My Experience with Laser Hair Removal
There are so many ways to get rid of unwanted hair, whether that be shaving, waxing, epilating and so on. You may have tried all the above, but have you looked into laser hair removal? As someone that’s been doing laser hair removal for over 6 years, I believe I can share my experience with it and whether it’s worth your time.
But firstly, what is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that uses highly concentrated light to penetrate hair follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorbs the light and that destroys the hair.
There are different types of lasers used depending on your skin type. The most popular lasers used are Alexandrite, Diode and Nd: YAG. Alexandrite is best for light to olive skin, Diode for more pigmented skin with darker hair, and Nd:YAG for dark skin. As a black woman, my treatments are performed using an Nd: YAG laser, which penetrates deeper into the skin, avoiding any potential scarring and other adverse effects. There was once a time when darker skin types couldn’t do laser hair removal however, thanks to developments in science, skin of all colours can now benefit from this great procedure.
Once I started my course of treatments, after 1-2 sessions, I noticed my hair begin to drastically shed out the follicles completely, which at first left my legs looking patchy, but eventually left me with baby-smooth skin. And the best part about it? No ingrown hairs! It was the best feeling after years of struggling after shaving and waxing, using different ingrown hair solutions to help treat the problem. Of course, I made all my friends touch my legs and in turn, converted them to starting their own laser hair removal journeys. If you have a low pain threshold like me then you’ll be happy to know that laser hair removal is much less painful than waxing in my opinion. Many people say that the laser pulses feel like warm pinpricks or a rubber band being snapped against the skin.
Before you start sessions with a clinic, be sure to have a consultation first with a trained technician to discuss the process and the lasers they use. A reputable clinic won’t start treatments until a consultation is completed. Remember to ask any questions you may have If you have darker skin like me. Don’t be afraid to ask the technician if they work with dark skin and what differences they make to accommodate us. I would research their website and social media pages to see the clients they work with and the results they’ve had. They should also give you a patch test to make sure you have no adverse effects from the laser. If you use certain medications or have any type of hormonal imbalance such as PCOS like me, it’s good for them to be aware as you may need to have more sessions to see desirable results.
An important thing to note is that when starting laser hair removal-the key here is consistency. Any specialist will tell you that if you are consistent, you will see a visible hair reduction by as much as 90%. Laser hair removal is not a 100% permanent procedure. If you don’t attend sessions regularly, results will fade, and it won’t be long before your normal hair growth is back. In the past, I’ve gotten complacent and paid the price. Most people remain hair free for months or even years. When some of the hair regrows, it’s usually finer and lighter in colour. However, to keep the area free of hair, you’ll need maintenance laser treatments. Board-certified dermatologist Dr Zakia Rahman M.D says, “It’s like an exercise routine in that it only works if you stick with it.”
You need to start a course of roughly 6-8 sessions, treating every 4-6 weeks. Once the course is finished, you can then evaluate how often you’d need to go for top-up treatments. I go for upper leg top-ups every year, but other areas such as bikini every 2-3 months.
Price wise? Laser hair removal is not cheap. Depending on the area treated and the number of sessions, this can set you back hundreds of pounds. The average single full-leg laser session compared to waxing is at least double the cost. However, over time as the colour and thickness of your hair reduce, the cost will balance out. According to skin Clinics, the average female spends £6500 on razors and 8 weeks of her life shaving, so laser hair removal can be a worthwhile long-term investment. Look out for regular discounts from clinics or get referrals from friends. Some clinics may also allow you to spread the cost into monthly instalments.
Bear in mind that you can’t do laser hair removal if you’re going to be exposed to the sun, so I’d suggest if you’re interested, start now to be beach ready by summer.
To conclude, is laser hair removal worth it? Absolutely! But it’s definitely an investment. Though no ingrown hairs, no razor burn, baby-smooth skin, and a visible reduction in hair growth? Sign me up!