Your either one of the lucky ones or you're not. I fall into the ‘not so lucky’ category.
For as long as I can remember I have been waxing, shaving, plucking, threading. I finally had enough and a few years ago decided to go down the laser hair removal route. Firstly it can be expensive and painful but effective on the ideal candidate; candidates with dark coarse hair. I would recommend you book for a consult if you are interested. If laser is applied to the wrong type of hair it can have the opposite effect and encourage hair growth.
I started with laser hair removal on my face including upper lip, sides, chin. I was always obsessed with being hair free, so had started to wax parts of my face in my teens and I hated having ‘sideburns’ . I wanted to be able to put my hair in a pony tail without being conscious. Over time, my sideburn hairs were not fine and thin and this was really effecting my confidence. I wanted a permanent fix to avoid spending half my life dealing with hair removal. I did my research into laser hair removal and on the whim booked a few sessions with a well known clinic in London to get parts of my face worked on.
I was sold on laser hair removal as being a permanent thing but I soon came to realise that it wasn’t. Initially a minimum of 6-8 sessions are recommended at an interval of 4 weeks. Having only just finished university at the time, laser became a little expensive so I decided to go to a place a little cheaper. However I felt that the beautician would retentlessly advice and laser parts of my face I did not desire, neither consent, to be lasered. When you're trying to minimise hair growth, that's the last thing you want.
Since then I have been with a clinic in Marylebone (for the last 3 years) and I can say that I am much happier with the overall results. About two years ago I has 6 sessions done for full legs, bikini, under arms, and forearms. They offer discounts and have looked after me after every treatment.
With my face hair, I still get treatments every 5-6 weeks. In between, any hair growth is much lighter and less noticeable. With my body, I only ever got 6 treatments, but the whole hair texture, growth has changed and no more ingrowns! Since then I have been much happier and only ever wax. NO MORE SHAVING. What I can say is thats it less of a chore and just easy breezy!
Below are a few things to remember about Laser Hair Removal
The laser beams are zapped onto your skin along with very cold air flushing your skin. The laser feels like small zaps/ elastic band smacks on the skin. Its more painful when the treatment is on skin closer to your bones ( cheek bone, jaw, chin, ankle)
You can only shave the hairs in-between sessions. NO OTHER Hair removal methods . Laser is directed towards the hair follicle. Shaving is the only method that will keep the follicles that are required for laser.
Not to take painkillers before a treatment, without first consulting with your clinic as to which ones are fine to use.
You will need to wear SPF, ALWAYS. Since I started my treatments, I have worn SPF everyday. Not wearing SPF can cause hyper pigmentation on the skin.
You can get burnt! I have been burnt on my upper lip and I have a small scar. I dont know if its because there was some lip balm there or what, but since then I have always ensured I have nothing greasy on my face.
You can't have a laser treatment if you have a tan or are on antibiotics. You need to allow 10-14 days after treatment has finished and the tan has faded.
Not advised to have just before a very sunny hot holiday.
I have had to allow 10 days before or after a laser session to have a facial.
Laser hair removal can make your face go red, blotchy and bumpy (the bumpiness has always been a sign of effectiveness of a treatment) . This does however die down after an hour or so.
You will have to be make up free for all sessions.
Not to wear heavy makeup straight away, as your pores will be open and you do not want to block them. My skin gets quite red so I just use some tinted moisturiser and go straight home.
Not to use any chemical or acid products on your skin prior to treatment. If you're not sure ask your consultant. From other peoples experience and me using Retinol A and AHA Products, I've had to ensure I do not get my skin burnt or swelled up like someone I know ( chip munk faced!)
I am not an expert or beautician so this blog is based on my knowledge and experiences. If you are interested, make sure you do some research and get any queries / questions answered by someone who knows what they are talking about.
I have been having laser done for the last five years and I am lucky enough to have been able to afford the face sessions on a yearly basis (I try and space out the 6 sessions over 1 year). I am overall very happy with the end results. I am not sure how long I will need the treatments for, as it hasn't been permanent but has reduced hair growth dramatically.
If you have any questions, just drop me an email. I know its a sensitive issue and I have been conscious of it for years but I can say I worry less about it now than ever before.