During winter it’s not such a problem, when long-sleeved shirts and skirts cover everything up, but summer is high maintenance. Sure I shave every two to three days, but I tend to get self-conscious in dresses as I often worry about underarm re-growth. A more permanent solution, which takes less time and means I don’t have to worry about raising my arms to give someone a big hug, is what I needed so when a friend suggested laser hair removal I was more than happy to give it a try.
Heading to my local Clearskincare Clinic, I was feeling a bit apprehensive, unsure if my darker complexion would make the whole process more difficult. But once there and settled in, my laser therapist took me through the treatment step-by-step, addressing all my concerns and teaching me a lot about my skin and hair in the process! Who knew that the light used in laser treatment targets dark pigment (aka my hair follicles), which absorbs the light and converts it to heat? Not me. The heat then weakens the follicle so that eventually hair stops growing – that’s the bit I like. But the trick is there needs to be a contrast between the skin colour and hair follicle pigment for the laser to find its target -- that’s why, Naomi explains, there’s different types of lasers to suit different skin types. She recommends a type she calls ‘YAG’ for my skin – it has a longer pulse of light that reaches deeper layers of skin.
I’m already liking the sound of laser hair removal, especially as Naomi assures me that it doesn’t hurt. Usually it takes about 8 to 12 treatments with 4 to 5 weeks in between each one for hair to finally stop growing. But with each treatment, the hairs should get finer. Sounds cool, sounds permanent – I’m ready to go.
All I have to do is take off my top, then Naomi gets to work gently going over the skin on my armpit with the laser. All I feel is quick, sharp warm pinches, followed by a nice cool breeze. I’ve taken a deep breath in readiness and by the time I breathe back out again, it’s done! It happens sooo quickly! All in all, it takes under five minutes – and that’s for both arms. The best part? It doesn’t hurt a bit.
Shirt back on, I’m ready to head back to work. I’m advised to not put on any deodorant, or any other powder or cream under my arms until the next morning, and not to expose the area to direct sunlight. Good thing I don’t have any meetings to go to!
Over the next week a few spindly fine hairs begin to emerge, but it isn’t very thick. It’s nowhere near the dark stubble I used to get. I’ve also noticed that by using the exfoliating products they gave me in my aftercare kit every day that this has reduced the development of ingrown hairs. I’m looking forward to seeing Naomi for my next treatment in 3 weeks, and this time I’m hoping to get my face done as well. Meanwhile, I have a new confidence wearing all my sleeveless summer clothes, I can even dance with my hands in the air! It’s definitely made me more relaxed in social settings. I feel like my laser hair removal journey has just begun…
Clearskincare Clinics are offering Prevention Readers an exclusive FREE underarm laser hair removal session. Click now to receive your free appointment.