Didn't Know Not to Go to a Medi-spa - Seattle, WA

Note: make sure you read the updates below, as I...

Note: make sure you read the updates below, as I had the treatment again in 2012 with much better results.

About 6 years ago I decided to do laser hair removal. Like most women, I was sick of shaving & waxing so a permanent solution was very appealing. I had my underarms and bikini area done. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that the results would differ depending on who did the treatment. I thought laser hair removal was laser hair removal, end of story.

I was wrong, clearly, and my results didn't last. I can't tell any difference at all now. I have considered trying it again but this time at a doctors office, but haven't wanted to plunk down the chunk of change for something that may or may not work. If you decide to do it I would highly recommend not making the same mistake I did by going to a medi-spa.

Updated 4/10/12

Trying again, with the LightSheer Duet Laser!

A board certified dermatologist's office was running a special on laser hair removal and I decided to give it a shot. I'm having my underarms treated. I figured if I see great results from that it will be worth it to have the bikini area done.

I bought a package of 6 treatments (usually runs $500) and had my first one done today. One of her staff members, performed the actual treatment. It was super, super fast. It barely hurt, but the weird thing was the suction from the machine. They told me it would suction me, which I thought was weird, but it also kind of twists your skin, or at least feels that way. Like I said, not painful at all, just weird.

They have you take your deodorant off and recommend you don't immediately re-apply, so make sure you aren't going anywhere you would really need it afterwards. The other kinda weird thing was that you can't spray tan for 2 weeks before. I knew about not doing regular tanning, but didn't know about spray tanning. I just went last night, so that was kind of a bummer, but since I do the lightest color, and its not sprayed right on my armpits the doctor felt it was fine to go ahead with treatment.

My armpits don't hurt at all right now. They don't look red at all, everything is completely normal. I'll keep you posted on what I'm seeing - hopefully this works well! :)

Updated 10/18/12

Today I had my last treatment that was in the package of 6 that I bought. Thus far I have had really good reduction. There is definitely still hair, but it is considerably sparser and finer. For me, this is great. Before I couldn't shave everyday or I would get red bumps from the irritation, but I needed to shave if my underarms would possibly be seen, otherwise it was yuck-o stubble! Now I can easily skip a day, maybe even two, but could definitely shave daily if I wanted to.

I'm of course hoping to see a bit more reduction after today's appointment, but even if I don't I would still be happy with the change I received. They turned the machine up even a bit higher this time since I had tolerated the other setting fine. It was definitely uncomfortable, but since it goes by so quick its not a big deal. I would say that at the highest level I received it is slightly more uncomfortable than sugaring/waxing.

I'm going to be curious to see how long the results last. Knowing my body I am guessing I will have to go in for yearly touch-ups, but that is fine and well worth the reduction in hair!!

Updated 3/18/13

Unfortunately the hair has started to grow back. It still seems less than it originally was, but I was hoping to have the reduction I saw at the end of the treatment last for at least a full year, then have the regrowth I'm seeing now start in the next year...oh well. I'm considering doing another round, but am holding off because I'm not sure the cost is worth it. It if were less expensive I would just do it regularly, and view it as a maintenance thing.

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What's the update on your hair re-growth? I had my pits done at a medi spa and 2 years later it's like if I never had it done.
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Yeah, its definitely coming back...unfortunately. I might do another round, because it did work, it just seems it didn't last as long as I had thought/hoped it would. I'm just having a hard time justifying the cost though.

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I just bought another round with a Groupon deal. Yes, I grouponed, and I had good results with that office and the special came on again. It's $199 for (3) medium areas. I also bought (3) rounds for a large area, which is gonna be my legs because if I can reduce the regrowth on my legs alone I would be jumping for joy. I'm Hispanic so my white legs and black hair is not easy to hide unfortunately. Try Groupon and yelp the reviews for the office holding the special and see what machine they use. If all is good go that route. I'm doing electrolosis on my bikini line and not sure how I feel about it. On my 11th hour on my bikini line alone.
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I'm freaked out by electrolosis. I don't know why, I'll wax, sugar, laser - I just haven't been able to bring myself to try electrolosis, which is silly really.

I hope your areas go well. I would love to do my legs, but most of my leg hair isn't dark enough for the laser to pick it up, but its not so light that it can't be seen either...so I'm stuck with the razor for now.

Oh the things we girls do!!

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Megan, I have an appointment at a medi-spa today! Oh noes! Where did you go?

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I forget the name of the place. It was in the Alderwood mall, on the right hand side as you walked out of Nordstrom, but it has been gone for a year or two. I'm not sure if they closed completely or if they just moved locations.

If you can cancel & go to a derm, I would, but of course I would feel that way after having no results long term. :-/

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It's not b/c the person was not a derm, it's b/c they were a poor technician. Derms don't have the time and endless hours of experience that a dedicated laser technician might have. that's why you see some really crappy advice here from docs re: laser removal. Just wanted to add that here in case people are looking for their own clinic. : ). The person looking needs to learn about lhr, namely what laser they need for their skin and find a reputable clinic with lots of reviews on yelp, etc.
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Yes, and the most recent session of LHR I had done was also by a tech, but at a derm's office. I don't have a problem with a tech working on me, but do want to know that they were chosen by and are are working under a board certified doctor, and not just an MD, or perhaps even operating solo depending on the laws in the state they are in.

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Anne, I'm so happy to see your comment! You are absolutely correct. A doctor does NOT make a better a better laser hair removal technician. In fact, doctor are not required to and typically have ZERO training when it comes to this procedure. While laws vary from state to state on who is allowed to perform the procedure, you want someone who is truly certified in laser hair removal. Just because someone has attended med school doesn't mean they have the training and knowledge for ALL procedures.
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It was a tiny bit, but I have a pretty high pain tolerance...especially if I think the results will make me look/feel better! From what I remember it kind of felt like little zaps. It wasn't pleasant, but it was far less painful than waxing or sugaring. Maybe that was part of the problem, maybe I needed a big ol' zap to really take care of it! ;)

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Mind passing along the info for the new place you went to? I'm trying to find a good but reasonably priced place for my sister in seattle. Would prefer a place that uses lightsheer duet. Thanks.
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Hi Megan,

Was the Laser Hair Removal procedure painful at all?

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