We have officially begun the laser hair removal certification at CIE! These two weeks have been the most anticipated and I can't wait to spread the knowledge. I had previously received laser hair removal in Boulder, CO and I will also share my experience with receiving treatment.
My experience: Before choosing where I went for my service, I did extensive research. Of course, at the time, I knew nothing about LHR except for that my boyfriend's sister had the treatment, she was hairless and I "HAD TO HAVE IT". I was sold. I read many reviews and checked out at as many websites as I could. Price was an issue but I was willing to pay for a good service as I had heard some horror stories from Groupon clients. Finally, I chose a highly rated and recommended laser studio in Boulder, CO. Every penny I spent was worth it. Before booking I called hoping to ask a few simple questions and they recommended I come in for a consultation a few days later. When I arrived for my consult I was given a lot of information on the DO's and DONT's of LHR. "DO shave 2-3 days prior, DON'T arrive with any previous sun exposure etc." I decided to start with my brazilian, and because I came prepared we did my first treatment that day (I hadn't had a wax in months and had shaved 2 days prior). The technician gave me some safety eyewear, and began the treatment. The studio was so cute, comfortable and CLEAN (a must when you're taking your panties off on a service table). The treatment took MAYBE 4 minutes. I had to ask her to stop once to take a breather as I was clutching the table but it was totally tolerable. After it was done I applied some aloe, put my pants on and went back to work. Nothing seemed to happen until a couple weeks later when my hair started slowly falling out which was very cool. I received three more treatments and each time the pain decreased and so did my hair. I am not finished with my brazilian but don't intend on stopping anytime soon. Being pleased with the results, I ended up adding on my underarms which was a no brainer, I've finished six treatments and am hairless. This is a treatment that I more than recommend!
Q: Does it hurt?
A: I will start this answer by telling you I have a very low pain tolerance. That being said, it's not pleasant but it's quick and tolerable. I would describe it as a mix of a rubber band snap as well as a hot straightener pressing on your skin. I found it to be much less painful than waxing!
Q: What's the downtime?
A: None! After your treatment you may have slight sensitivity but can go about your day. Redness, swelling and itching are all normal post treatment. Because you've had a laser treatment you should avoid vigorous exercise for 24-48 hours and always use an SPF 30+ on the treated area. After having my underarms and brazilian treated I slipped my clothes on and went right back to work!
Q: How long does it take?
A: The laser fires on a small section of hairs in a fraction of a second, an experienced technician can whip through a treatment pretty quickly. Each treatment, depending on the size of the area, varies in length of time. Like I said previously, my brazilian took less than 4 minutes once she began to fire the laser. A larger area like legs may take up to 30 minutes or more. Depending on the client and the laser you may need anywhere from 6-10 treatments for this to be completely effective, during a consultation with your technician they may be able to give you a better idea of number of treatments.
Q: How do I choose where I go for my treatment?
A: REVIEWS! Check out reviews online, what did other clients have to say about the spa and the technician? Do research and make phone calls. Narrow it down to a few places you like and call and go in for a consultation, generally they are free! Trust your gut, if something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.
Q: Is this for all skin and hair types?
A: Unfortunately, no. LHR works by attacking and damaging the melanin in the hair follicle. To do that there needs to be a color contrast, and the larger the contrast the better. So someone with red, blonde or white hair lacks melanin and wouldn't be a candidate for LHR. Someone with darker skin and darker hair would also not be the best candidate because the lack of contrast. It can be done on darker skin types but can take 12-20 treatments. The best candidate is someone with light skin and dark hair. The laser can easily spot the dark hair and zap it!
Q: How does it work?
A: The laser light searches for melanin in the hair follicle, damages it and diminishes it's growth.
Q: I've had recent sun exposure, does that effect my LHR treatment?
A: YES! This is a hot topic for me because I've spoken to a lot of friends that received LHR and don't know about the effects of LHR on sun exposed skin (this includes the use of self tanners). In my opinion because it's so common to have a tan in the summer or use self tanners in the winter months, this should be a priority for your technician to discuss. If you have recently been in the sun or have a tan you are at risk of hypopigmentation (photo below). This happens because the laser is targeting melanin in your hair follicle, when melanin is increased in your skin it can fight that and remove the melanin from your skin, this is irreversible. You don't want that....
Q: What type of laser should I look for?
A: There are a few types of lasers that can be used for LHR. The two I recommend most are 755nm Alexandrite and the 1064nm Nd: YAG. IPL, although sometimes marketed as a laser for LHR, is not effective and should not be used for LHR. You may see this device being used for LHR at a cheaper price, don't fall for it!!
Thanks for reading!