Laser Hair Removal: My Experience So Far

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Body Hair: LITERALLY the worst thing ever for a girl.

If only our eyebrows & head hair grew as much as the hair on our legs, am I right?!

I’ve tanned skin and dark features so evidently I have dark hair on my body, which I hate. I’ve been shaving since I can remember and to keep em’ smooth I have to shave consistently (which is every damn day) and even at that sometimes they don’t look 100% hairless, which again is a pain. And not to mention the ingrown hairs and razor burn. No thank you.

Before summer I tried to look for alternatives. I couldn’t do waxing. Not a chance, the pain is just too much and I honestly think I would kick the poor beautician out of terror! Plus it’s quite expensive to get waxed all the time once you get in the habit of it. You can always buy products and do it yourself, but in my opinion I wouldn’t have the balls to pull the wax from my bikini line, ouch!!

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Threading is fine for small areas such as eyebrows, upper lip, chin etc but it isn’t very ideal for any large area as the skin needs to be stretched and the pain probably would be too intense on sensitive areas.

I tried hair removal products and creams but if you have thick/coarse hair it doesn’t work too well. It works well on fine, thin hair but not so much thicker hair. So basically someone who hasn’t started shaving yet or else on areas that haven’t been shaved a lot.

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So last but not least was laser hair removal. I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews about the technology and the claims so I was intrigued to find out for myself. I didn’t want to go through all the pain and expense for something to turn out to be a letdown, especially if I had such high expectations for a service. I decided to shop around and a clinic that really stood out to me was Havana Therapy Clinic. With experienced doctors and nurses, brand new technology and great reviews online I thought I’d go for a consultation. One thing I loved was the location, it’s a 10 minute walk from Dublin city centre and the Red Luas Line leaves you right outside it (National College of Ireland stop). The staff were extremely friendly and helpful, not intimidating at all the way I would sometimes feel in a salon/clinic environment.

July 2016

Consultation: I chatted with one of the lovely staff (Karen) who informed me of laser hair removal, what to expect realistically, information about hair growth and what sort of results would be possible. I then asked about more specific information like how many sessions would it take for me to see results. As my skin is darker it means I have more melanin and pigments in my skin. This can sometimes mean people with darker skin wouldn’t see results as quick as people with lighter skin. I was also informed that when getting laser hair removal treatments you can’t do sunbeds (considering majority of young people in Dublin do these regularly this is important to know). And before each hair removal session, you need to be fully shaved in the areas you’re getting laser removal – another thing I didn’t know. So after knowing all the information I needed to know, we done a patch test to ensure I was 100% suitable for the treatment. She also talked me through a questionnaire concerning my lifestyle, habits, medical history and skin concerns such as tanning habits, allergies etc. The areas I was looking to get done was the underarms and the bikini area.

September 2016

Session One:  After the patch test was successful, I contacted the clinic to schedule my first session. Each session is supposed to be about 4 weeks apart. I was going away on holidays a month after consultation so I had to wait 8 weeks between the consultation and the first session. The reason I couldn’t go too close to my holiday is because when you’re away in the sun, the melanin in your skin increases and the pigment can change when you tan in the sun. So to be safe we pushed it out an extra month. The first session was painful, I’m not going to lie. The hair removal machine is called the LightSheer DUET by Lumenis.

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The system itself is very fast and not as painful as the other machines on the market. As the laser head is wider than most others, it means the laser can cover more skin in a faster period of time than if the laser head was smaller. This decreases overall pain time, which is definitely a bonus for me. I was initially terrified before the first laser beam but to my surprise it wasn’t as bad as I thought, and the session was over before I knew it.

Changes/Results Since: After one session I was not expecting to notice much of a difference at all. Having darker hair it is definitely not just going to fall off and leave me bare overnight. But 3 weeks after the first session I can say I am shaving less and the hair isn’t growing back as dark. Let’s see how the next few sessions go..

October 2016

Session Two: Knowing what to expect pain wise from the first session, this one wasn’t too bad at all. The power of the machine was on 6.0 which was the same as the first session. The bikini area is definitely more painful than the underarm, being a very sensitive area and obviously having more darker here, the lazors work twice as much which then HURTS twice as much. Still not half as bad as the pain of waxing and it doesn’t last too long which is also a plus. Overall pain for this session 7/10.

Changes/Results Since: The hair didn’t magically disappear, because let’s be realistic it was only my second proper session. BUT I did start to see a difference towards the ends of month. This is when the hair cycle changes, so the hair that you’re shaving the first week will eventually fall out after the hair cycle which is after 4 weeks. So if each session is removing let’s say 20 hairs, after each session there will be less hair there to fall out which leads to bald, absolutely beautiful bald skin!!!! YES PLEASE

November 2016

Session Three: The strength of the lazors were increased from 6.5 to 7. I didn’t really feel much of a difference on my underarms, for some reason it’s never too bad there but the bikini OUCH! I was on my lady week (sorry too much information) but just so you kmow it’s a lot more sensitive during that time so if you’re booking sessions try to avoid those weeks. The pain was a bit more intense I even had to squeeze a towel to release the pain. How and ever, still less sore than waxing that area! This session was probably a 9/10 in pain, because the bikini area was so sensitive.

