4 Editors Get Real About Their Laser Hair Removal Experiences
Think about it: after going through the prescribed amount of sessions, which can last as little as 10 minutes, you'll be able to trade the weekly shaving sessions or monthly wax appointment for a touch-up appointment once every few years. The magic wand that emits the monochromatic hair-follicle-impairing light needs to target the pigment at the root, so experts actually recommend that you shouldn't wax again after your first treatment. You'll even find that the fibers sprout back less frequently in between appointments (if you don't miss any).
Like we said, it's a sweet deal, but you might be wondering about any downsides, and specifically, how much a session under the lights hurts. Four editors get real about their laser hair removal experiences, ahead.
Area: Legs and Underarms
"I got laser hair removal on my lower legs and underarms and absolutely love it."
"It didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would, but I noticed that my left armpit hurt a little more than my right [my aesthetician told me that it was because the area was 'closer to my heart']. The procedure was very fast. It took only 10 minutes for small areas and 20 for medium areas — and there was also no downtime, which was such a plus."
"I recently had my lower legs lasered for the first time, and I was surprised that it was more painful than having it done on my underarms. I am still in the middle of my treatments — I still have about four more to go — but I've already seen a huge difference. My hair has yet to grow back." – Lauren Harano, editorial coordinator
Area: Underarms, Upper Lip, and Brazilian
"I have fair skin but tan easily in the sun and have light upper lip hair and dark hair on my underarms and Brazilian area."
"I got my first bout of laser hair removal when I was 18. At that time, lasers were not as advanced. I had desperately wanted my thick blond upper lip hair to be banished forever, so I would drive from my hometown to Austin, Texas - about a 30-minute commute. Ultimately, I didn't go enough times to keep the hair away, and I remember being terrified of having to shave my upper lip with a medical razor. (Now I shave my face until the cows come home.) I went through another couple of rounds in college, again on my upper lip, but at the time my budget wasn't as plentiful, and I wasn't able to sustain my six week appointments."
"About three years ago, I started laser hair removal on my underarms. I got six treatments and absolutely loved the results. It not only got rid of the hair, but it made my underarms look . . . I don't know, sexy? There wasn't a dark cast on them from the hair follicle. I should have gotten a few more treatments, because the hair did grow back, but it's not as much as I used to have."
"Now I'm currently going to Sev Laser in West Hollywood to get my underarms touched up and Brazilian done, and the results are so dramatic that it keeps me consistent with my appointments." — Kirbie Johnson, senior reporter, Beauty
Area: Bikini Line
"I have fair skin and dark hair, making me the ideal laser hair-removal candidate (the laser targets the dark pigment in hair, and the more contrast between hair and skin, the better it works). So when I went to Spruce and Bond a few years ago for a bikini line treatment, I wasn't surprised I had a great experience. It barely hurt, I was in and out in less than 30 minutes, and — the best part — the hair was gone for six months. The only problem with having such a fantastic result? I didn't want to go back. I immediately canceled the five follow-up sessions I was supposed to have. Instead, I saved my pennies and blissfully enjoyed the hair-free life all summer. When the hair started to grow back, it was patchy and finer, another plus. I finally went in for another session the following Spring and did it all over again. Now, had I followed the treatment protocol, my results would have been permanent (or at least permanent-ish), which would've been a nice perk. But both my wallet and I were very happy doing it my own way." — Dawn Davis, senior editorial director
"I have tan skin with medium-coarse hair all over my body. I'd never gotten laser hair removal before, and my roommate — who also had undergone laser removal on her Brazilian area — did everything she could to prepare me. 'It feels like a rubber band snapping against your skin — quickly,' she said, and as someone who has gotten a fair share of piercings, I imagined it wouldn't be so painful."
"Maybe it was me being overconfident about my pain threshold, or maybe it was because my roommate was being gentle when describing the experience to me, but the first few zaps were a shock. It was more intense than a rubber band snapping (It felt more like if you set the rubber band on fire). "
"As the treatment progressed and I began to get used to the feeling. I became less tense, and my wonderful technician, who talked me through the entire procedure from start to end — finished the session in 10 minutes."
"My first session was quick and pleasant to the extent that lasers being shot in that area of your body could be. My hair hasn't grown back, and the area doesn't seem to have any more pigmentation than it did before." — Jesa Marie Calaor, assistant editor, Beauty