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 Post subject: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:32 am 
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Anyone done it?

I have been given a groupon type of thingie for this. Seitan knows I need it (and I forking hate shaving more than I hate visits to the DMV and dentist combined), but I'm scared out of my mind.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:50 am 
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i will be watching this, as i am considering letting my child do it in a few years.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:49 am 
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I did it on my arm pits and I love it. I had 6 treatments; it was a packaged deal. It's a quick procedure BUT it can be painful depending on the area. My med spa recommended a prescription skin numbing cream which was very helpful. But I was told that the armpits are more sensitive than other parts of the body. And a friend had it done on her upper lip. That was painful too, but she did it without numbing cream.

eta: The pain feels like rubber bands snapping on your skin, if that helps.


Last edited by Peri on Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:50 am 
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I did it for the first time a couple weeks ago! Brazilian. I'm used to getting waxes, but a year or so ago, the waxer I loved accidentally ripped the skin, and since the skin there's very thin, that same area often gets hurt whenever I've gone since, so I'm giving up on waxing. A couple of my friends have been lasered, so I decided to try it.

Here's the deal: you usually go in for a consult first, so they can make sure their lasers will work with your hair/skin color combinations. They'll usually do a test patch, so you'll have a vague idea of what to expect.

For subsequent appointments, you'll have to shave the area first (otherwise the hairs above the skin burn and it not only smells AWFUL but apparently hurts more?). I read somewhere that taking ibuprofen beforehand helps, and some places have cooling/numbing gels you can ask for ahead of time.

So they attach a guide to the laser, and then they run it in parallel lines over your treatment area. The laser makes a snap sound, and it feels that way, too. I read somewhere that the pain resembles being snapped by a rubber band--I think that's pretty accurate for most areas, but there are some VERY delicate parts where it actually felt like I was being poked with a burning hot needle. When that happened, I made "whoo!" sounds, which made my technician laugh and me feel better. The whole brazilian took only a few minutes. The hair doesn't come out right away--it takes a few days (10-14) for it all to come out. My technician says it takes 5-6 appointments to ensure that there's no hair, but some people can get away with less. You wait about a month between appointments. You can't wax or pluck the area between treatments, but you can shave. Leaving your appointment, you'll feel about as sensitive as if you'd just been waxed, but I found the healing time was much faster (less than a day, though my technician said some people have red bumps for a few days afterwards, and that's okay). It feels a little bit like a mild sunburn?

In that in-between time, the hairs in the stages of growth that the laser misses (there are 3 stages of growth, and the laser only gets hairs in one of them) start growing, which makes it look patchy and funny (but really light and sparse). I basically have half a mustache goin' on down there (HA HA TMI).

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:56 am 
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What vegetalion said in detail is how it went with me too.


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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Thank you so much for the info, ladies (presuming you're all ladies, anyway).

I had laser tattoo removal done, it sounds like there are some similarities. (The laser tat removal hurt like fork, but I'm a massive wimp. My doctor laughs at me at needle time and points out the tats and piercings and is like, "really?" as I turn 10 shades of green.)

I think the numbing cream is going to be my friend. Going for the first sesh next week; I'll report back!

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:52 am 
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Not laser but I'm having IPL at the moment. Not sure yet if will work, as I've only had 2 session, but it isn't painful. As described above, it's like a snapping sensation.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:50 pm 
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I went in for my second treatment about 40 minutes ago. The place I go increases the level (ie, burn-iness) of the laser each time you go, because I guess your skin gets used to it? Anyway, HOLY MOLY, it hurt this time. I had to take a couple breaks when she got in the more intimate areas (ie, in the folds), and it's more swollen/sensitive afterwards than it was last time.

However, last time I took ibuprofen before going in, and I didn't this time--it probably helped/would have helped with the pain and inflammation. LESSON LEARNED. People, take ibuprofen first!

(And, all said and done, it took like 5 minutes, including my breaks, so I wasn't in pain for long. Still!)

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:38 pm 
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I used to love it, but the place closed a few years ago.
Vegetalion's description is spot on and to avoid the annoying "pokey" sensation I sprayed xylocaine to get the area a little numb.

