As a woman with a great body, but a forest for a bikini line I was very excited when I heard about laser hair removal. I dreamed of finally being able to spontaneously throw on a bikini without planning a waxing appointment. I am not the kind of person to try things when they first come out, so I have waited several years in hopes that the laser hair removal would have improved and all the kinks ironed out. Another thing holding me back was the price. After doing some research I found out that the laser hair removal process cost more than I would think of and I finally have the money.
Any sort of doctor’s appointment makes me nervous. Giving control over to someone else is really not my thing and makes me uncomfortable. So the first thing was to find a place that did laser hair removal that I was comfortable with. Spending hours online researching laser hair removal machines, I decided I wanted to have the laser hair removal done with an Alexandrite laser. I contacted several places that offered Laser Hair Removal and decided to go to the S&U Clinic in Gangnam, Seoul.
One of the reasons I picked the S&U Clinic is because they used the laser machine I was interested in, the Apogee 5500. I also liked that doctor I spoke with sounded competent and the staff were patient with me on the telephone. I had compared prices and S&U seemed to be competitively priced (there was not much difference in price from place to place). S&U has a woman doctor on staff and both the doctor and the staff spoke English. (Did I mention I am having my laser hair removal treatments done in Seoul, South Korea?)
When I arrived at their office I first had a laser hair removal consultation, this lasted about 15 minutes. During the consultation with the doctor I indicated that I wanted my bikini line done. She said that the laser hair removal treatment works best on people with light skin who have thick, dark hair. I assured her I was the perfect candidate. She then explained to me, using one of those funny plastic medical models, how the laser destroys the follicle.
She told me that it would take 5-10 laser hair removal treatments for the best results. She also said I should not expose this area to the sun (not a problem since it was the beginning of winter) and not to go into a swimming pool for 3 days after the laser hair removal treatment. She also said the nurse and I should draw a line indicating the shape of the pubic hair I wanted to leave in place. I decided to remove it all, at least for the first few laser hair removal treatments, as I want my pubes thinned out so as not to be such a thicket. I am still undecided as to whether to go with the mow hawk or the triangle as my shape of choice, but I don’t have to make that decision for another 3 months or so.
After the laser hair removal consultation with the doctor, the nurse led me back into the laser hair removal treatment room where I was asked to disrobe from the waist down so I could be prepped for the laser hair removal treatment. Meaning that the nurse would shave off all of my pubic hair. At that point my level of uncomfortability was such that it led me to make many jokes all through the shaving process. The nurse, while laughing at my jokes, shaved off all of my pubic hair. This is something I wish they would have told me to do before I arrived because it would have been much less humiliating to have done the shaving myself in the comfort of my own home.
When the shaving was complete, the nurse then anointed me with some anesthetic cream. It was cold and white. The nurse placed saran wrap over the cream and let it sit for 20 minutes. The nurse swabbed the anesthetic cream off and placed several small ice packs on my pubic area for another 5 minutes. Then the doctor came into the room to do the laser hair removal procedure.
I was hoping to see what happens during the laser hair removal, but opaque plastic goggles were placed over my eyes for the duration of the treatment. I was nervous, after all they had taken such care to try and numb the area that I was sure it must be a painful process. I have been waxing for years and I was hoping it could not possibly hurt as much as that. I have also read different accounts of the laser hair removal process online of the amount of pain people describe during the laser hair removal and it spanned all ends of the spectrum.
I was pleasantly surprised. The laser hair removal procedure did not really hurt me at all. Nothing compared to bikini waxing, which actually does not bother me that much either (I use MOOM, which is a great waxing product I highly recommend). When the laser zaps you it stings slightly for 1 second and then the sting was gone. The Apogee laser hair removal machine has 2 parts. One blows cold air on you and the other is the laser. The doctor was very generous with the cold air and she seemed skilled at the laser hair removal process, that may have made some difference.
Time passes by quickly during the laser hair removal treatment. The nurse held my hand which was calming and I hummed songs to myself. The next time I think I will bring my MP3 player. During the treatment I could faintly smell burning hair, there was a fan noise from the blowing cold air and there were flashes of red light and a clicking noise every time the doctor zapped me. At some point the doctor went over some areas, not all, a second time and this stung a little more but it’s totally worth it if this really works.
At the end of the laser hair removal treatment, my pubic area was decidedly bright pink in color. The nurse once again iced down the area for 5-10 minutes and indicated that if I had pain at home I should repeat the icing process myself as many times as needed. I put my pants on, made an appointment for 6 weeks later (the doctor said treatments should be done every 6-8 weeks). I went outside, bought a beer and took myself out for some delicious Indian food. I thought it might be irritating to walk around with my pants rubbing against the area that just endured the laser hair removal but it was not.
The laser hair removal treatment, including the consultation, took 1 hour and 45 minutes. I got home 3.5 hours after that and the redness was gone. I had no pain whatsoever. I put some aloe gel on the area that had the laser hair removal treatment (the all natural, no fragrance kind) just to be nice to my skin, but it probably wasn’t necessary.
If laser hair removal really works this is the most amazing thing to happen to women since suffrage and birth control.
Day 1-7 After Treatment: No redness, no swelling, no itching. After your laser hair removal treatment, although the hair follicle is dead, your hair continues to grow a bit. I thought it would result in an itchy feeling, as that is what usually happens when you shave off all of your pubic hair and it grows back. There was no itchy feeling. As your hair grows you can begin to pull it out with your fingernails quite easily. This is not the same as plucking or waxing the hair, which you are instructed by your dermatologist not to do. You can simply lightly tug at the hairs and they fall out.