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Any Laser Hair Removal Experiences?


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#1 rosieposie

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    Posted 24 April 2010 - 06:39 PM

    Looking at doing a couple of spots (underarms, bikini & legs) anyone else considering this?

    Would be nice to not have to worry and fuss about those hairs for the wedding ... and thereafter...

    wondering if it's worth the investment.

    #2 cristinimartini

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      Posted 24 April 2010 - 10:06 PM

      Hi RosiePosie!!

      I started laser hair removal in February of this year. I go to American Laser Centers, so I'm not sure what the equivalent would be in Vancouver, but they've been great so far!

      One tip: DO NOT ACCEPT THEIR PRICE AS THE FINAL PRICE.

      If you go at the end of the month, when they're quotas/numbers are due, they'll definitely be willing to work with you. ALC has constant "coupons" or "discounts" like Buy One Area, Get One Free or 35% off your first package, 40% off your second...etc.

      The laser should have a cooling system built in to minimize pain and discomfort both during and after treatment. With my skin, you can't tell that I've been lasered after my treatment, but some people do turn red for hours, up to a day or so afterwards. ALC recommends treatment every 6 weeks, so I will have had 3 treatments by the time I leave for my DW. My packages with them include 6 treatments, and then two years of maintenance treatments if I need them. So I'm happy with that!

      The technicians I've had think I'm crazy because I laugh at them when they ask me if it hurts. The first time I went in, I actually asked the girl if she had started yet because it didn't feel like anything but a piece of plastic rolling along my leg. I tell them to crank it up to the highest setting because it doesn't hurt. They just shake their heads. I mean, I have some tattoos, and I don't think they hurt, but I guess I have a high pain threshold. You never know how you'll react to it until you're actually doing it. When you go for your consult, ask them to test it on you. I never did, so I was nervous my first time, but then quickly realized it was nothing.

      My little sister is the one who got me to go, but she did it the long way. She did it part by part. I said "do it all!" and so I ended up paying about 60% of the price she did.

      I'm very happy with the results so far!! The hair which is darkest on the skin which is lightest is the hair that will go quickest and you'll see the best results after just one pass. Usually that's the bikini area.

      Your hair will be gone until your hormones or drug regimen changes. Depending on your age and health, it could last for a LONG time.

      Let me know if you have any specific questions!!

      Best of luck, and my vote is to GO FOR IT!
      Christine

      #3 Ayita

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        Posted 24 April 2010 - 11:23 PM

        Hi rosieposie,

        I did the full thing about 4 years ago. I did it in France, before coming to the USA. In France laser treatments are necessary done by doctors, so I trusted it would be done properly. For instance, the doctors would do the face area themselves, and not let the other operators do it, to make sure there was no "accident" (imagine being left with a burnt scar or a white spot ony our face). I don't know about the US - but in Switzerland where I was working at the time, the laser treatments could be done by beauty salons and I really did not like this idea.

        Let me start by saying I could not be happier. I finished the treatment in 2007, just before moving in to the USA, and my legs and bikini remained like baby skin. I have a few hairs under my pits (maybe a dozen each side), so I know I need to go back one day so they erase those from the surface of earth, but in the meantime this sooooo less cumbersome than having to was every 2 weeks - which I had to do before. So YES ! Definitely a GREAT investment. Probably one the best things I did in my life :)

        Keep in mind the results when reading all the negatives I'm mentioning below. For me, it was totally worth it, and I would redo it if I had to !

        I first wanted to do one zone, then the other, but after seeing the waiting time and all the annoyance of the anesthesic cream that you have to apply all over and leave for 2 hours before you get your treatment (this is how they did it in the place I went to), I decided to do everything at once. So I did my armpits, bikini (not Brazilian but pretty full zone down there), whole legs (ie thighs included) and upper lip. Where I went to, the also did the toes complimentary with the legs and the tits areola region complimentary with the pits, so I also did those. and while we were at it, they also nicely removed (also for free) a very ugly and nasty brown spot I had on my face.

