Do I look like a goddess yet?
I have this ongoing monologue with my body hair. I know I should wax, but sometimes I just can’t be arsed, or I’ve left it too late to get an appointment and it is now urgent-urgent-urgent so I shave…. Likewise, I also know that if I’m shaving and not waxing, that actually I realllllly should be Veeting… See how quickly it spirals into Gilmore Girls-style madness? Especially when you’re like me – that’s someone a teensy bit lazy, who also likes to be less follically-challenged than the closest bearded hipster.
So with all of this should-I-shouldn’t-I going on in my head and all of the associated lacklustre organisational skills that come with A) ever booking said wax or B) never having said Veet tube on hand, it should come as little surprise that I took the first loophole offered to me.
And that loophole is laser
Now not since Samantha in Sex And The City had her face acid-peeled and turned a brighter shade of puce have I wanted to do anything to my person that involved the word “aesthetics”. But here I am – and spoiler alert: it is genius. Laser hair removal is not cheap, but it’s not gob-smackingly expensive if you’re already hitting up your local salon for an eyebrow-to-ankles wax either. And, yes, it may sound Bond villainous, but it isn’t really, which is a crying shame. I think, in retrospect, I would have loved the drama of someone with an eye-patch and an accent manning my laser.
So what’s it all about then?
Laser works by using an infra-red pulse light to target and damage the hair follicle. The hair must be in the follicle, thus the “no waxing or plucking” rule comes into immediate effect. I went large and straight to the experts: Skin Renewal Clinic. Here, in plushy surrounds, they boast a fourth generation IPL (that’s Intense Pulsed Light, by the way) device, which is capable of treating all skin types and hair colours, with the exception of white or grey. Tick and tick.
After a consultation with my starch-coated aesthetician (who is her own best advert, being achingly glowy, wrinkle-free and hairless save for her eyebrows, which are on fleek, and her lashes, which are lavish), we decide to start with my armpits (so easy!) and my bikini line (so brave!).
And how did it feel…
The laser room means stripping off on a massage table and keeping your wits about you – so far, so wax… Before we start, my therapist numbs the area with ice packs, which are actually just a Machiavellian way of making you grateful for the heat to follow… For a few misspent seconds. It’s neither as painful nor as pleasant as you want it to be, but I am and have always been a wax-on-wax-off girl, so I’m used to some level of, erm, discomfort. Possibly the only disconcerting bit of the entire exercise, which is incredibly quick, is the vague sniff of scorched hair in the air… You know that Eau De Singe you get when you lean too close to a candle to blow it out. That.
Do I look like a goddess?
In and out in 30 minutes for both armpits and bikini… It’s a win… But you need to be patient between appointments, which are a staggering six weeks apart… The hair removal is not instant and magical. It takes time and a good couple of sessions before you really start to notice a difference. But notice a difference, you will.
My armpits went very quickly. I saw real results within three laser treatments and have had hardly any regrowth. Plus, where my pits are concerned, it really wasn’t painful. Perhaps mine are made of leather, or perhaps I’ve just waxed them to the point that there wasn’t much hair regrowth anyway. My bikini line took longer and, obviously, when it comes to having even a sliver of one’s labia lasered, we’ve kinda moved away from the underarms feels.
That said, it’s over so quickly that you can’t believe you were feeling wimpy for even half a second. And the results have been good. I would commit to further sessions for my bikini line, which has noticeably less regrowth, but could still do with a smidge more… It is a little addictive! As I am penning this, I realise it. Dammit.