I was a regular waxer for well over 15 years. I liked my esthetician and the convenience of not shaving. Things started to change with my skin and I was noticing that despite my efforts with exfoliation I was getting some very painful ingrown hairs. I thought about looking into laser hair removal as it seemed like a worthy investment and I had a few friends who were pleased with their results. I was spending around $100 per month on my waxing appointments and I really wanted something more permanent with less irritation.
Derick Dermatology uses the Gentle Max laser which is used for hair removal on all skin types,. Laser hair removal is a permanent reduction of hair. In other words, it has the ability to permanently reduce the number of body hairs. Sounds perfect- I was tired of shaving my underarms daily and willing to give it a try.
The laser works by creating a beam of high intensity light that penetrates deeply into the skin tissue. Candela, the manufacturer of the Gentle Max Laser, has patented the Dynamic Cooling Device Technology which actually shoots a cooling burst of cryogen as each follicle is targeted to minimize discomfort.
Treatment takes place in the office with your dermatologist and a technician. You will always have a consultation first to decide what course of treatment is right for you. You will both wear protective eyewear. Photographs will be taken of the areas to be treated before each treatment. Duration could be minutes or up to an hour, depending on the size of the area. I would describe the sensation as that of a rubber band snapping on your skin. It is very quick and they do offer you numbing cream before getting started. Although I took a pass on the numbing cream, I did take advantage of the hand held cool air blower that instantly relieved any discomfort that I was experiencing.
The number of sessions varies. Because there are different phases of hair growth, multiple sessions are often needed in order to target the hair in the active growth or Anagen phase.
Before treatment checklist:
- No plucking or waxing prior to treatment.
- Skin must be clean shaven, cleansed and dry.
- Skin must be free of deodorant or lotions.
- No self-tanner or tanned skin. This is considered a contraindication and the technician will ask you to return when your tan is gone or self-tanner has worn off.
After treatment instructions:
- Apply sunscreen (SPF 30 or above) to prevent over exposure.
- Don’t use harsh cleansers or scrubs after treatment.
- Some hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation or bruising may occur. This usually goes away after the first few days.
My results were astonishing! After only 4 sessions I had very little if any underarm hair. I had slight hyperpigmentation that went away after 3 or 4 days. Now after 15 sessions, my underarm hair is completely gone and the skin is so smooth. This is where the title of this article comes into place: laser shaving is what this process is all about. You shave, you receive laser treatment, and you shave in between treatments and again before your next session. You will probably find that you need to shave less and less after each appointment.
After only 5 sessions of my bikini package, I noticed significant hair reduction and have continued to purchase additional packages going forward for long lasting results. Fact: I have not had one single in- grown hair since I quit waxing.
My hair colorist saw me blow drying my hair with my arms above my head at my last appointment and she approached me to take a closer look. She said that she was looking at my underarms asked me if I had laser hair removal. I told her about my experience and I then realized how completely satisfied I was with my results!
Laser hair removal isn’t for everyone and waxing remains a preferred choice for many. If you are considering laser hair removal, schedule a consultation appointment to discuss your personal goals, skin type, hair color, texture and any other concerns you may have with your dermatologist.