I still have a lot of hair since I didn't complete the 'treatment' but it's definitely thinner and it takes longer to grow, specially my ladystache and upper leg hair.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:15 pm 
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yes! i've been doing my chin and my lady bits professionally, and my pits/legs at home.

all purchased with groupons. (this is the ideal thing to get with groupons. hi-larious hijinks.) but definitely do your research. most machines actually touch your skin, so you might want to avoid those for your lady bits. (true lasers tend to not have contact. diodes, too possibly.)

i've had 4 (actually 5) different machines used on me, and the true laser really does make a difference. (i'll report back how it handled my chin, since i just had my first true laser chin treatment this past monday. it was super effective on the carpet!)

what i had used on my chin:
syneron IPL: did pretty much nothing. hurt like a bisque, and MAYBE only got 10% of the actively growing hairs. stupidly, i went back for the remaining 2 treatments, hoping my first tech was unskilled. nope.

soprano XL: not bad. ideal for your first treatments where you have a ton of dark hairs. they have a ramping up setting where it slowly gets hotter. i unfortunately have coarse blonde/clear hairs on my chin too, so i'll eventually have to switch to electrolysis. the cooling mechanism is built into the tip, so the tech doesn't even have to lift it off of your skin to cool you down. (obvi, it touches you, so again, you might want to avoid it on your bits)

what i've used on the bits:
palomar (also an IPL): eh. it's okay, i suppose, but there was a lot of user error on my part (or possibly the machine wasn't consistent) on more than one occasion, i had huge patches of hair that wasn't falling out. (i complained, and they gave me a free session.) they also cooled me off with a frozen metal roller. this squicked me the hell out. how in the world did they sanitize it? i'm pretty sure there were some plastic parts, but i didn't look closely.) i would say on the parts that the machine actually got, maybe 80% of the actively growing hairs? possibly 85%? not bad for an IPL.)

cynosure elite: this is the true laser of the bunch. very effective, it's held away from your body, and you're cooled by a jet of air (so it's kinda awkward when it gets near your orifices. make sure to bite your lip if you're getting it done on your chin.) the only thing that bugged me about my tech is that she marked my skin with a communal white eyeliner to mark a grid... so 0 for 4 on things touching other peoples' bits and then my bits. (but this is easily fixed if you have your own white eyeliner.) had it done on my bits only once before this most recent session. i'll report back with this session's effectiveness. the last time, she didn't get into all the crevices, but this time she did, so i'm looking forward to how it worked there.

i went here in december for my bits and then lost track of time. definitely don't do that. try to stay on a schedule. 8 weeks is best. (any shorter and they're probably trying to cheat you out of money.) so because there was 4 months between my last sessions and my most recent sessions, i'll probably have to do more touchups in the future, since i probably had some hairs go in and out of their cycle. it's not a huge deal because i bought a home device! (and i'll most likely have to do electrolysis on my chin anyway.)

this is some info i've read on different websites to avoid before your sessions:
Quote:
avoid use of aspirin, ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Ginko Biloba, 0mega -3 fatty acids, garlic tablets, flax oil, cod liver oil, multivitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E, or any other blood thinning medication for at least 14 days prior to treatment and for 24 hours after treatment.


and here's what i wrote on the "holy grail hair removal thread, it makes more sense to be here:
supercarrot wrote:
if anyone's been holding out for an at-home laser system, groupon has a deal where the brand new i-Light Pro (IPL, of course) from remington is $199 (instead of $250) it's not as deep of a discount as they usually do, but i'm guessing this is because they're falling on hard times. but $50 discount is better than nothing. <3 i had $44 credit, so i got it. i'll let you know how it goes. (i was just going to remain hairy in my less important areas, since getting lasered professionally is expeeeeensive! this is a good half-way point. AND then i won't have to pay for the eventual extra touch-ups in the spots that i've already gotten done professionally, it's a win-win)


supercarrot wrote:
a quick review on my i-light pro. it seems to be working really well on my legs. i can get it to power level 4 or 5 without much pain at all, but my pits really hurt at level 2, so it's not really working. i'll have to do the orajel thing and see if i can do level 3. (it's probably a combination of the sheer mass of follicles and the fact that i can't really get them completely free of moisture.)


