Being Eastern European, I've always had dark...
20 Oct 2014
Day of treatment
Being Eastern European, I've always had dark coarse hair on my legs, biking and armpit area. I could live with shaving my legs (which at some point I'll get lasered as well), but what would drive me crazy is shaving biking and underarms. I could never have a clean bikini shave without breaking out in bumps and then having stubble the following day, along with painful ingrown hairs. Same with my armpits, I would shave and by the end of the day, you could see stubble. I was pretty embarrassed to raise my arms when wearing tank tops. Even after investing in expensive razors and specialty shaving creams, only made small difference in having a smooth appearance for a brief period. At first I purchased a groupon for 6 sessions of brazilian waxing. Apparently, my hair was resistant to that. When they say smooth skin for at least 2 weeks, it was actually 2 days for me and I'm not exaggerating. At least, I hope that after all that waxing, my hair would become thinner with time. Well, not really, when it grew back, it was just as thick and coarse as before. Finally I bit the bullet and decided to try laser. I called several spas and clinics and settled on one with most reasonable pricing and good reviews.
The cost of $850 included a package of 6 treatments for one area and plus another one for free. So I chose brazilian and armpits.
The first appointment was nerve wrecking to say the least, the anesthesiologist was very professional and warm. She explain the whole procedure to me and what to expect. I diidn't know what to expect the first time and was completely terrified. First she did my armpits, it stung a bit, but not terribly since I've waxed before and was used to sensation. Then came the bikini area. One thing that I will tell you is that shave as close as you possibly can to the skin either the night before or morning of the appointment. The longer the hair is, the more painful it will be.
I would say the best way to describe the sensation is being electrocuted with a hot needle. I tolerated the top part of my biking and sides well, but when it came to neither regions and labias, I twitched in pain several times. I will say that it was more painful than getting brazilian waxing done, even though it was over quicker.
Both the armpits and biking took 30 mins.
So far I've done 2 treatments and have 4 more to go. She did reassure me that my hair is responding well because I have a good combination of light skin and dark hair which is ideal for laser. She also told me that each consecutive time it will be less and less painful because the hair will slowly disappear.
Post treatment, there was a burning sensation and red rash all over for 2 days, then it slowly subsided. Little black dead hairs started popping up and then just flaked off. My hair really didnt regrow for 2 weeks and then slowly started coming in very sparingly and lighter in color. I would say that after first treatment there was a 60% reduction in hair in biking and probably 80% reduction in armpit hair.
I just had my second treatment today so excited to see how it'll go this time.
I'm going to research some safe numbing creams for next time because even though it'll hurt less, its still pretty damn painful to deal with.
21 Apr 2015
6 months post
Sorry for not being able to do more frequent updates, but I thought I'd check in again. I did my 5th treatment today. The results are mixed, most of the hair on top is gone, but because it's so difficult to reach certain spots on the sides and under when shaving, using the laser on those areas is extremely painful. I would say that I have a pretty high tolerance to pain, but I end up twitching and shaking with each zap. It definitely does not feel like a rubber band being snapped against the skin. It feels more like being jabbed with an extremely hot needle over and over again. If you're like me (light skin, dark coarse hair, eastern european descent), you may have a hard time too. The anesthesiologist had to use lower frequency area for that region because I was almost in tears due to pain. Today, since there was reduction in hair from last treatments, she decided to increase the level of frequency to speed up the process of hair loss. After the treatment I was in a lot of pain and discomfort for couple hours. It felt like having a severe sunburn and it would hurt everytime anything came in contact with it like underwear.
Also, do not use numbing gels containing lidocaine intended for tatoos or waxing, I had the worst reaction to it not only did it not numb anything, it left me in an unbearable amount of pain which felt like first degree burns. I literally could not move for 2 hours because I was in so much pain.
While this has not been the most enjoyable experience, I would probably do it again or maybe research other types of lasers that cover larger areas at once. As I mentioned before, I have had some regrowth in the area where its hard for me to reach with the razor or where it's too painful to use the full strengh dose, but I definitely see the difference in the amount of hair regrowth and smoothness. I will also give kudos to my anesthesiologist, she's been great.
The picture below is from today post treatment, I always get this bruising which goes away in 2-3 days then becomes covered in scabs which then fall away after a week or so.
I have one more treatment left in 2 months and hopefully that will take care of the rest.