laser hair removal, my experience
I've recently gone for my first appointment at laser hair removal here in Sydney after many years of having stopped the treatment. I first started laser hair removal when I was in my early twenties, from memory. This feels like it was a very long time ago, and yet it was definetely quite a few years back.
I'll explain why I started the treatments to then stop and find myself starting it all over again many years later. Back to when I lived in Canada, I'd go on a regular basis at the beauty salon with Mum to get all those things done that us girls enjoy getting done. Laser hair removal was one of those things her and I would get done together. I was instructed by my aesthetician at the time that being fair or light coloured in terms of hair pigmentation would be more difficult to target the hair follicle by the laser. Hence making it futile undergoing treatment for those areas on the body where my hair was going to be too light. But how light is too light? Given the hair on my legs is quite lighter than my underarms and bikini line, I could only get those two areas done. I always thought it was a shame that I couldn't get my half leg done as I thought I could benefit most from this. What seemed like months and close to a couple of years of doing the treatments, I noticed and felt little change in terms of hair growth. Sure I had less of it and the hair itself was not as strong or hard but it did not show promise of stopping to grow altogether anytime soon, which is what I thought would ultimately happen. So I decided to stop the treatments for these reasons.
Fast forward years later and an unexplainable urge to take care of my body more than ever (probably due to my age which is ever-so-quickly increasing), I've decided to give laser hair removal one last shot. Why you may wonder? ..As though I'd not learned from past experience. My hair feels more coarse and thicker than ever before and I'm not sure why. I just couldn't take it anymore, shaving only felt like it made matters worse and waxing is too damn painful! Maintaining hair growth quickly felt like a chore and would bring on irritation (And stubborn ingrown hair follicles from waxing which would annoy the **** out of me) to my skin more than anything else. I always dreaded having to shave my legs or underarms. And the option of not doing any of these and going granola was not exactly.. well, me! Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against being your natural self and letting your hair grow on your body, heck I've let it happen so often in the past, especially during winter time when wearing long pants. But at the end of the day I'd love to feel good in my own skin and just enjoy taking care of my body no matter the season or what I'm wearing. I knew it had to be done and take the risk of it not yielding the results I'd so hoped for. Long story short, I could not be happier with the results and would only suggest for others who are going through what I have struggled with in terms of hair growth to undergo the treatments. Sure, it can be a tad on the pricey side but I believe it is worth the investment. Plus, who ever said there was a price on feeling great in your own skin!? ..Right?
After my first treatment, I immediately noticed results. I still can't believe how quickly and significant these results are. I immediately had barely any hair regrowth and the hair itself has become so dramatically less coarse. Not to mention the hair has not grown back entirely. You will notice it growing back in patches in certain areas. Between my first and second appointment, which was 6 weeks apart, I only needed to shave my legs twice. And I didn't have to really as there was barely any regrowth, I had chosen to. Whereas before, I would have needed to shave at least 12 times, if not more. Crazy difference.
Although there are many different locations and beauty salons where the service is offered, I choose to go to Laser Clinics Australia, in Leichhardt.
Depending on your skin colour/complexion and natural hair colour, you will generally need approximately 6 sessions of laser hair removal before you can achieve zero regrowth. After this you might need to return for an added session once every 6 months or so for maintenance purposes. Again, it all depends on your skin and hair pigmentation but the above can be clarified or confirmed if you choose to attend a free consultation at the laser clinic.
Now is the best time to start if you're seeking to achieve your desired results by summer. Another reason it is best to start in the Autumn or Winter is that you will need to avoid direct contact with sunlight and tanning will need to be at minimum during treatments. I did not want to have these constraints during the hot months of summer and that is the reason I chose to start at the beginning of winter.
There are different machines which are used for laser hair removal and these vary in terms of how effective they are and these also can provide different sensations and levels of physical pain. The machine that is used on me at the LCA is the Candela GentleLASE Pro (Best used on lighter complexions such as myself). I would not say that it is painful, but rather temporarily uncomfortable. If I had to describe its feeling for you to have an idea, it's as though someone were using a rubber band and snapping it onto your skin. It's that quick pinch-like feeling that you feel on your skin. Of course there are certain areas that tend to be more sensitive than others but all in all, it is more bearable than waxing with my sensitive skin.
I used to worry about needing to shave before going to the pool, gym, yoga class, and never felt like I had that ready to go at a moment's notice, flawless skin. I would also worry about how long it could take me to shave all areas needed, worry about cutting my skin whilst shaving, etc. I can finally be ready at a moment's notice and for whatever situation I may find myself in. And it's such a great feeling.
***It is important that while I have provided my own knowledge of these treatments through my own personal experience and opinions, it is always suggested to book in a complimentary 15 minute consultation with one of the Laser Therapists at your nearest clinic location***