Through pink-coloured safety goggles I stare fiercely at the smiley faces on the two stress balls I’m squeezing within an inch of their little yellow lives. Yes, I’m a little nervous.
“Concentrate on the cooling sensation,” Bita, managing director of The Laser Lounge, reassures me.
“Breathe,” she tells me again.
So, I do. Because breathing is certainly a good idea at the best of times.
It’s also a good idea at the not-so-best of times. Which includes right now. As my lady bits are being repeatedly zapped by a laser.
Too much information? Then sorry, you may choose not to read on.
But if you’re prepared to dismiss any disturbing visuals of me and my bits in the interests of learning about a treatment that will end up saving you dollars and help you avoid the pain and in-growns of waxing, tweezing and epilating, then stick with me here.
Because I’m here to tell you, laser hair removal is good. Change your life good.
I’m at The Laser Lounge in Paddington, Brisbane (you’ll also find The Laser Lounge in Sydney’s CBD and Castle Hill).* The business is the brainchild of sisters Gita Cooery and Bita Beyzaee. Sisters who know their stuff, whether it’s laser hair removal, skin rejuvenation, cosmetic treatments, chemical peels, skincare, brow-shaping or tanning. They do it and they know it.
Before I go any further, let’s just get that pain thing out on on the table, so to speak, because that’s where it was happening. Yes, laser hair removal will come with a certain degree of pain but it’s certainly bearable and less painful than waxing or IPL/SPL (Intense Pulsed Light or Square Pulsed Light) hair removal. In general, you’ll feel it more where there is more hair. There really is a cooling sensation before the heat of the laser blast and if you can trick your brain into concentrating on the cool, it will be a whole lot easier to take. And it will be over a whole lot more quickly than waxing the same area.
For me, the outside edges of the bikini line were a cinch. I had SPL hair reduction treatments four years ago (yes, there’s still hair left from these … it’s reduced, just not entirely gone). It was just as Bita worked her way in to the more *sensitive* bits of my bits that I got a little jumpy.
All up it takes about 10 minutes. And I don’t actually come close to hitting the ceiling.
Too much information alert again. I wasn’t planning to go *all the way* but Bita – aka The Brazilian Queen – questioned why not. Even if I changed my mind a few treatments in, at least the hair in the middle wouldn’t be as thick and coarse. And in a moment of craziness, I agreed. Why not, indeed? After all, dear Stylers, you deserve the FULL story, don’t you?
Oh, ok, you got me … the real reason was that the aforementioned Queen of Brazilians (she’s earned that name because she’ll do an average of 30 a day!) told me that once I went grey *down there*, laser wouldn’t work. Eek. Grey pubes. No-one gives you the heads up on that in this whole ageing gracefully malarkey.
You see, laser hair removal works best when your skin is pale and the hair is dark. It’s that contrast that allows the laser to work most effectively. If you’ve been out in the sun or are using a self-tanner they’ll most likely recommend waiting at least one month before beginning treatments. All of these tips are explained in detail during your initial consultation.
This is why winter is THE perfect time to start a series of permanent laser hair reduction treatments. If your legs are like mine they’ve taken on a particularly fetching shade of pasty … and I plan to keep them that way till things warm up again in September so bring on the laser. Just pass me those stress balls.
How does laser work?
The Laser Lounge only uses Certified Candela premier medical grade hair removal laser devices. In Queensland you have to be approved and licensed by the Department of Health to use one of these machines – and Bita and Gita are currently lobbying the New South Wales government for similar strict regulations as they believe that people should not be using the machines unless fully trained.
The laser releases a focused beam of energy that targets the hair follicle at its root (it’s best to shave beforehand – complete contrast to waxing). Within one to two weeks, the hair may appear on the surface like a “stubble” effect. This is not hair re-growth but hair being forced out of the follicle to the surface of the skin. Leave this to fall out by itself.
Hair doesn’t all grow at an even rate at the same time. Some hairs will be in a “rest” phase when you have your first treatment, which is why a series of six to eight treatments six weeks apart is recommended; then maintenance every three to six months after (depending on personal factors such as genetics, hormones, medications etc).
What you need to know?
You must avoid the sun or self-tanning in the area of your treatment for one month before your treatment. An increased risk of pigmentation change and burning can occur if you have a tan.
Avoid prescription-strength exfoliant creams for two weeks before your treatment.
Don’t wax, tweeze, epilate, thread or bleach the area for one month before your treatment.
You CAN shave or use a hair removal cream 24 hours before – and in between – your treatments.
What might happen after your treatment?
You might experience a mild sunburn-like sensation for two to 24 hours (I didn’t).
You could also experience a “bubbling” effect on the skin for two to 24 hours, which means the root has been targeted (I had a little).
Apply the supplied soothing aloe vera gel spray to the area to reduce symptoms.
Avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks after the treatment – SPF 30+ must be used after that.
Don’t use strongly scented lotions, soaps and creams.
Wait until any sunburn effect has disappeared before working up a sweat, using exfoliating creams, razors, tweezers or swimming in chlorinated pools or spas.
It’s best to first book in for a free consultation. Phone 1300 963 962 or email the team at [email protected]. Each client is unique and a consultation will give you a better idea of the number of treatments you will need for your specific area of concern.
A Brazilian and Underarm package is priced from $99 per treatment.
A Bikini and Underarm combination is priced from $70 per treatment.
THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED! WIN: The Laser Lounge has 12 prizes of a bikini and underarm permanent laser hair reduction combination treatment to give away. Entering is easy. Simply leave a comment below. I want to hear about your most embarrassing body hair story. Come on. Spill. For extra winning karma, why not head on over and like The Laser Lounge on Facebook and follow them on Twitter? Entries open on Thursday, June 30 at 7am and close on Thursday, July 14 at 8am. The competition is open to all Australian residents but the prize can only be accepted at The Laser Lounge’s Sydney or Brisbane clinics. The prize does not include transport to and from the clinics. The winners will be drawn at random using random.org. They will be notified by email and the names listed here.
* I was a guest of The Laser Lounge for the purposes of writing this sponsored post. This review is an honest account of my experience.