Hello, everyone! My name is Nikki, and I’m here to write a guest blog for Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center. I imagine a lot of you are in the same boat I’ve been in—I’ve recently become really interested in beauty treatments, but the reality is, I’ve been pretty terrified to try new ones because I’m worried it will be painful or that my skin will have some awful reaction to it (and I’ll be honest, I’m a complete wuss when it comes to pain). It’s an especially large problem because, in the case of most of the treatments I want to try, I don’t know anyone who’s actually had them, so there was no one who could give me a no-nonsense first-hand account of what to expect. So, in the interest of offering a helping hand to anyone who’s in the same situation, I’m here to tell you exactly what it’s like to get a laser hair removal treatment (after I finally built up the courage to have it done).
I’ve been a Laser Lights patient for a while, starting out small with SilkPeel® microdermabrasion (which is a great starter treatment, by the way, because it’s really gentle and relaxing but it does wonders for keeping my pimples at bay and it gave my complexion a beautiful glow for my friend’s wedding last summer). But I’ve always fantasized about not having to constantly shave my underarms. I would go through the annoying and time-consuming process every couple of days, only to have a five o’clock shadow show up the next morning…darn my over-achieving hair follicles! So last fall, I finally took the plunge and gave long-term laser hair removal a try.
When I arrived for my treatment, I won’t lie, I was royally nervous about whether the treatment would be painful. In all the blogs and articles I had read, people always described the sensation as a rubber band snap, which in my mind sounded terrible because I grew up with brothers and we all acted very sibling-like, so when I got snapped with a rubber band, it involved my brother’s entire armspan. Ouch. But fortunately, when the laser specialist Christine brought me into the laser room, she was extremely warm and comforting, and she really put me at ease.
Christine began by asking me a few questions about my skin and my medical background—how easily does my skin get sunburnt? Had I ever had laser treatments before? Once she knew how to tailor the treatment to my skin and my hair, I laid back on the chair and she wiped off my deodorant so it wouldn’t interfere with the laser (Pro Tip: if you’re getting the treatment on your underarms, make sure you bring deodorant with you to put on afterward if you’re not going straight home, because I found myself awkwardly keeping my arms down and feeling paranoid the rest of the day about whether or not I smelled).
When my skin was prepped, Christine adjusted the laser’s settings so they were optimized for my skin and hair, and as I held my breath and wondered whether I should have asked for numbing cream, she got started with the first zap. Instantly I felt relieved. What in the world was I so worried about?? There was hardly any discomfort at all. I would probably compare the sensation more to a warm pinprick, although each zap was so quick that it barely had time to hurt at all. On a pain scale of 0-10, I’d give it a 2.
Each zap of the laser covers an area about the size of a quarter, so because the underarms are such a small area, the procedure is extremely quick—it was probably no more than five or ten minutes of actual treatment time. When she was done, Christine put some soothing cream on the skin and told me that I may experience a sunburn-like sensation for the next day or two, and that I needed to be very careful about sun exposure for the next six weeks because combining laser treatments with sun exposure can lead to dark spots or white spots on the skin.
All in all, I found the laser hair removal process to be extremely easy, convenient, and practically painless. I even let Laser Lights take a video of one of my treatments so you can see what it looks like! I’ve now had four of the five treatments in my package, and I’m noticing a huge difference. Christine explained that hairs grow in a cycle of three stages (but not all at the same time—right now, some of your hairs are in phase 1, others are in phase 2, and others are in phase 3), and laser hair removal only affects the hairs that are in a certain phase at the time of the treatment, so it takes a series of sessions in order to catch as many hairs as possible during that stage. In other words, the number of hairs in the treatment area will reduce with each session. I’ve found, though, that not only is most of the area in my underarms fully hairless, but the hairs that do remain are growing much more slowly, so that I only have to shave them around once a week as opposed to once every two or three days.
Ultimately, I definitely give laser hair removal my seal of approval. With any cosmetic treatment, you have to weigh the benefits and see if they actually make up for the time and discomfort it takes in order to get them, and in this case, the results are well worth the brief and mild treatments. The expertise and kindness of the Laser Lights staff are largely to thank for this, so if you’re thinking about trying any cosmetic treatments, be sure to look through their website to see what they offer and check out the Laser Lights Facebook page for more helpful info, monthly specials, and skin care tips.