Total Regrowth, Money Down the Drain - Gaithersburg, MD
I had significant hair growth on my upper lip and...
- 9 Oct 2009
I had significant hair growth on my upper lip and chin. I was sick of shaving and plucking, and I was tired of the hit to my self-esteem and femininity of having hair on my face. I did my research and found that I was supposedly a good candidate for laser hair removal because I have very dark hair and very light skin. It also seemed like it would work more quickly and possibly with less overall pain than electrolysis.
So I bought a package of 6 treatments of the upper lip and chin, from the chain near me. I was told that, while I might not achieve total permanent removal, the hair would definitely be reduced significantly for good (the staffer I initially talked to use the figure of a minimum of 50% reduction long-term, and most likely more). There was NO question about that. Absolute assurance that with this package, I'd never see more than 50% regrowth, ever.
On to the treatments themselves: I got a different technician every time. There was no consistency. Some of them were good (caring and knowledgable), and some of them were bad (not paying attention, uncaring, rough, unskilled). They even had different levels of education! Some were just trained by the chain, while some were physician's assistants or nurses. Some of them tried to minimize the pain through numbing cream and ice, and some had apparently never given the slightest thought to such.
IMPORTANT POINT (!) Some of them would shave the hair first, and some didn't. I found that if the hair were allowed to remain sticking up from the skin, it would get caramelized onto the skin--BURNT like molten lava onto your skin. So always shave before going, or else get a technician who knows what they're doing. This is especially important because they ASK YOU NOT TO SHAVE BEFORE YOUR FIRST AND LAST APPOINTMENTS so that they can take pictures of before and after. Don't listen to them. Shave. They've already got your money, they don't need promotional material from you too.
As for my results: in the short term, it certainly did the trick. But the hair would always start to regrow between appointments (which are spaced 6-8 weeks apart). Even after the last treatment, hair started coming back after a couple of months.
After maybe a year, I could no longer deny that ALL, absolutely 100% of the hair I'd originally had had returned. If not more.
I finally did go for electrolysis. I paid lots of money all over again, and had dozens of sessions over a couple of years. BUT the electrolysis finally did work. My upper lip today remains totally free of any dark hairs, and my chin only has a few noticeable hairs, that are finer and much sparser than they used to be. And, most importantly, the hair isn't regrowing. If I went back and had another couple sessions, I'd probably remove 100% of the chin hair as well (I moved, that's why I stopped).
If you have the money, I suppose laser hair removal could be an acceptable option, provided you realize you will have to continue having treatments on an ongoing basis. Laser hair removal outfits have not been allowed by law to advertise as providing "permanent" hair removal, but some people still have the conception that it will be permanent. For most people, it really isn't at all permanent. It just lasts longer than shaving or, if you're lucky, than waxing.
If you want PERMANENT hair removal, get electrolysis. Yes, it's painful and expensive, but once you are done with it, you are done with it.
I got a different technician each time. If you're going to do it, I think it would be better to get it done with one provider you can come to know and trust.