i mentioned to my cynosure tech that i had used orajel, and she said benzocaine can irritate the skin, so i had them give me a prescription for a generic EMLA cream. (2.5% lidocaine/2.5% prilocaine) the 30 gram tube was apparently almost $60 bucks, but my insurance covered all but $3. i spread what i thought was a reasonable amount on and put saran wrap on and let it sit for 1.5 hours, and it was still rather painful. she told me to really glob it on next time. eek! i feel really tender in some parts, and i don't know if it's from the EMLA or if it's because it's darker skin, and maybe absorbed some of the energy.

every time i have my chin done, my follicles get angry and pimply the next day. next time, i'm going to bring an ice pack and leave it in the car and soothe my chin during the ride home. i wonder if it's just not being cooled enough.

i find it better to not shave between the session and hair release. it's much easier to fall out if it has a bit sticking out than if nothing is sticking out. (it gets super itchy if it's in there after it should have been evicted.) of course, if you need to keep your chin tidy, that's a different matter. i find it still has enough length if there's one shaving session a few days after the laser (that's one benefit of being unemployed, i suppose.)

now that i have my EMLA, i'll try my pits again with my i-light pro. i got maybe 15% shedding at power level 2. not ideal. hopefully i can try 3 next.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:23 pm 
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A suggestion about EMLA- we used to use it for my kids' shots and other procedures, we were told that for a shot, just one place, to put a dime sized amount, about as thick as a squeeze of toothpaste, and leave that glob on there for an hour or so before. i tried it to see how it would work and it really did numb things up, and i don't remember any sensitivity afterwards. BUT i didn't try it on my most sensitive bits, just on normal arm skin. so definitely don't be stingy with it!!

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:31 pm 
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the package says not to rub it in, and, well... sitting on it at home, and then in the bumpy car probably does some sort of rubbing. next time i'll have a movie queued up and i'll do nothing but lay back and then i'll wipe it away before i head out. sheesh. it's been 3 days, and it's still tender. (but maybe it's also because i now have a pad down there. the curtains just can't get a break!)

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:13 am 
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supercarrot wrote:
this is some info i've read on different websites to avoid before your sessions:
Quote:
avoid use of aspirin, ibuprofen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Ginko Biloba, 0mega -3 fatty acids, garlic tablets, flax oil, cod liver oil, multivitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E, or any other blood thinning medication for at least 14 days prior to treatment and for 24 hours after treatment.


I just looked into this regarding ibuprofen, as it conflicts what my technician said (it would help the pain if I took ibuprofen an hour beforehand). Turns out all NSAIDs increase sensitivity to light/sun (as do most of the other things on that list), but ibuprofen is less likely than others to do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:23 am 
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I've done this before and I'm at the point where the hair has been growing back. I had stubborn hair so it took me 12 treatments/year of doing it. It helped me not feel as crazy about the hair. Then around the 4-5 year mark, the hair started coming back.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:37 am 
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linanil wrote:
I've done this before and I'm at the point where the hair has been growing back. I had stubborn hair so it took me 12 treatments/year of doing it. It helped me not feel as crazy about the hair. Then around the 4-5 year mark, the hair started coming back.

that's depressing. :-( which type of machine was used on you, do you remember?

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:40 am 
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I'm totally jealous, i'm hairy but I don't think laser removal would work for me as most of my hair is fine and blonde/light brown. If I were a millionaire i'd get half of my damn body lasered.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:43 am 
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supercarrot wrote:
linanil wrote:
I've done this before and I'm at the point where the hair has been growing back. I had stubborn hair so it took me 12 treatments/year of doing it. It helped me not feel as crazy about the hair. Then around the 4-5 year mark, the hair started coming back.

that's depressing. :-( which type of machine was used on you, do you remember?


It was the Cynosure type I believe. I should also say that even though quite a bit of the hair has come back, its not as bad as prior to the treatment. I have been considering getting a touch up but not sure I want to go through it again.

