Several years ago I had laser hair removal on my bikini area. I was so sick and tired of shaving every single day, or every other day, or worrying about ingrown hairs and getting a close shave and yadda yadda yadda. I thought through the pros and cons, weighed the expense and decided it was the best option for me. When I tell people I have had it done I am usually hit with a bunch of questions. I thought I would answer them here and maybe help you decide if this investment is right for you.
1) Did it hurt?
In a word, yes. In more than a word, yes, it hurt so much that when I think about it I can’t believe I kept going back for more and more. That’s the thing with laser hair removal; you have to go several times over the course of a year! In my case, several times over the course of 2 years because the process was so painful I kept cancelling my appointments! Now, to be fair, I will say this: it hurts a lot more in the beginning when there is more hair to be zapped. As you continue to go it gets easier and easier because there is less hair. The laser blowing up or melting or obliterating the hair follicle (I don’t really understand science) is what hurts, so once the hair follicle is gone, the pain is less.
2) What did it feel like?
It felt like someone snapping a million zillion flaming hot rubberbands in the exact same spot at the exact same time. The technician pulls the trigger on the laser gun (or as I like to call it, “torture device”) and BAM! For less than a second you feel that laser shoot through you. Then he/she moves the laser to a new location and BAM! It’s (less than) a second of sheer pain. Not a big deal, you might think, the pain is less than a second … but Oh MYLANTA! They have to do the entire area and that can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes! And I have not even mentioned the smell of burning hair that accompanies it. The whole experience blows, even with Lidocaine cream applied before your appointment to numb the area. All that does is give you a false sense of security that evaporates with the first zap of the laser.
3) What did you skin look like afterwards?
Once the appointment was over I was pleasantly surprised that my skin hardly had any reaction to it. It looked slightly sunburned and was swollen for a few minutes but within an hour looked completely normal. Well, almost normal. In the beginning when there was more hair, some of the hair had literally melted to my skin so it needed to be plucked off. Even if you shave prior to your appointment the hair pops up and out of your skin when zapped by the laser. The hair looked like tiny lint balls stuck on me. Gross. Everyone knows lint belongs in your belly button only.
4) Was it worth it?
Absolutely. No doubt about it. Heck yeah. It has been years now and yes, I do occasionally have a crazy stray hair that pops up, but in general I don’t ever have to shave that area… ever.
5) Side effects?
Well, yes, there has been one side effect I have noticed. I guess, and I really dunno here, just speculating, that your body makes a certain amount of hormones and other things specifically to grow hair on your body. When you remove the hair from one place, the body just randomly decides to grow hair in ANOTHER place. I don’t know how it decides where, maybe it rolls some dice, maybe it consults other organs, maybe it’s like spin the bottle. What I do know is that I am now the proud owner of two or three absolutely RIDICULOUSLY dark and gross hairs that grow on my left thigh. It’s like my Great-Aunts’ mustache, just a little more sparse and on my thigh. Sigh. When I think about it, it is a small price to pay for never having to shave my bikini area again.
That’s it! That’s my experience in a nut shell. If there were anything else that I could share with you, it’s that I had a friend who had the exact same procedure done in the exact same salon as me and she had little to no pain. None. I kind of wanted to get a bag of rubber bands and snap them at her when she told me that, but I have to recognize that everyone has different pain tolerances, sensitivity levels (I guess I am super sensitive in that area… Hello boys!) Another factor that comes into play here: how fair your skin is and how dark your hair is. I am pretty pale and my hair is super dark, so according to my laser technician I am an ideal candidate for laser hair removal. The laser is really able to target the dark hair and go right to the hair follicle. This means more pain (yuck) but more effective and fewer treatments! Woot!
Have questions? Want to know where I had the procedure done? Want more advice on this topic? Do you have tips or tricks relating to this? Let’s hear ‘em! Leave a comment.