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Expensive, but Worked for Me.

Back in January 2006, I signed up for a 7-session...

Back in January 2006, I signed up for a 7-session package of underarms, full legs, and bikini line laser hair removal at a place in Seattle that uses (according to their website) the "Palomar MediLux Pulsed-Light Laser System". I missed 2 sessions due to scheduling issues, but even after only 5 sessions, I am still pleased with the results about 2 years later. These days, I probably shave everywhere once a month or so. When I do, I usually have a handful of inch-long, super thin hairs sparsely scattered about. Their laser worked really well for me, but I think I've got the best pigmentation combination-- pale skin with black body hair. At some point, I think I'd like to go back and do a few more sessions to zap some of the follicles that are still producing. Here are some excerpts from my journal regarding the experience: ----------------------------------- Thursday, January 5th, 2006 ----------------------------------- I went in for my first hair removal session this morning. The office was very clean and well-lit. They gave me bottled water while I was filling out paperwork and waiting, which was appreciated. When we went into the room, the aesthetician left me to strip and put a cloth gown on. The table I laid on reminded me of a padded massage table. It was pretty comfortable. When she came back in, we started on my underarms. She spread a cold cooling gel over the area, applied an ice pack for ~30 seconds, sprayed the tip of the "gun" with a freezing agent, and then methodically zapped rows with the small, rectangular-shaped tip pressed directly onto my skin. I barely felt anything. The icepack was easily the most "painful" part. Even now, my skin feels fine. No sunburn-y sensations or anything. I'd say it took roughly 5 minutes per side. The bikini area was a little more sensitive. Except for areas where skin is naturally darker (ow!), it was relatively easy. Took about 5 minutes as well. Moving on. The legs were the most time-consuming, being the largest. She iced areas as she went, starting at the ankle and working up. The ankles and knees were painful (felt like a sharp bee sting every time she zapped; the energy is also drawn to bone, apparently), the tops of the shins were sort of painful, but the rest was easy. Maybe 15 minutes for each leg? Something like that. Even when it hurt though, it wasn't super painful. Just a super quick needle-prick, followed by a brief wash of endorphins. No biggie. Definitely not something I would do for fun, but it's not going to make me dread coming once a month. I was freshly shaved; she says the hair underneath the skin should come out in about two weeks. I've got my next session scheduled for roughly two weeks after that, when the next cycle of hair should be ready. I'll need to be careful to not get too much sun in Hawaii. SPF 30 every day, fo' sho'. Last time we went, I was only there for two days, but had a tan for almost two months! As far as after-effects go, my knees feel a little sunburned, and there's some slight chafing at the inner top of one of my thighs (that's what I get for wearing snug-fitting denim afterwards), but that's about it. Not too bad. Hopefully in 5-6 months (/sessions) from now, I will have a lot less hair to deal with. ----------------------------------- Thursday, January 12th, 2006 ----------------------------------- Hair has been sprouting in the areas that got lasered, but I can definitely tell something weird is going on. The texture is different, and when I grab the ends, they pull out pretty easily. (As someone who occasionally plucks random hairs with her fingernails, I can definitely tell the difference.) 1 follicle cycle down, 5-9 more to go... bleh. :p ----------------------------------- Friday, January 13th, 2006 ----------------------------------- I am now completely convinced. My dead underarm hairs are now practically falling out on their own. It may be TMI or whatever, but I can grab a bunch, pull, and they slide right out without any resistance. Sweet. ----------------------------------- Saturday, February 4th, 2006 ----------------------------------- Had my second hair removal session yesterday. Apparently, during my last one, the laser hadn't been set to maximum intensity... but it was this time! Oh, boy, do I feel crispy. The back of my right knee and the tops of my inner thighs still hurt today (and those each have one purple-ish stripe). Seems like it's already doing its thing though; when I shaved my underarms before the session, I only had ~10 quarter inch long, super fine hairs growing back on each side. Now, there are tons of little black stubbly bits barely poking out, as the skin starts sloughing out all the newly dead stuff. 4 more sessions to go until I am done with the package. After the pain of this session, I cannot wait for them all to be done and over with. (Underarms had still been negligible, bikini felt about the same, but OW... legs were a lot harder to endure this time around.) Thankfully, the tech says I have the smallest surface area of all of her clients who get their full legs done-- yay for petite-ness. ----------------------------------- Monday, February 6th, 2006 ----------------------------------- One thing I sort of forgot from last time: my legs have itched like a m*f* [!!!] since my last laser session. I've apparently itched so much in my sleep that I now have a huge bruise on one thigh. I still have purple-ish burnt patches, too. Next time, I'm going to ask to go back to the weaker laser. I don't care if it takes more sessions... :x ----------------------------------- Thursday, April 13th, 2006 ----------------------------------- Got up early this morning to walk down to my laser hair removal appointment (#4). Almost everything was painless except knees, ankles, and fronts of the shins. I'm definitely noticing improvements already. Not as much hair has been growing back in, and what has, has been very fine. It takes about 2 weeks for me to even start to feel like I need to shave. I love it. I've got 2 more appointments pre-paid. I figure after that, I'll let it go for a few months to see which follicles are still active and if needed, go back for more. ----------------------------------- Friday, June 16th, 2006 ----------------------------------- Had my second-to-last laser hair removal treatment today. Underarms and bikini were almost completely painless (same laser, I think). Legs got a stronger laser and were a bit snappy, especially along the fronts of the shins and behind the knees. I was smart and wore a long skirt today; jeans were just not cutting it on these days. My legs are much happier for it. ----------------------------------- Friday, June 16th, 2006 ----------------------------------- Had my last packaged laser session today. Legs were painful, bikini was kind of painful, underarms were nothin'. I'm going to give my legs and underarms a few months off to see how things go. Right now, I only have to shave once every 2 weeks or so; what has been growing back in is very sparse and baby-fine. As far as I can tell, the only larger contiguous patches I have left are on the fronts of my knees. Whew. As far as the hair removal goes, the worst thing about it hasn't been the sting of the laser. That's done and over with fairly quickly. No, what gets me are the days and days afterwards filled with itchiness. I always end up with Poison Ivy by the Coasters stuck in my head for days on end, too. But yeah, calamine. Oh, yes.
Aesthetic Laser Center of Seattle

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Comments (3)

I find that kind of hard to believe. You must not have been very hairy in the first place. (even if you were a pale skin black haired type)
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When I was in middle school, the kids at my school used to call me sasquatch, gorilla, etc. Now, I'm not as hairy as, say, certain female cousins of mine with much more Hispanic blood, but I have a fair amount of hair for a person with such little surface area. :) I started shaving (against my mother's permission) when I was 11 or 12 because of the ridicule and embarrassment. I am very glad to be nearly bodyhair free these days, lemme tell you. I do small-scale local fashion modeling on the side of my "real" career (tech industry), so I consider the price a sort of work-related expense. I don't think it's necessarily required or maybe even advisable for everyone.
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I had my first session yesterday on my upper lip, chin, and arms. I am very pale skin with dark hair. I was not given any anthesia but the pain wasn't too bad. I am a little concerned about the redness on my arms. It is very blotchy the day after the procedure. I put aloe on it, but it doesn't seem to do anything. Any advice? I do not have the redness on my face where it was treated.
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