Changes/Results Since: OK OKAYYYY; now we’re talking. MY HAIR IS FALLING OUT! Wow, I never thought I would be excited about saying those words, ha-ha. But for real. I am seeing a real difference.

My underarms aka central park – I only have to shave them 2-3 times a week and let me point out I used to have to shave them every.single.day.  Very happy with the progress so far.

December 2016

Session Four: Another session with the strength of 7.5. It was not as sore as the previous session I think it’s because the more you do either the higher your pain threshold becomes or else you’re used to the pain so it doesn’t hurt as much. Either way I find the  sessions ar getting shorter and the pain is becoming bearable. Under my arms doesn’t bother me whatsoever when getting lazored and with the bikini area, there are some areas I know are going to kill so I prepare myself. The good thing is the lazor only zaps the area once, and my beautician (Karen, she’s amazing always makes me feel super comfortable) puts a cold product on the area straight after which cools down the burning feeling and stops the sting. The pain is getting better and I’m getting smoother 🙂

Changes/Results Since: There’s a HUGE difference now in comparison to my first session. The hair is growing back a lot slower, and some areas don’t grow hair much at all anymore so it’s a little bit patchy. The hair is also a lot thinner and finer. The best thing for me is that shadow that shaving leaves is so much less visible. Anyone with dark hair/skin will know exactly what I’m talking about, and it’s horrible having that when you have a strappy top on makes you so paranoid so I’m very happy this is getting rid of that.

January 2017

Session Five: This session felt so QUICK. The pain on my bikini and underarm area was a lot less than before and the lazor strength was increased to 7.5 which is crazy to think it hurts less. The reason why is because there’s less hair and the hair is also thinner, so it doesn’t hurt as much compared to the first session when there was a lot more hair. I also had my first removal session for my upper lip and chin area. I don’t have much hair there but being dark skinned I would get them waxed/threaded regularly so to have the few hairs removed for good would be amazing! The face is a lot less intense than the other body areas, as your face is sensitive and a small area the lazor equipment is smaller and you get a protective gel over the areas to prevent any burning of those areas. I honestly didn’t feel any pain with that area, a couple of little pincher over the few hairs but that was it.

Changes/Results Since: I am so impressed with how much less I have to shave my underarm and bikini after 5 sessions, as for my face I haven’t seen much growth but the only bad thing is that when getting lazor hair removal they require you to shave the areas rather than wax/thread, so I’m not looking forward to having to shave my face and I hope it doesn’t look bad. A girl stash? Not cute! But hey this is the process to never have to worry about it ever again, so screw it!

February 2017

Session Six: This session was an extra special one. Caroline Hooper (director of Havana Therapy) was doing my session this month for a special digital media session. I was getting my first session for full leg & forearm only. Keith, one of the owner’s of Havana, and the videographer were present during this session as they were filming some footage for the interview we done before the session. You can check the video out below!

The forearms were not sore at all, not one little bit! I never waxed or shaved my arm before and the hairs are quite thin so during lazer it didn’t hurt at all, literally 1/10 pain factor. Pain factor for for the legs differed. The lower leg; around the ankle area, was the most painful I thought. The hair was more coarse there as that would be an area that gets shaved more often. The lower thigh was totally bearable and the upper thigh, below the bum, was quite tender. Overall I would say leg pain was around 6/10. You would think getting full leg & arms the lazor session would take a long time but I was in and out in about 30 minutes, maybe even less!

Changes/Results Since: After one session on my forearm I can already see a difference. The fact that I never shaved my arms before means they’re not at the stage where the hair is coarse yet, which means I’ll see quicker results on my arms in comparison to areas such as bikini which has thicker hair. I notice I’m shaving my legs lesser also. My thighs are not growing back as quickly but the lower leg would need a couple more sessions to see real results.

March 2017

Session Seven: For this session I just got my bikini, underarm and upper lip. It was too soon after the first leg and arm session to have another lazor treatment on them as they were still quite tender. As time goes on I’m finding the pain a lot more bearable on my body. When I got my first session on my bikini I nearly screamed the roof down as I wasn’t used to any sort fo waxing/lazor feeling at all down there but now that the hair is becoming thinner and even vanishing in some areas, the pain has lessened which I’m very pleased about. The underarm doesn’t bother me at all and the upper lip is fine too. Overall the pain has decreased and the sessions are super quick; so if it’s uncomfortable it doesn’t last longer than a second.

Changes/Results Since: HUGE difference now from when I had my first session. As someone with darker skin, darker hair and a lot of melanin in my skin; it takes more sessions to see a real difference. For someone with fair skin, fair hair and less melanin they would need less sessions to achieve the desired result. A few years ago it was unheard of for people with darker skin to get lazer hair removal that’s safe and effective; so with the new technology Havana Therapy offers people with all skin types that get the smooth hairless skin we all want. I am so pleased with the change in my hair cycle. I’ll keep you updated with each session.

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21 | Dublin & Toronto | Multimedia Journalist | Advice, Lifestyle, Beauty, Fashion & Travel Blogger |

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