Laser Hair removal: Is it worth it?

With summer rearing it’s head around the corner, let’s not beat around the bush for this one (no pun intended!). If you’re light skinned and have dark hair you’ll no doubt have wanted to remove your hair way before your other friends who were blessed with less noticeable fuzz did. I’ll be honest, I really struggled because shaving leaves me with terrible rashes and waxing leaves me with bruises or takes my sensitive skin off along with the hair. There HAD to be another option right?

Now I know that there’s plenty of women out there who are extremely body confident and are totally OK with leaving the hair on their arms/legs/wherever else, and you know what, that’s great. Really, it is. But for the rest of us who need to de-fuzz for whatever reason, it’s a long and arduous task so last year I went on a quest to find a way that would be both pain free and side effect free.

Hair removal has been around for centuries, and there’s so many different ways to get rid of it be it waxing, shaving, threading, sugaring or even bleaching. However none of them are permanent and let’s face it, the re-growth process can be just as annoying as it was to remove them. 

This is why after some serious thought and a whole load of stressing and researching, I decided to go for laser hair removal. Rather than IPL, which a lot of my friends have not had very good results with, I opted for the Soprano XL diode laser. I had heard lots about it and was excited to find out that there was a painless version of laser now available which worked just as great. My first thoughts were brilliant sign me up!

I’ve now had 5 of my 6 sessions and here’s what I have to say about it…

So how does it work? well once I booked my first appointment I had a consultation where they do a test patch. This is just to see if you react to the laser and I promise,it’s nothing to worry about. It’s usually done under your chin as it’s the easiest place to conceal, if in the unlikely event your skin does react. I braced myself for some serious pain and I felt absolutely nothing. I had been on Roaccutane about 8 months before so I was slightly apprehensive that this may affect me. Luckily it didn’t and I couldn’t wait for my first actual appointment. FYI if you were to react to the laser treatment, it would immediatly come up on your skin like a blister, so once you pass the test patch, don’t worry about it happening later down the line.

The test patch is absolutely vital! Please do not skip this process and if your clinic does not offer it, ask for one. Additionally if your clinic is far from where you live, make sure you factor in that the consultation/test patch literally takes about 10-15 minutes, so don’t take the whole day off or anything.

soprano laser

When the day for my first appointment arrived I was a bag of nerves. Stupidly I googled side effects of laser hair removal moments before I got there and the image of burned legs was burnt into my memory! Still, after a quick pep talk with my friend I went through with it.

Before every session, the beauty therapist goes through a series of questions, like whether I’ve been on holiday or bleached the area, to check whether I’m still ok to go ahead with the session. If you do answer yes to any of those questions, you may need to rebook your appointment and the session will not be carried out. Please answer honestly as it’s your skin and your responsibility. A good clinic/medispa will not only ask you these questions but will get you to sign a disclaimer to confirm your answers. This way both of your backs are covered.

Then on to the session. I’m handed a pair of special glasses to protect my eyes from the laser. The area on which I’m having the treatment is then covered in a clear gel. The machine is set to the right temperature to fry my hair follicles and off we go. I very quickly learned that the painless diode laser is NOT painless. It hurts. When it’s done slowly you can feel a hot prickling sensation from the laser but for someone like me who has a low pain threshold, I’m gonna go with – it hurts. The laser is passed over the area a few times and within seconds it’s done.

As I mentioned before I’ve only got one last session to go. I bought 6 sessions which to be honest, is a decent amount for someone with thick/coarse dark hair. After just my first session I had already noticed a huge difference on the hair as it grew back. The areas on which I had the thickest/darkest hair i.e. my under arms and lower legs showed the best results. My underarms are pretty much hair free now bar the odd stray hair.

It feels so good to not have to do them. By summer I hope I won’t have to worry about them at all, but best of all for me is that I found after just two sessions on my legs I found a significant difference with the black dots (strawberry legs) on my legs. I’m pretty sure by the time I’ve finished my treatment it will be fully gone.

On areas like my upper lip or upper arms where the hair grows a lot lighter and finer, the results aren’t so great. This was explained to me from the begining, so I wasn’t overly disappointed. Although laser treatments are a good long term solution for Hair McClary’s out there, it is important to note that it actually isn’t permanent. Eventually, with hormone changes the hair might return. For now though, I’m ecstatic with my results 🙂

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