(it was a true laser/didn't touch skin, and I checked the place I went to and they only use Cynosure)

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:52 am 
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poop! (maybe these follicles were dormant when you went for your treatments?)

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 10:58 am 
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Well, I've read and its not unusual for the hair to come back around the 5 year mark. The reason for the 12 treatments was to hit each area twice during the right stage. I also have the perfect mix for laser hair treatment (dark hair/light skin). The place I went to gave me a discount after the 6th treatment so the price wasn't as steep. They also said that they could do anyone (light hair/light skin, dark hair/dark skin) but that it might require more treatments.

My eyebrows actually grew back quicker than anything else but that is because I couldn't stand more than 6 treatments at that area. The skin under your eyebrows is majorly sensitive and quite painful. The areas where I had 12 treatments did grow back much slower.

So you can call it permanent but the chances of some of the hair growing back is fairly high.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:07 am 
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How did it work out in cost compared with 5 years waxing? Did you do a groupon deal?

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:17 am 
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I don't know if groupon existed when I did it as it was about 6 or 7 years ago. I did quite a few areas. My total cost for the year was about $1500. Also, laws may vary but I think the law at the time (not sure if it is still true) required an RN to perform the treatment. That might've also resulted in a higher cost.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 11:53 am 
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yeah, no, groupon started in late 2008.

let's see:

maxaesthetics (soprano XL) $99, but used all in credit. (eversave flicks the weasel!) - 3 sessions on the chin
Abington Aesthetic & Laser Medical Center (cynosure) Small ($129) or Medium ($199) Area - 3 sessions each chin/bits
welcare medspa ($99 for 3 treatments, $700 value) (palomar IPL) had to pay an extra $200 to "upgrade" to brazilian (read the fine print, folks) 1 free treatment for patchiness.
dermacenter medical spa ($99 for 3 treatments 900 value) (syneron) - 3 sessions chin (completely useless)

so for 9 chin sessions and 7 bits sessions, i paid (or would have paid had i not had credit) $825
plus the "$199" for the at home device, which has 1,500 flashes before the cartridge needs to be removed. (which will then be appx $25)

and because these places are all in philly, i suppose i should take into account the bridge/parking too. i combined visits for most of the sessions, and i used the train when i went to the locations within walking distance of the stops, so i'd say all in all it's probably $50 for the transportation. maxaesthetics isn't near the train, but has free parking, and abington is somewhat within walking distance, but i'm willing to pay an extra $3 to be able to get in and out without too much walking/train sitting. especially now with the EMLA.

i hope i don't have to shell much more out, i've been scoping out electrolysis groupons for the coarse blondies on my chin, but those are few and far between.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:04 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
i hope i don't have to shell much more out, i've been scoping out electrolysis groupons for the coarse blondies on my chin, but those are few and far between.


I thought elecrolysis didn't really work for blonde hairs? I have a few of those chin hairs (and seriously, are those forkers barbed or attached to an anchor, because they are tough to pull), and while it's not the worst thing to pull them out every few weeks, the only place my acne isn't under control is right where two of them are. I don't know why, but I still get a cystic zit there every month.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Well no matter how you do it, you should do 6 treatments, a month apart from eachother. Hair has a 3 month growth cycle and doing 6 will help ensure your best bet of keeping the hair away as long as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: Laser Hair Removal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:15 pm 
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mrsbadmouth wrote:
supercarrot wrote:
i hope i don't have to shell much more out, i've been scoping out electrolysis groupons for the coarse blondies on my chin, but those are few and far between.


I thought elecrolysis didn't really work for blonde hairs? I have a few of those chin hairs (and seriously, are those forkers barbed or attached to an anchor, because they are tough to pull), and while it's not the worst thing to pull them out every few weeks, the only place my acne isn't under control is right where two of them are. I don't know why, but I still get a cystic zit there every month.

electrolysis is perfect for blonde hairs. it's an actual probe that's stuck into your pore, so color has nothing to do with it. it'll be cauterized no matter what color your skin/hair is.

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