Thursday, June 6, 2013

Laser Hair Removal Review

I’ve kind of felt like the above Shel Silverstein poem was written about me since having kids.  I wasn’t a hairy person before I became a mama.  But hormones are some nasty little pranksters.
Let’s be honest, unless you’re a cast member of Duck Dynasty, nobody wants to be Sasquatch.  I’m just not a fan of excess hair: not on me, not on the hubs, not even on poor Annabelle, who is currently shedding like crazy in this Texas summer heat.  She leaves little globs of it on my furniture and it’s positively gaggariffic.
When Jeremy grows his beard out (and it ain’t no pansy beard, either… growing a beard is like his superpower) - I always threaten to just quit shaving my legs and pits if he doesn’t get rid of it.  He laughs at me, because he knows I won’t even make it a week.  I can’t stand it.
It does get annoying to have to shave and pluck various body parts, and then you just have to do it again a couple of days later.  But time and experience have taught me to leave the more long-term methods to the professionals.  I won’t get into the whole story, but at one point, I had the genius idea to DIY wax my nether region.  When I stood up, there was some residual wax and I accidentally glued a labia to my inner thigh.  It looked like my lady parts had a stroke.  It ended in blinding pain and tears and me swearing I’d never again do such a stupid ass thing.
Truth is, though, even a professional waxing (on any body part) is unpleasant.   I usually let the ladies at the nail salon guilt me into a wax before I finish getting my pedi.  “You want wax yo face? It daaark.”  Ugh.  Yes, please.  Go ahead.  It doesn’t hurt any less when they do it, but at least they get all the wax off.
 There is just no inoffensive way to remove hair.  Shaving dries your skin, plucking is tedious, and waxing is freaking OW.  So back in April, I decided to check out laser hair removal.  “It feels like rubber bands snapping on your skin,” the FAQ on the website read.  Pffft.  I can handle a rubber band!  After a few treatments, the results are permanent.  PERMANENT, as in- NO MO’ HAIR, people!  Sign me up!  I read rave reviews all over the internet, and figured I’d try it on my face before trying any other areas.
When I called and made my first appointment, the esthetician asked how I’d been treating the area (my face). I told her by plucking and using Nair.  She then instructed me to SHAVE MY FACE for the next two weeks before my appointment.  Yes, shave my face.  Like a big burly man.  I was positively traumatized by this suggestion, but I complied- since I wanted to do everything they recommend to make the treatment work.  Naturally I went out and bought a hot pink razor especially for my face so I’d remember I’m still a chick.  I swear the shaving made it worse.  Before, I was fretting over a few scragglers.  After the shaving commenced, it got out of hand.
When I got to the first appointment, the lady observed my (by then extremely stubbly) chin.  She said, “Oh wow, that’s really coarse!” 
Was it supposed to be a compliment?  I don’t know.  She continued to stroke my chin while ogling me like a science project gone bad, and eventually called for backup.  While she and another esthetician discussed my man beard, and whether they should move me to another room with a different laser- one with a face melting nuclear gamma ray, I assume- I just stared at the ceiling and slowly died inside.
Finally they decided the regular laser was sufficient, so she gave me some eyewear to put on and donned glasses of her own that reminded me a lot of Darth Vader.  She flipped the power button to the laser machine and it literally sounded like a weapon of mass destruction powering up (or what I imagine one would sound like).  She asked me if I’d used numbing cream or if I’d like to try some- I’d have to wait half an hour to start the treatment if so.
“Numbing cream?” I scoffed, “No.  I’ve had two children.  The regular way.  And tattoos.  I’m good, this can’t be that bad.”
Jennifer, meet regret.
The first zap lifted me up off the table.  I literally got air I jumped so hard.  Rubber bands, you say?  Right.  Maybe if said rubber bands were coated in broken glass and lit on fire.
The esthetician said, “Are you okay?” 
“Sure,” I lied through my trembling teeth.
“I’m gonna try to go really fast, okay?  We’ll get it over with and see how you’re doing before I do another pass.”
I tried to distract myself by making up acronyms for PASS- since I had no idea what she meant by “do another pass.”  Putrid Acid Skin Scorcher?
With every zap, I could not stifle how hard it made me jump.  It was SO shocking, and SO hot.  After about 4 zaps, I could smell my flesh burning.  I started to panic, and I could not calm myself no matter what.  My body reacted violently to the sound and the smell, and the godforsaken feeling of that thing.  After a while, I was so jumpy and embarrassed that I couldn’t stop convulsing when she put it to my face, so I started laughing maniacally.  I couldn’t stop.  Jump, laugh, shiver.  Jump, laugh, shiver.  This went on for TWELVE ungodly minutes, y’all.
The good news?  After that first treatment, the hair on my face started falling out when I’d cleanse or do facial masques.  Read: No more shaving like a man. When I went in for the second treatment 4 weeks later (with numbing cream I bought after that first treatment, I might add)- the esthetician made the comment while reading my chart, “I don’t know why she said you have coarse hair.  You definitely do not.” 
Well, no- that’s because this is a new face.  She melted the old one off.
The numbing cream was an adventure in itself.  They told me to put it on up to an hour before my treatment.  Still totally shell-shocked from that first rodeo, I slathered that shit on.  I mean, gobs and gobs.  And let it sit on my skin.  By the time I got to the laser center, I looked like Benjamin Buford Blue.  I could not feel my face from the nose down.  But guess what?  I didn’t even flinch when she zapped me.  Thank the heavens above.  That one was much easier to take.  I could still smell the skin and hair burning, but who cares?  I didn’t feel it.
Today was my third treatment.  I basically have no hair on my face at this point, but I’ve already paid for the treatments, so I went anyway.  I used the numbing cream, and overdid it again, just to err on the side of caution.
Little did I know that when I left,  I was going to make a wrong turn in the pouring down rain on my way home and end up in an abandoned strip mall in the Mexican ghetto. With a dead cell phone and no GPS. I had to stop at the El Valero gas station somewhere between Spring and The Woodlands and ask for directions.  The only problem?  My face was numb, and my lip was protruding out in that Bubba-esque way.  So as I was asking the gas station attendant how to get back to Gosling Road, drool seeped out of my mouth and onto the counter.  He was glancing and pointing outside at the time, so I hoped he didn’t see.  I attempted to wipe it off really quickly with my skirt- just in time for him to turn around and catch me.  Sigh.  He looked so disgusted.  And somewhat worried.  I’m sure he was hovering just above the panic button, and surely called the cops to report the slobber bandit when I left.
But I digress.  I guess I said all of that to say that laser hair removal works.  It is unpleasant in a whole lot of ways, but at least once it’s done, it’s done.  You don’t have to do it again in two days, or a week, or two weeks.  Once your treatments are complete, it’s over and you’re free.  I am impressed enough by the results that I think I’ll move on to other areas over the next few months.  Although there are some places that I will not even consider.  Last time I checked, they don’t make hazmat suits for the man in the boat, so I don’t want that zapper anywhere near my special parts.  Pits and legs, though?  Yes.  Can you imagine never having to shave again? 
That’s all for now.
-Hairless and loving it