I talk a lot on my blog about the hair on my head. Dark, thick and curly, it is a glaringly obvious trait of my half-Greek heritage. What I haven’t addressed is the other trait that was passed down to me from my Greek side: body hair. Which brings us to this post: My laser hair removal experience.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
Looking back at my younger years, I can see now that actually I wasn’t that hairy at all. I had several completely English friends who were far hairier than me and not all of them were dark. I remember one unfortunate girl having thick blonde hairs on her arms that glistened in the sunlight. But she never seemed bothered by it. Unlike myself.
All it took was one comment by a little boy when I was about nine years old to give me a ‘hair complex’ for the next decade. I can still remember the moment. I had just joined a big swim club and was sitting on a bench next to the pool with a group of other kids, waiting for our turn to dive in. I don’t know how the conversation started, but I can still hear the boy’s words as he turned to his friend and said ‘She’s got hairy arms.’ I was absolutely mortified.
Thankfully, my mum was very open about our bodies and whilst some of my friends weren’t allowed to shave or wax, I got my first razor pretty early on!
One of the reasons why I was so self-conscious about my body hair was because of the amount of swimming I did. My sister and I swam competitively for quite a few years and the amount of time we used to spend getting rid of our body hair was ridiculous. I hated shaving because it always left a dark shadow and coarse stubble. So I always opted for waxing, but then you had the problem that you had to leave the hair to grow a bit. I remember once swimming with my arms partially closed over my armpits because the hair wasn’t quite long enough to be waxed off yet! Hahahaha!
I doubt anyone would have noticed but you can imagine the constant anxiety that it brought.
Laser hair removal wasn’t talked about when I was at school, so waxing was my main course of action. Despite being effective, waxing takes time and can be painful. It can also lead to ingrown hairs and irritated skin. By the time I went to uni enough was enough. I was determined to find a solution.
Initially, I thought about having electrolysis which is similar to laser but can take longer. Eventually I did some research into laser hair removal and finally find a local salon/clinic who had their own machine. It is so important to do your research if you are thinking about having laser hair removal. I came across so many ‘freelance therapists’ who claimed they had their own laser/electrolysis machine but ended up being very dodgy. So I was absolutely ecstatic when I came across Bonar House Clinic and booked my consultation.
WHAT IS LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
Laser hair removal is a thoroughly tested, clinically proven long-term solution to unwanted hair. Laser hair removal uses mild radiation via high-heat lasers. The purpose is to damage hair follicles enough to significantly slow down hair growth. I should note here that results are not always permanent and you will need to receive multiple treatments for long-term hair removal. So for example, I had 6 sessions on my legs, each with roughly 6-8 weeks in between to allow the hair cycle to go round again. The therapist would examine the hair, shave it off, then blast cold air onto the area before using the laser wand. Afterwards she might apply some soothing cream.
Onto the important part: does it hurt? Well, in my experience the pain differs depending on which area of your body you are having lasered. I started off with just my underarms before being so pleased with the result that I ended up having everywhere else done. (Yep there too! That was SERIOUSLY painful!) The underams can be quite sensitive and whilst I found that I felt no pain toward the outer section of my underams, as the wand drew nearer the centre where the hairs are at their most coarse, it was pretty painful. However, unlike waxing where your skin might sting for days afterwards, I was fine after each session. So basically the thicker and coarser your hairs are, the more painful it might be.
You will need a patch test before you start your laser therapy and laser is not suitable if you are pregnant, have used fake tan products within the previous two weeks or have had recent sun / sunbed exposure. I tried to start all my laser sessions over the winter so that I had no tan.
After about three sessions I really started to notice a difference in every area that I was lasered. But you do need to have about six to kill off a good deal of the hair. Depending on how hairy you are you might want to top up now and again with another session. For example I think I had about seven sessions on my underarms and these days I literally don’t have to do anything to them. I do have the odd hairs but they are incredibly fine now and the shadow is gone. What I usually do is every couple of months I’ll use one wax strip just to get the area completely hair free. In the summer I stick with plucking the odd one out.
Obviously if you are having around six sessions, the laser process can be very long as you have to wait one-two months between each session. But as I said you will start seeing results early on so it’s all worth it. All in all it took about two and a half years for my entire laser process. In the end I started having everything done at the same time but I would be in the laser room for a good three hours!
EXPENSE vs OUTCOME
One thing I will say on the negative side is that laser hair removal can be expensive. Especially if you are having lots done. I used up all my savings from one summer where I worked everyday to pay for it. For example, at Bonar House Clinic a single session on the underarms costs £78. Multiply that by six or seven and you’re looking at spending hundreds of pounds. However they do offer package deals and I was such a good customer (!) that I always received substantial discounts.
It is worth noting that waxing and shaving still costs money. If you add up all the money you’ve spent on your waxing sessions I bet it would all add up to an extortionate amount. These days I spend VERY little on hair removal products. I can’t even remember the last time I bought a razor.
So despite the dent in my bank account, the treatment has been worth every penny. In fact I would go as far as saying that having laser hair removal has changed my life. As funny or as small a problem as it may seem, the constant battle to remove my body hair really took its toll on my confidence. And I wasn’t even that hairy! For some people it must be a real problem. Now, last minute summer parties aren’t a worry because I don’t have to schedule in a waxing session before I don that strappy top!
This isn’t just something that women might benefit from either. Laser hair removal works on back hair too and apparently a lot of men are opting for the treatment with great results!
So if you’re feeling hairier than a yeti and want to ditch the razors, wax strips and epilators, why not look into laser hair removal. And you too might be looking at a brighter and less hairy future!
This post is NOT sponsored. All opinions are my own. Please read my Disclaimer for more information.