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It’s summertime and we all want to wear cute shorts and dresses, right? But, can we all be bothered to shave or wax every few days to make sure your body isn’t showing any glimpse of unwanted hair? If you’ve answered, “No!” then let’s talk laser hair removal. Shall we?

 

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We hairy girls have become well-acquainted with pain and suffering. Chances are, we were getting dragged to our first eyebrow and upper lip threading appointment in middle school. We graduated to getting our arms and legs shaved and waxed during high school. And by the time summer before the first year of college came around, we were going full-on Brazilian. What did all of these “milestones” have in common? Lots of tears, random breakouts, and pain.

[Read Related: Sugaring: A Homeopathic Alternative for Hair Removal]

If you’re anything like me, then you hate hair on your body. I mean seriously, I want every inch of hair removed from my body minus my head and eyebrows. I tried everything from Nair Hair Removal Cream to at-home wax kits but the hair just kept coming back. Fast forward 5 years, I’m out of college making some good money, and it was time to invest. And when I say invest, I mean in myself. After a lot of research, I decided I wanted to go down the route of laser hair removal. It’s definitely a nerve-wracking process for some people who don’t have the facts, so here are my 10 truths about my laser hair removal experience.

1. Laser Hair Removal Is Expensive

Each part of your body you decide to get lasered costs a different amount. My upper lip started at $600 for six sessions. BUT, this is how they get you, six sessions are not enough to stop your hair from growing back fast. Therefore, you end up purchasing another six sessions for better results. Personally, I’d rather just cough up the extra cash and be done with one part of my body. Strapped on cash? Check out Groupon for good deals. Make sure the place is legitimate. Since it’s summertime, you can also find great deals at your local spas that’ll do a full-body session at a great deal! Just remember to do the right research before committing. It’s good to look into the details and spending a bit of extra cash when it comes to your body.

2. Shaving Your Face Sucks

The worst thing about laser hair removal is that you have to shave anything you get lasered. That’s very doable for parts on my body but I hate shaving my face. During one of my treatments, I used a hair trimmer, I personally prefer a razor over the trimmer. The trimmer didn’t remove all my hair completely so during treatment I smelt burnt hair—what’s for dinner tonight? Nehal’s hair. Best practice, in my opinion, is shaving a day before your appointment.

3. Each Part Of Your Body Grows Hair Differently

At the end of your laser hair removal treatments, all you want is RESULTS. Results vary from area to area because each part of your body grows hair differently. As I mentioned earlier, I had double the amount of treatments on my upper lip and chin area to stop it from growing back so fast. But for my bikini treatment, I see a huge difference in my hair growth each time I go in and I’ve only had about 4-5 sessions so far.

4. Laser Hair Removal Does Not Cause Cancer Or Infertility

This is a myth that brown aunties probably started. Laser hair removal does not cause cancer or infertility—radiation by laser hair removal is so small, it is nearly inconsequential. I don’t know about your mom, but my mom is the type of person to say “you’ll have problems having a baby” for almost everything that is medically approved. Birth control? Don’t take too much, you’ll have problems having a baby! Laptop on your stomach? No, no, you’ll have problems having a baby. But don’t worry, laser hair removal is completely safe and FDA approved. For now, nothing proves that the radiation causes skin cancer or any sort of major side effects. But, as I stated before, it’s important to do your research and ask questions when you go in for a consultation, the professionals will have all the answers for you.

[Read Related: Busted! 5 of the Biggest South Asian Skincare Myths we all Believe]

 

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5. Talking To Your Technician Helps

I can see how one might think having your legs wide open for a completely random person can be awkward, especially when she’s staring right at your hoo-haw. But, I can assure you, talking to your technician eases the pain. I’ve found making conversations with my technician and having her talk me through the process lessens the blow. I also had her wipe my tears at some point.

6. No Gym Or Sun For 24 Hours

Tip: It’s best to get laser hair removal in the wintertime.

The heat from the laser stays in your skin for 24 hours so no gyms, sun, saunas, and hot showers. I highly recommend following this rule because you run the risk of creating a lovely warm environment for bacteria to multiply and give you spots.

7. Laser Hair Removal Is Not Permanent

Laser hair removal is NOT a permanent solution, but it is as close as it gets. In reality, only 70 to 80 percent of hair will be completely removed. Damaged follicles may still produce hair, depending on the level of damage. If you see good results in the middle of your treatment, feel free to extend treatment to every six months instead of monthly. This way you can save your sessions to when you really need them. Most people say laser lasts them 5 years and then they start getting treatment again, others get one session every year just to maintain it. Again, these are generic timelines based on what people feel is most common, but your skin and hair type is very specific to you so you may need more or fewer treatments depending on how your hair grows back.

8. Ice Is Your Best Friend

When you go to your laser appointment, they ask if you want to ice the area before they laser it. SAY YES. I spend a good 5-10 minutes icing my bikini area because the number it is, the less pain. A lot of times they’ll make you ice one half of your body/face while they laser the other.

9. Laser Hair Removal Is Addicting

I love laser hair removal. I just want to look like a naked mole-rat. I’m at the point where I’m getting a few treatments done at once just to have the hair gone faster in those areas. If you have the cash for it, just start on one area of the body and work your way down. The most common areas to get laser hair removal is your upper lip, chin, sideburns, underarms, and bikini.

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