Photo from Vita Elos!
I will start with this – WORTH IT. You don’t even need to keep reading if all you wanted to know was whether I think laser hair removal is worth doing. YES. IT IS. & I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.
I’ve always had dark and coarse hair that forced me to shave about 3-4 times a week. On top of that I always got such BAD razor burn, especially in the winter months. I don’t know that I would have considered laser hair removal if I didn’t have those problems and if you don’t, I’m not sure that you should unless you have the extra cash to spend on it!!
So while living in Serbia I finally decided I’d look into getting some treatment! I’ll be honest, everything is cheaper here. I can get a gel manicure for like $8, a variety of face treatments for $15 (chemical peels, cleanings, steamings, etc) When I first got here I was living like a queen but now I have a normal Serbian paying job and I’m just poor af when I visit home in California. MOVING ON.
Living in a country that’s cheaper than you are used to really has it’s perks, especially when you have a good paying job for the area. For me, I’ve really been able to splurge on things that I want to and that are important to me. Taking away the consistent need for shaving seemed like it was worth it! Let’s get into the details…
WHERE I AM GETTING TREATMENTS –
- Girly bits
Each feel totally different with the removal process and in my case, different areas use different laser intensities to help ease the discomfort. You might think you could guess the worst area but you’re probably wrong. It’s actually my underarms for me! The discomfort during treatments lessen as your hair growth lessens, so now it’s a breeze I can’t even feel it, but originally I could literally smell my hairs burning next to my face and since it’s such a small amount of area space the laser was just so intense.
WHAT DO I PAY FOR MY LASER HAIR REMOVAL –
Each appointment to get treatment in the three areas mentioned above I pay $120. I mean COME ON could you pass that up?! It was just a no-brainer for me to get it done while living on this side of the world. From what I’ve seen, it costs about 70% less here in Serbia than it would have cost me in California.
HOW MANY SESSIONS UNTIL IT’S PERMANENT –
When I initially started my technician told me to expect to have around 10 treatments… meaning my total process would be over a year long. It’s really something to consider when you want to get treatments if you’re like me and you’re not sure where your life will take you next. I decided to start them and now, 6 treatments in, we’re discussing that I’ll really only need about 2 more on my legs/underarms, and maybe 3 more on the girly bits in order to have permanent results.
Now about being permanent. You really have to have enough sessions to get that long-lasting effect. I know people who did only 6 and while the results were great, it wasn’t enough to permanently zap their hair and in time it has grown back. If I was going to pay for the treatments I wanted to be sure it wouldn’t wear off and according to my technician, as long as we do enough treatments it should be forever! The only thing she mentioned is that when I choose to have a baby, I might have some hair growths randomly because of hormones, but that I could come in and get zapped once or twice and they’d be done. She also mentioned the idea of getting a session once a year to make sure that it stays and honestly that’s probably what I’ll end up doing.
DO MY TREATMENTS HURT –
Getting laser hair removal literally feels like someone is taking a hot ice cube and running it up and down your legs or wherever you’re being treated. I don’t even know how else to explain it besides that and I know that sounds crazy. I don’t think that I’ve gotten used to the sensation as the treatments continue, because it’s that weird, but the pain/discomfort definitely lessens with every treatment as you are having less and less hair growth.
I wouldn’t say that it hurts but I would say it’s extremely uncomfortable during the first few appointments. It also depends your pain tolerance. I have a belly and nose piercing and a tattoo on my inner wrist and side rib cage and I wasn’t bothered by any of those things. Now in my sixth session, it is finally FAR more comfortable for all areas of my body.
The legs are probably the most uncomfortable because you have such a large area of space to cover that you can’t really get used to the sensation. By the time the laser comes back to that spot where you felt like you were used to it, it was on the other parts of your legs for just enough time that the feeling wore off and it’s feeling fresh again. As I mentioned earlier, the armpits were the worst for me up until now because you can feel and smell the burning hairs and it’s hard not to be a bit alarmed / hype it up in your head. The girly bits are done with a less intensive laser, so it’s still sensitive but it’s not too bad. For me the worst is when she really needs to get a good zap in so she has to hold the laser for a second, that feeling is pretty unbearable but the second the laser moves the discomfort/pain is gone.
CAN I SHOWER OR BE IN THE SUN AFTER TREATMENTS –
This is actually a super common question I get asked when I mention I’m getting laser hair removal. It’s not like getting a tattoo or piercing where you have to do post-treatment cleanings and avoid the sun, water exposure or other things. Once my session is done that’s it! Nothing changes. I can go home and shower/shave, I don’t have any redness or discomfort… you wouldn’t even know I just got a treatment. Life resumes as though you never went!
DID I SEE MY RESULTS INSTANTLY –
YES. I did actually notice the difference after my first session. However, when I went in for my second and my technician saw my results, she said they were shockingly good and she actually asked me to not tell people that they’d get the same because not everyone will and I was rather lucky. It varies from person to person, but after one session I immediately saw a difference. Six sessions in I shave once a week and it’s not event a requirement, it’s a personal preference.
COULD I GET THE SAME RESULTS WITH AT HOME TREATMENTS –
Honestly probably not and honestly I don’t think it’s worth it. I really looked into these do it yourself treatments as an alternative to going in and paying for a technician. I was really looking at spending $400 on one device to do treatments for a 12 week period and now that I get ONE treatment every 6-8 weeks, I can’t image something working for permanent results within 3 months. I asked my technician about it during my last appointment and she pointed out the main difference is that the technology for at home treatments are IPL or intense pulsed light. An IPL machine is unable to focus to a concentrated beam, meaning it’s less precise and less effective for targeting specific hair follicles. Using laser hair removal not only allows targeted actions, but it leaves the surrounding area and skin undamaged. Lasers can treat several hairs at a time in a fraction of a second, be adjusted to suit specific skin tones and hair colors, and can safely treat all skin colors. IPSs can cause burns on those with darker skin and has less effective results since the technology isn’t specific to it’s recipient of treatment.
ALSO, if it has anywhere near the same discomfort as laser treatment (which it probably is less), I just don’t think I could do it on myself. I read so many reviews of users finding themselves having to stop, take breaths, and basically desperate to get through it. I’m glad I have no say in my appointments! She does her thing and I suck it up or tell her if I need a lesser intensity.
I don’t know much more about it – but from our discussion and what I researched, it was clear I made the right decision.
MY BEFORE & AFTER EXPERIENCE –
This first picture below is of my underarms THREE days AFTER I shaved BEFORE any treatment.
This next picture below is THREE days AFTER I shaved after SIX treatment sessions.
This picture below is of my lower leg THREE days AFTER I shaved BEFORE any treatment.
This next picture below is THREE days AFTER I shaved after SIX treatment sessions. I have dark ‘roots’ to say, so actually my leg is completely smooth here although it might look like there’s growth from the discoloration. I won’t be prickly for probably another day or so.
There you have it! The questions I answered in this blog were actually the most commonly asked on my Instagram, so if you’re not following me you can go check out my pictures from my travel adventures and stay up to date with my upcoming blogs! I hope you found this helpful and that I helped someone considering the treatment make up their mind, whether to go for it or pass.
Thanks for reading friends!