Skin Care

Laser Hair Removal 101

In 5th grade, with a dose of confidence and after many rehearsed conversations, I asked my mom if I could shave my legs.

She said no.

While I’m sure the 26-year-old me would agree with her, the 5-year-old me did not. I thought my legs were too hairy, the hair too dark. They didn’t look like the legs of my friends, who I’m sure were already shaving theirs. So after some crying and begging, I got my way.

That was the first time hair became something to remove, something I even thought about. From then on, it consumed every day in little ways. I’m sure I don’t have to get into it because pretty much everyone hates shaving, and waxing, and tweezing, and the myriad of other ways we get the hair off our body. I even wrote about epilating, which while effective, hurts like hell.

So, I did it guys. After 16 years of shaving, I finally went for laser hair removal. And I’m SO HAPPY. I could write a freakin’ book on it but I’ll keep it brief and let’s stick to the comments if you have questions about something I didn’t cover!

First, a little on what I’m doing.

I ultimately decided to do my full legs and almost a full brazilian. I bought a package of 9 from this laser center, and after I complete 9 sessions I’ll have $1 touchups for life. They use the Candela GentleMax Pro®.

I’ve also had a few sessions on my lip and chin area, for which I have been going to this center. I have not bought a package because I don’t think it will take very many sessions for me to be happy with the results, and the realer reason is I don’t want to spend more money than I have to.

Why laser hair removal?

What pushed me over the edge and made me finally begin laser hair removal after years of thinking about it was ingrown hairs. All of a sudden, I started getting them like crazy on my legs. I had all these little red marks that took forever to go away, and on top of that the little black dots that can sometimes show started becoming more and more visible.

And shaving just honestly sucks. I started getting waxes on my bikini but even that was just so much work for so little payoff. I figured with all the money I was spending on waxes, I could stay hair-free for(almost)ever.

Does laser hair removal hurt?

My answer is no. Not at all. But then again technicians told me I must have a high pain tolerance. I know some people need to take breaks in the middle of a session, and while I’ve never even considered this, know that if you need to they should be happy to work with you. The GentleMax Pro® laser that is used on my legs shoots out a cooling gas with every hit of the laser so you mostly just feel that, and the Alma Soprano Ice that is being used on my face is actually known as the painless laser. So if you are especially nervous about the pain, go for a laser center that uses the Alma Soprano Ice.

My results, 3 sessions in.

I’ve had 3 sessions on my legs and bikini, and after every appointment I am so impressed. The hair doesn’t fall out immediately after a session. What happens is the root is killed by the laser, and then over the course of a week or two it wiggles out and doesn’t come back. So while you might have to shave for the first week or so after a session, after that you’ll be silky smooth for a few weeks until the next round of hair grows in. The hair that does grow back is sparse, so if you’re like me and lazy, you might find yourself never shaving at all.

Already, the skin is so much smoother and softer than it used to be. My skin tone is evening out (because I no longer get ingrown hairs, and because you can’t see the dark hair under my skin anymore).

How much does laser hair removal cost?

I couldn’t decide whether to add this section in. I am slightly embarrassed by how much I’m paying for this, but anyone considering laser hair removal should know.

For my legs and brazilian, the total came to $4,083. This is for a package of 9, with $1 touch ups (per pulse) for life. This also includes about a 15% discount for buying a package and more than one treatment area. For my lip and chin, it’s $50 each per session.

I’ve seen it cheaper than this. I’ve watched videos where people have gotten their whole body done for less than I paid (seriously, WHERE are these people going?!), but throughout everything I’ve seen, unless you’re getting a groupon this is about what you should expect to pay, too.

You should check because there can be big differences between clinics. For example, if I were to get my lip done at the location where I get my legs done, I would be paying double. So, choose wisely.

How to choose a laser hair removal center.

I did a ton of research before deciding on the place I wanted to get laser hair removal done. I suggest you read reviews, check out the location’s website and facebook, and send them an email. Before I booked any appointments, I reached out and asked for quotes so I could compare pricing.

If the cost is your main concern, you could grab something off groupon—I was too nervous to do this. I wanted to make sure I was going somewhere I could trust to do a good job and not burn my skin. After comparing prices, I went with reviews and intuition to choose where I got it done.

Another factor in choosing where I got my laser hair removal done was the actual laser. I ran into a few again and again, and went with what was hailed as the gold standard. The Candela GentleMax Pro® (which is being used on my legs and bikini) and the Alma Soprano Ice (on my face). Both have multi wavelengths, so it’s safe to use on light and dark skin.

I still have lots of time ahead of me before I’ll be 100% hair free, but the difference already has been so incredible—I only wish I did i did it sooner. My advice to you? If you can afford it, and if it’s something you want to do, go for it. If you have any questions, leave me comment below. Let’s talk hair removal!

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