Yes, I know body hair is natural and that some people believe my removal of it makes me a 'pawn for the patriarchy.' However, I believe that everyone should be entitled to look the way they want, regardless of whether it is in keeping with societal norms or not. Whilst I respect the wishes of those who like to keep their underarm hair, I'm not a fan of it on myself.
After many years of shaving, waxing, epilating and generally torturing my body, I thought about having electrolysis. I did some reading on the differences between electrolysis and laser hair removal, and found that electrolysis takes longer and is more painful. So that pretty much made my decision for me! It is super important to do your research if you are thinking about having laser hair removal or electrolysis. Many 'freelance therapists' claim to have their own laser or electrolysis machines, but end up being pretty dodgy. Amateur clinicians with dubious equipment could cause you burns and scarring; not the look you're after.
Once I was sure I'd found a professional clinic, I trotted off to FAB Aesthetics Lounge to try out laser hair removal. Following a consultation and patch test with Louise 24 hours earlier (see my last blog for more information), it was now time for my treatment. The procedure had been fully explained to me on my visit the day before, but I was given an opportunity to ask any further questions beforehand. I lay down with my arm above my head, and some cooling gel was applied to my underarm. The laser, which I was informed was 'ice- tipped', was then moved over my skin. Amazingly, the treatment only lasted around 30 seconds per underarm! Even more surprisingly, it was completely pain free.
The laser heats up to between 50 and 70 degrees, so I had expected at least some pain, but none came. It was a bit cold, and somewhat ticklish, but certainly not at all painful. Louise then explained aftercare, which wasn't anything complicated. I just had to steer clear of sun exposure or extreme heat, such as saunas, for 72 hours. I was also not to have any really hot baths or showers for 24 hours, although lukewarm was fine. Exercise was to be avoided for 48 hours (which wasn't an issue, as I avoid exercise at all costs!) The only slight concern I had was not using deodorant for 24 hours, but in the end it wasn't too much of a problem.
For anyone considering laser hair removal, here are answers to some of the questions you might have.
How does laser hair removal work?
The laser heats up and damages your hair follicles, whilst keeping your skin safe. Not all hairs will be in the optimum (anagen) phase of growth for laser hair removal treatment at the same time. Therefore usually between six and nine treatments are required.
Is laser hair removal equally effective on everyone?
Yes, all skin tones can be treated. The treatment is most effective on dark hair.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
Whilst electrolysis is the only FDA approved method of permanent hair removal, laser hair removal drastically reduces hair growth so much that you won't need to shave anymore. It can be performed anywhere on the body, and the machine can cover large areas in a short time.
Is laser hair removal safe?
Yes, absolutely, but only if you do your research to find a professional clinic that uses safe and effective equipment. You do not want to run the risk of the machine overheating the skin, potentially causing blistering and pigment changes. In addition, ensure that you follow your aftercare instructions, the most important being to avoid sun exposure post-treatment.
Does laser hair removal hurt?
In a word, no! (See above)
Is laser hair removal haram?
Yes, laser hair removal is generally permissible in Islam, as long as it is performed by another woman. Laser hair removal on the bikini line is, however, not allowed, as it involves uncovering the area between the knee and the naval (the awrah).
Can I have laser hair removal on tattooed skin?
In short, no. There would be no way for the laser to know not to target the pigment of the tattoo ink. This could lead to burning and serious skin damage.
Overall, my experience of laser hair removal was definitely a positive one. I'm definitely looking forward to being fuzz-free! Keep your eyes peeled for more blogs on treatments at FAB Aesthetics, coming soon.