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25 Sep 2015

LASER HAIR REMOVAL - A FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE

Armpits. Not the most pleasant of subjects, but let's talk about them. Now, to each their own, but I like mine hair-free and smooth. Unfortunately, shaving often irritates my sensitive skin.

So when Pulse Light Clinic offered for me to test our their laser hair removal procedure, I jumped at the opportunity. No more daily tackling of the wilderness that sprouts from the depths of my pits!? Rejoice! Now that I've painted that vividly attractive picture for you, let me tell you all about it.

Something you don't yet know about me - I like to research everything health/beauty related. Thoroughly! I once spoke to a doctor on the phone and used so much medical terminology she asked if I worked in medicine. You get the gist. Or maybe I'm just a hypochondriac. Jarv would agree with the latter theory.

So I Googled and read article after article and asked friends about their experiences. To sum it up for you guys in simple terms, there are two types of 'permanent' hair removal. IPL (intense pulse light) and laser hair removal. I had laser hair removal, generally thought to be a more effective and faster technique with fewer side effects.

A patch test was required a week before my appointment. I sat down and filled out the forms before being led to a private room. I was asked whether I was wearing any deodorant, and it was removed with a wet wipe. Two laser strengths were then tested on my armpits; the first one felt like a slight zap, the second one stung. A lot.

No adverse effects and a week later, my first session took place. It only lasted ten minutes. Put the goggles on, lift your arm up, squiggle & squirm around in your seat a little and it's all over. I was baffled. Was that it? Had I been tricked?! The actual procedure took only 30 seconds to a minute per armpit, or at least that's how it felt.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | laser hair removal at Pulse Light Clinic, London
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | laser hair removal at Pulse Light Clinic, London

The intimidating contraption itself. That smaller machine on the right is the cooling machine. The laser used was the Candela GentleMax.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | laser hair removal at Pulse Light Clinic, London

These 'goggles' are worn to protect your eyes from any exposure to the laser.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | laser hair removal at Pulse Light Clinic, London

The laser of terror.

Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | laser hair removal at Pulse Light Clinic, London
Euriental | fashion & luxury travel | laser hair removal at Pulse Light Clinic, London

Let's get down to the nitty gritty. These are the questions I had before the procedure, with answers based on my personal experience.

What should I wear?
I wore the outfit above. A top that let my armpits breathe (well that feels like a weird thing to say), with a jacket to battle the London chill.

Can I use deodorant beforehand?
If you do, it will be removed with a wipe. It's best if you don't use any deodorant, perfume or lotion in the area you are having lasered. Also, importantly, no self-tanner or natural tan beforehand. Make sure any tan you have applied or acquired from all those amazing beach holidays has pretty much completely faded first!

How else should I prepare the area beforehand?
Feel free to shave the night before, or even the day of. I shaved 3 hours before my appointment, to give my skin a little time to recover. I also popped a Paracetamol half an hour beforehand. But that's down to personal preference, of course :)

Anything I should avoid?
Avoid waxing, tanning (self-tanner or sun) and using any products on the area.

What does it feel like? Does it hurt?
It feels like short bursts of intense heat. It doesn't feel good, but it really isn't that bad. Firstly, each zap lasts only a fraction of a second, so by the time your brain registers the stinging/burning (a lot of people liken it to a hot rubber band being snapped against your skin), it's already over. Until the next zap. It's tolerable, though. They also use a cooling device attached to the laser, so that with every zap, your skin is being cooled simultaneously.

What should I do to take care of the area afterwards?
I was handed an aftercare sheet which outlines the following:
Avoid sun exposure for a couple of weeks after laser hair removal - during this time, use a high SPF. Exposure to sun can cause skin discolouration and adverse effects.
Don't use deodorant for at least 12 hours.
Do not wax or pluck the area in between sessions.
Try not to perspire much for 48 hours afterwards. This means no gym, saunas, hot baths or showers, etc.

How fast will I see results?
The reason you need anywhere from 3 - 8 sessions is because hair grows in cycles. Whereas one session kills the hairs that are growing at that time, in about 6 weeks a new cycle of growth will begin. I was told I probably wouldn't need to shave for about 4 weeks and that hair would just sort of shed as it grew from the follicle. You have to wait about 6 - 8 weeks between sessions.

Whilst I did have to shave 2 days or so after, I noticed that I didn't have to shave even half as often as usual. It's now been 2 weeks, and I've shaved about 3 times. Usually I have to shave every one to two days, so thus far I'm already very happy. Any hair growth I've seen so far is stunted and slow.

Where is the clinic?
Pulse Light Clinic is on 150-152 Fenchurch street, near Bank/Monument tube stations. I asked and was told that although they'd moved location a few years ago, they have been around for about 20 years. They have plenty of experience in the business, and a variety of lasers suited to different skin and hair types, so chances are there will be something just right for you. 

How much is the treatment?
The usual price per treatment on armpits is £84 per single session, £225 for a 6 session bundle and £300 for an 8 session bundle. Depending on your hair and skin type, it may take anywhere from only 3 treatments to up to 8.

*Thank you to Pulse Light Clinic for the treatment. All comments and opinions are my own.

UPDATE 10/02/16: It's been 2 months since my last treatment, bringing the total so far to only two, yet my hair is growing back so sparsely now, it's fantastic! I no longer have to shave on a daily basis, irritating my skin. 

10 comments :

  1. Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
    xo, Jane
    http://www.fitfabfunmom.com

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    1. Thanks, Jane! Hope they come in handy if you ever get laser hair removal.

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  2. These are such great tips girl. I will be honest, I'm a little nervous about laser hair removal. I've heard so many horror stories. But your tips were definitely helpful in making me think again.

    Kia / KTS
    www.houseofkts.com

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    1. Ah, really? I've heard one or two people say it didn't completely get rid of their hair growth, but almost everyone else I've talked to was really pleased with their results! Hopefully if you ever do want to do it, you'll find somewhere great in New York that will take care of you every step of the way :)

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  3. There are really nice tips! And I absolutely love the outfit, especially the boots!

    Kisses from Madrid, C.

    Check out new posts on https://alphavillage.wordpress.com/

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  4. Gosh, this sounds so interesting! I've never tried any kind of laser treatment before but I hate excess hair so I'd definitely be interested in this sort of procedure after reading about it! Only you could look beautiful whilst having your underarm hair lasered haha.

    Tara x

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    1. Same! I would recommend it for sure - I'm about to book in for treatment number 2 ;)

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  5. Nice write up Kama! They are really nice tips! And I absolutely love the outfit, especially the boots!
    Ruby

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ruby! Hope it was helpful :)

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