        The first thing to pay attention is the kind of laser they use. For instance, I have a friend in New York who has been doing laser for now more than 4 years ! Her package includes as many sessions as she needs, but the truth is, the lasers are not efficient enough and she has to keep going back !! As a reference, it took me only 1 year to complete the whole process and the hair never came back ! When she mentioned to me she could go back to work after each treatment, I went "uh oh ?" because my treatments were really burning me, and the only thing I could do afterwards was apply the medicated burn cream treatment (the same they use in hospitals for burnt, and that we commonly use in France for bad sunburnt) and lay on my stomach. And I was super red, and swollen ! So going back to work ? Not possible if the lasers they use are efficient. Happily the discomfort only lasts for about a day or so.

        I went to a place that used Alexandrite lasers. I know there lasers are not for everybody (specially darker skins) but for me it worked great !

        I found a website where they explain well (and objectively) the difference between different lasers :

        LASER HAIR REMOVAL

        Here is what I experienced with the Alexandrite.

        Because the lasers are really strong and can cause burns and depigmentation, the first thing they should do is a test on your skin, to determine how much heat you can safely take - the amount you can get determines the length of your treatment. For me, who is pretty fair skin with dark hair, I could go with the least number of sessions. I had a friend who is mixed, so her hair is also dark but her skin much darker. Because of this they had to use less power and she had to go to more sessions. For her the doctor took care of her completely because of the risks associated with using Alexandrite on draker skin.

        During the whole treatment, it is extremely important that you avoid sun exposure, because if you tan, they cannot perform the treatment - you could stay with white spots or burn severly (the laser technique is using the pigments to conduct heat. So if your skin is pigmented, then the heat goes to your skin !). I remember that we were both on the beach during the summer and not taking off our wraps to protect our legs and bikini region from the sun ! But it also involves wearing powerful sunblock on your face if you're doing any area of your face.

        For me, it did hurt a lot - but I had a lot of hair and sometimes, several hair per hair "hole" (not sure how you call this in english). The way it works : the heat is conducted through the hair to the root of the hair and makes the latter implode inside of your skin. I compare it to having a rubber band slapped onto your face at the spot of each hair ! Now you also understand why you get red

        The first 3 months was the major investment : the second session is 4 weeks after the 1st session ; the third session 8 weeks after the second ; meaning you have done your first three sessions in 3 months. Then all other sessions were 12 weeks apart (3 months - which makes it easier to save for the money of one session - which was close to 500$ in my case due to the fact I was doing full body - that was approximately the cost of waxing in the same interval so it went OK with the budget). As I mentioned before it took me about a year - 7 sessions exactly to be hair free.

        Because of the length of the cycle of a hair growth, it is apparently unnecessary to come more often than every 12 weeks with the Alexandrite at least. They actually say the same on wikipedia :

        Laser hair removal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        Hope this helps !

        #4 rosieposie

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          Posted 25 April 2010 - 01:15 AM

          wow! thanks ladies, that's such great info!
          i'm going to check out a couple of popular places around town, get a consult and go from there.


          i'm kind of wanting to do my upper lip too, but worried about burning or getting a whote patch or something on my face....

          #5 greysgirl

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            Posted 29 April 2010 - 07:30 PM

            Getting laser hair removal is one of the best decisions I've made! I've had my upper lip, arm pits, bikini area, navel, and full legs done. The annoying pain is worth every bit of not being a cactus! I used to have to shave my arm pits twice a day because the "5 o clock shadow" would drive me nuts. I now shave my arm pits maybe twice a month...and the occasional hair I do regrow is fine and lighter colored.

            I hear that the laser doesn't work well on all skin types and hair colors. For example, my friend is a strawberry blonde and she was unable to do it. I am a brunette with moderately fair skin, so it works well on that contrast.

            I have had my lip done twice, my legs done 3 times, and my armpits and bikini area done 4 or 5 times (this was all a few years ago). I went in for a complete touch-up a few months ago, and won't have to again for a few years I'd bet. That being said, lasers REDUCE the hair, not REMOVE....thus you will regrow some hair. It's just so nice to not worry about shaving all the time. Plus, I was really prone to ingrowns, and nothing is more embarrassing than having a nice big ingrown hair in your bikini area ;-)

            I actually put lidocaine cream (numbing cream) on my armpits and bikini area before I had lasering there. I had heard how it hurt, so I went in prepared. Let me say, I sure knew where I failed to put the cream!! LOL!

