Everything you need to know about Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal changed my life. Botox is great and all, but not having to deal with hair EVERYWHERE is the ultimate beauty move. Below I will tell you all about my hair journey and why I love laser hair removal so much. At the end I will give you a list of everything that you need to know about laser hair removal including, shopping for treatment, what to expect during treatment, and what happens after. 

The Backstory

My hair journey was traumatic for me. I am hairier than most women and I learned that at an early age. My leg hair was much thicker and longer than my friends in elementary school, it was blonde then all of a sudden it wasn’t… and of course, my mom wouldn’t let me shave because I was “too young”. I’ll never forget when I was 11 years old and in Yosemite on a family trip. My brother pointed to my armpit and starts laughing because I had armpit hair! I was mortified- I had armpit hair before my older brother! The only benefit of those damn armpit hairs was that my mom got me a razor so I could shave them.

Next, the dreaded bikini line came in. Mine wasn’t like other girls. It went farther onto my thighs and was thick and coarse. I remember having to shave it in Jr. High when my friends didn’t even have hair there. Then the happy trail came. I mean really a happy trail? And this wasn’t just a few random hairs, these were thick and dark and grew back the day I shaved. I was shaving EVERYWHERE. EVERY. DAY. It was ridiculous.

Wait, permanent hair removal is a thing?

The first thing I thought when I found out about laser hair removal was, “Wait what? This is a thing? You can laser your hair off?” I HAD to try.

I was working as a hostess and was able to save up for one treatment on my bikini line. This was back in the early 2000s when lasers HURT. About 2 weeks later the hair started falling out and It lasted about 4 weeks before the hair began growing back. WTF??

It turns out I needed 6 treatments, each treatment 6 weeks apart, to permanently reduce the hair. How was I supposed to afford this?? After lots of pleading, begging, and chores my parents finally helped me buy a full package for my birthday. This was the beginning of my very long but positive journey to being less hairy.

16 years later…

Now, here I am, 32 years old and have paid to laser basically every part of my body besides my eyebrows. Yes, it’s expensive. But I can honestly say this was the best beauty decision I’ve ever made. SO so worth it. Plus, if you buy it in packages you can save a ton of money. Or buy a Groupon and give it a shot! 

I still deal with those random hairs and have to go in for maintenance but the fact that I can go for weeks without shaving still blows my mind. I never thought I’d be one of those people that have the luxury to “forget to shave”. The hair that does grow back is so fine I don’t even notice it! 

I often talk about positive body image and how we should all be proud of who we are and what we look like, but sometimes there are things that affect us at such a deep level that we need to take action. Body hair is one of those things. DO IT FOR YOURSELF!

Here’s what to expect:

  1. It can hurt but it’s quick. And it’s not nearly as bad as waxing. Some med spa’s offer ice or have a fan that blows cold air as they laser. 
  2. The hair has to be dark, not blonde, red, or grey.
  3. Any skin color can get lasered- even black skin.
  4. Guys can do it too! 
  5. No tweezing or waxing for 3 weeks before- shave the area instead.
  6. No tanning beds (I hope you don’t do this anyways), sun exposure, or self-tanner for 2 weeks prior. This one is hard during the summer so I’ll just skip self-tanner on the areas I’m lasering.
  7. Commit to going every 6 weeks for 6 treatments (and a few more times for maintenance). Your hair grows in cycles and they need to hit each new one. Don’t waste your time or money if you can’t commit. The hair will just come back and you’ll have to start over.
  8. You will notice the hair fall out 2 weeks after each treatment (this is THE BEST- it’s like a teaser for what’s to come). It grows back lighter each time.
  9. The nurse might miss some areas and you will have random patches (they should get them next time- be sure to tell them! If it’s really bothering you go back in and ask for them to do a spot treatment).
  10. If you switch birth controls, go through a major hormonal change, have a baby, the hair may grow back- this is normal.
  11. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you have to wait until you are done.
  12. You can treat anywhere on your body- don’t be embarrassed (hello nipple hair). They have seen it all! 
  13. It’s pricey but many med spas offer financing with 0% interest. 
Be ready for spontaneous bathing suit days!

Do It! Invest in yourself if you are struggling with unwanted hair.

I have been in the maintenance phase for years now. I have to go back every year and treat the same areas. The hair that grows in is much finer and manageable. Some people don’t have the need for this at all after they complete their series.

I’ve experienced many different lasers and they are not all created equal. Some are extremely painful, some you can’t feel at all. When you’re purchasing your hair removal package ask to see the laser- they may even let you test it out before purchasing a package. I suggest looking for one that blows cold air as it zaps you. The worse one I’ve experienced actually suctions to your skin and zaps- this is slow and horribly painful.

At-Home Laser Hair Removal

Now I know you’re all wondering about those at home options. Yes, they exist. Yes, they kind of work. No, I don’t think they’re worth it UNLESS you have completed a series and want to do the maintenance yourself. These devices are small and not as effective. It will take you an hour to do your legs- and you have to do it weekly (Nobody’s got time for that!) or you can go to the medspa and get it done in 20 minutes and be good for 6 weeks. Just buy the laser hair removal package and thank yourself later!

If you want some tips on how to find a medspa check out this blog post.

Have you tried laser hair removal? Let me know your experience in the comments below!

Love Lauren