Laser Hair Removal Diaries Part II – First Session with Kavina
Today was the day – my first laser hair removal session with master paramedical aesthetician, Kavina at SkinSpirit University Village, Seattle. Up until today, my experience with hair removal had only been with shaving, waxing, tweezing and using chemical depilatories such as Nair in my very early hair removal days as a teenager. Having a laser zap at my hair follicles was something very new to me. I had always been interested in laser hair removal, but had never really been brave enough to try it.
I arrived at my appointment with freshly shaved underarms, which is a good thing because when you wax, you remove the hair by the follicle. With laser hair removal, you need the hair follicle intact. The hair follicle is the pigment the laser needs for the hair removal to be effective. If the hair follicle isn’t in place, the laser will just burn the skin. This is exactly the reason you never want to wax a treated area before a laser hair removal session.
After taking a look at the skin in my underarm area, Kavina explained to me that the SkinSpirit practitioners will always customize their client’s laser hair removal treatment based on the client’s skin color, how much hair is at the skin’s surface in the area to be treated and how course the present hair in the treatment area appears to be. There is no cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all type of laser hair removal treatment. I felt pretty good about that.
Kavina and I both put on a pair of super stylish protective goggles that are designed to protect the eyes from the laser during the treatment. Once the laser settings were programmed, the treatment began. As I started asking Kavina questions about laser hair removal, she warned me that it takes longer to talk about the treatment than it does to perform the actual treatment. She was right! Before I was able to get all of my questions answered, she had finished both of my underarm areas.
Let’s talk about the pain factor because this is one of, if not THE most asked question Kavina receives from her first-time laser hair removal clients. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about the pain factor. Some people told me that it would feel like a million rubber bands being snapped on my skin. Naturally one of the first questions I asked Kavina when she brought me back to the treatment room was, “Is this going to hurt?” On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extremely painful, I’d say the pain factor was at a measly 2. It felt like a hot kiss with an afterglow. To some people, the sensation might even feel like a sunburn that goes away almost instantly. Trust me, waxing hurts way more than laser hair removal because the laser isn’t aggressively yanking the hair out of the follicles.
The only real discomfort I experienced during my laser hair removal treatment was the smell. When I asked Kavina what the smell was during my treatment, she said, “That’s the smell of success!” The smell is just the laser singeing both the hair on the surface of the skin and the hair follicle. If you smell something during your treatment, don’t panic. Just know that your treatment is working!
At SkinSpirit locations in Washington, the technology for laser hair removal that’s used is the Candela GentleLase. This powerful, high-speed hand piece allows for a quick service and doesn’t require a gel application to the treated area. Here’s how it works: a laser produces a beam of highly-concentrated light. The light emitted by the laser is then well absorbed by the pigment located in the hair follicles. During treatment, the laser pulses for a fraction of a second, long enough to heat up the hair and significantly impede the follicle’s ability to re-grow. Since the laser zaps numerous hair follicles simultaneously, the treatment is quick and effective. The whole treatment took less than 15 minutes and was virtually painless!
I’m hooked on laser hair removal after only my first session. Here it is two days after my first session, and I still don’t feel any stubble in the underarm area. Not too shabby, especially for someone who usually has to shave the area every other day! I also now see the value in purchasing laser hair removal sessions in packages. Depending on the area being treated and the stages of hair growth, it can take multiple laser hair removal sessions for the hair follicle to weaken enough so that it doesn’t grow back. To achieve desired results, practitioners recommend their clients come in for treatment once every 8 to 15 weeks, depending on the area of the body that’s being treated. Plus, when you purchase your laser hair removal sessions in packages, you’re more than likely to get each session at a discounted price then if you were to purchase each session separately.
It’s a good idea to book all of your laser hair removal sessions ahead of time and get them on your calendar at the beginning of your treatment plan. This helps you stay on track with all of your laser hair removal treatments and reduces the chance of missing a session. If you wait too long and miss a laser hair removal session, you run the risk of falling out of the hair growth cycle and will have to start the whole treatment plan all over again.
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