, called melanin, in hair. When the light beam hits the hair follicle (where hair growth originates), the intense heat destroys the hair follicle instantly.

Laser hair removal is used for people who want to remove unwanted body hair. Common treatment locations include legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and bikini line. However, it is possible to treat unwanted hair in almost any area of the body.

Although laser hair removal doesn't guarantee permanent hair removal, it does extend the hair-free period, which can vary from several months to many years. With multiple treatments, long-term hair removal is possible.

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