My Experience with Laser Hair Removal
It is amazing, the lengths to which transgendered individuals go to cover up hair. For years, I have been wearing two pairs of tights, one pair of pantyhose and a pair of nylons - just to cover the hair on my legs. No wonder I was so hot all the time. Then about a year ago I got the break I had been waiting for; I was able to shave my legs. Goodbye tights, hello clean-shaven legs! One problem though, the smoothness lasts only a few hours. So I tried waxing and chemicals. Waxing hurt and left red marks; chemicals were not any better than shaving and took a lot longer.
Then came another big break, the chance for permanent hair removal through laser treatments. I am glad I finally got around to having my legs treated. I don’t know why I waited so long. This is great - no more ingrown hairs or blotchy red marks, just silky smoothness.
It started about two years ago when I decided to get laser hair removal treatments for my face. I don’t think anyone can see a difference except the people I have told. Not having to shave has had a few extra side benefits, like smoother, slightly younger-looking skin, and no more razor cuts. No five o’clock shadow, so no more beard concealer.
After experiencing the benefits of facial hair removal, my next thought was underarms. No matter how close I tried to shave, I always ended up with stubbles and razor burns. Wouldn’t it be nice to wear sleeveless tops and be able to raise your arms without showing ugly armpits? Zap, zap, zap and voilà! No more hair, and now I love wearing sleeveless.
Talk about cooling down for the summer and year-round; sleeveless tops and dresses, less makeup and no tights.
Which sounds better? "Honey, why don't we get some laser hair removal treatments?" Or "Honey, I know how much you hate to shave and complain when you cut yourself--why don't we get some laser hair removal treatments for each other for Christmas?" Hm, I wonder if that would work?
Seriously, several people have asked me about my experience with laser hair removal, so here is a bit of information.
The laser treatments are short. No longer than 10 minutes for the face. Actual time the hairs are getting zapped is more like 3 to 4 minutes. For me, most areas are not very sensitive, except for the upper lip. That area brought tears to my eyes for the first 3 or 4 treatments. After the hair thinned out, there wasn't much discomfort. I have been to a couple different places and have found that the equipment and the technician can make a big difference. Too much power or too long in one spot can cause a blister. A numbing cream can be used beforehand if you are prone to pain.
Five or more treatments at regular intervals are needed. Spacing the treatments out over a predetermined period of time catches new hairs in their growth cycle. Not all hairs on your face are on the same growth cycle. Most likely, not all hairs will be eliminated and some touchups may be required.
The first place I went for laser treatments was very lax on spacing the treatments the proper amount of time apart--different areas of the body have different hair growth cycles, and you have to catch the hair in its early part of a growth cycle. On top of that, their equipment was older, which in today's advanced technology market means it was already outdated, but I didn't know that until I went elsewhere. These two factors resulted in less-than-optimum results. I’m so glad I pursued this further, it pays to shop around and ask questions.
The amount of pain is often compared to a rubber band snapping on your skin. That seemed a fair comparison to me, except for the upper lip, which I would say was a very large rubber band. The place I go now has a cold air stream blowing over the area being treated, and this seems to help considerably.
Gray hairs are a problem, and many laser treatments (depends on the machine) do not work on them. However, I have had pretty good success with treating my gray hairs.
Costs vary depending on where you go, whether you buy a package, and how they bill. Some places offer discounts.
The cost for underarms is considerably cheaper. There is very little discomfort; I thought the cold air was more bothersome than the laser pulse, though it didn’t bother my wife at all. Treatments take 4 to 5 minutes. Five or more treatments are needed, but very little hair comes back in between.
Legs are more expensive because of the additional skin area that has to be lasered. There is very little discomfort, only a few areas made me flinch. Timewise, treatments are more spread out and each time less hair grows back.
Several years have passed since my first laser treatment. I love the results and consider it 95% effective. I would suggest getting 6 or 7 laser treatments on an area and following up with electrolysis on the remaining hairs that come back.
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