            I agree that shopping around and negotiating is an excellent idea. A lot of med spas are willing to make deals, especially when the economy is down a bit. Plus, ask each laser place WHY their laser is superior. I had 2 friends who lasered at a different center than I,and had virtually no reduction in hair. You want to get good results when you spend that kind of money.

            Good luck with your search for a good laser. You'll be very happy you invested the money!

            BTW, I didn't burn on my face at all....but it is possible to burn your skin.

            #6 Ayita

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              Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:26 AM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by greysgirl
              I have had my lip done twice, my legs done 3 times, and my armpits and bikini area done 4 or 5 times (this was all a few years ago). I went in for a complete touch-up a few months ago, and won't have to again for a few years I'd bet. That being said, lasers REDUCE the hair, not REMOVE....thus you will regrow some hair. It's just so nice to not worry about shaving all the time. Plus, I was really prone to ingrowns, and nothing is more embarrassing than having a nice big ingrown hair in your bikini area ;-)
              I have to disagree with what you say, maybe it is because you did not do enough treatments ? In my case the hair is GONE forever, the only place where I currently need a touch up is my arm pits (and I have only maybe a dozen under each pit, and they are very fine and lightly colored). But for my legs and bikini, nothing came back at all - not ONE hair. And it's been 3 years now.

              The place I went to explained this very well - the hair has a growth cycle. First it grows, then t regresses and falls off, then it rests befor growing again. If the hair is in regressive phase, it's not stuck to its roots any more and so even if you see it and the laser catches it, it does not achieve the burning of the root, which is what does remove all the hair.

              So if you want to catch them all, you have to come every 12 weeks during at least 6 times, because every time you will catch new hair that was not out when you first came, or that was in its regressive phase (called anagen or catagen phases).

              If you come regularly over a period of a year, you actually have a pretty good chances of catching all of your hairs - because they will all have been in their anagen phase during that period of time. It worked for me. :)

              #7 rosieposie

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                Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:30 AM

                i've booked my consultation for next week!!! I'm so excited!
                I think I'll start with the bikini and underarms.

                i'm a little nervous about the upperlip because its my face....so we'll see how these go first.

                Thank Ayita! I'm now prepared that I'll probably have to go in quite often.

                #8 cbell

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                  Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:45 PM

                  Good luck, you'll love it! I had it done to my underarms and legs and I'm so thankful I did. I used to shave my underarms daily because I couldn't stand any prickly feeling there but now I only do it once a week to get the few stragglers. Just make sure you put the numbing creme on before you go in for your first visit. They failed to tell me about that before my first appointment so I went for it without it and thought I was going to pass out from the pain. Legs didn't really bother me, just around the shin and ankle but nothing compared to the underarm pain....

                  I would love to do my bikini area but I'm too chicken, hats off to you ladies that have done that! But I'm curious...when I put the numbing creme on my underarms I had to wrap saran wrap around them to make sure it stayed in contact with my skin and didn't rub off on my clothes. How did you use it for your bikini area?

                  #9 Ayita

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                    Posted 30 April 2010 - 02:25 PM

                    Quote:
                    Originally Posted by cbell
                    I would love to do my bikini area but I'm too chicken, hats off to you ladies that have done that! But I'm curious...when I put the numbing creme on my underarms I had to wrap saran wrap around them to make sure it stayed in contact with my skin and didn't rub off on my clothes. How did you use it for your bikini area?
                    Same thing... you get a roll of suround wrap and you kind of make a big panty by unrolling it between your thighs and going back and forth, and around your waist (and in between your cheeks if you're doing this area too).

                    Then when you walk it makes a weird noise . Not the best part of the experience The first time I got a nurse to help me with it and then I did it myself.

                    #10 greysgirl

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                      Posted 30 April 2010 - 06:27 PM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Ayita
                      Same thing... you get a roll of suround wrap and you kind of make a big panty by unrolling it between your thighs and going back and forth, and around your waist (and in between your cheeks if you're doing this area too).

                      Then when you walk it makes a weird noise . Not the best part of the experience
                      Ha! I always joked about my Saran Wrap panty making noises when I walked into the office (I had mine done at a plastic surgeon's office). The things we women do for beauty:)

                      I just rolled out a big section, folded it in half, put it on against my skin in the front, then folded it up like a thong. I then would put on a panty over it to keep it in place. Definitely sexy




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