It’s summer time and there’s nothing better than freshly shaven legs, short shorts and sandals. Am I right? As someone who is obsessed with hair removal, yes, obsessed, I’m always looking for new things to try to get rid of unwanted hair. I recently started doing laser hair removal and have had such a mind blowing, life changing experience to it, that I wanted to share it with you.
Why is it so life changing? Well for me, I’m a slave to my razor. I shave daily and sometimes twice a day depending on the day. Let’s say I woke up super early to go to work and shaved my legs, then decided at 9pm that night that I want to head out dancing with friends, I would more often than not shave my legs again. My leg hair truly grows that quickly. Since I did Brazilian laser hair removal, I realized how successful this hair removal technique is and finally decided to move to my legs next. I headed into OVME, a new med-spa in Buckhead just down the road from me to give their new laser a try.
After just one, yes ONE, session, I saw a significant decrease in hair growth. It really does work that fast. Then after my second treatment which was right before my trip to France, I didn’t have to shave once the week I was gone. It’s truly a life-changing treatment that I can not recommend enough. After sharing my sessions on Instagram Stories I received quite a few questions. From how exactly to prep your skin/hair for laser hair removal, what to expect, does it hurt and so on. I’m answering all your pressing questions about this popular hair removal technique today. Have a question I didn’t cover? Leave it in the comments and I’ll make sure it gets answered!
1. First and foremost, what exactly is laser hair removal?
The laser targets pigment (melanin) and the hair follicle. The laser destroys the hair root keeping the hair from growing. Over time, the root weakens and stops growing altogether. OVME uses a new to me laser called Quanta. It’s a proprietary laser hair removal technology that delivers energy directly to melanin in the hair follicles resulting in a lasting reduction of hair growth. It’s totally different than the traditional lasers I’ve used in the past. So instead of zapping one follicle once at full power, it slides over the same area three times with 1/3 of the power. This, in my opinion, is less painful.
2. What’s the best way to prep your hair for treatment? We’ve heard to wax, shave or leave it grown out. What’s the right way?
It’s always recommended to shave before your session. If you are a waxer, you’ll want to commit to shaving during the time you’re doing treatments as the laser needs to find pigment. If you’re waxing, there’s no hair, and it won’t do its job. You are recommended to also shave the night prior to your session and leave off any makeup, heavy ointments, creams etc. In order for the laser to zap the follicle, the less hair that’s in its way the better. Lasers target pigment, which is why not waxing is important. The laser can more easily find the hair follicle when there’s hair in it still.
3. How come you can’t have any sun exposure two weeks before?
When you go into the sun and get a tan (or sunburn) the melanin in your skin is activated and lifts to the surface. Ultimately that’s what’s giving you that glow! Lasers are attracted to melanin, so keeping the melanin below the surface as much as possible is key to preventing any burns. If you’re still tan (as I am nearly year round) I can still be lasered so long as I stay out of direct sunlight two weeks before and also two weeks after. After two weeks, your melanin begins to fall below the surface of your skin which is ideal.
4. How do I know if I’m a good candidate?
Typically the more contrast in color you have in your skin to hair the better. So fair-skinned people with dark hair are ideal candidates. Lasers are getting much better these days so this doesn’t mean if you’re darker and have brown hair, that you won’t see results. Because you will! However, the best and fastest results are seen when the hair is thick and dark against fair skin.
5. I’m African American, will this treatment work on me?
Great question! So long as your hair is darker than your skin tone, you’ll see results. Again, the lasers are getting much more sophisticated these days and although it may take additional sessions to see best results, it’s possible.
6. How often should I come in?
Depending on the area and results, you’ll come in anytime between 4-6 weeks, or 6-8 weeks. Lower body is typically 6-8 weeks, whereas the upper body is 4-6 weeks.
7. How many treatments will it take to see a difference?
It can take anywhere from 6-8 treatments to see full results. However, as I can attest to, you will likely see drastic results after just your first treatment. It takes a few days to see those results. Typically after a week you’ll notice your hair starting to fall out or just not growing. It’s so neat!
8. What happens if I WANT hair again? Is it really permanent?
Well, to be honest, it’s pretty permanent. Hormones may play a role in hair coming back a bit in the future. But for the most part, this is pretty darn permanent. Personally, I noticed when I took biotin pills that hair would grow back where it was previously lasered off. I don’t recommend taking biotin pills anymore if you really want to commit to no hair.
To be totally transparent, some hairs may never totally disappear. There may be a few hairs here and there that just don’t get zapped entirely. My aesthetician told me that for some weird reason, knees just don’t always respond super well to it. And again, it may grow back in the future due to hormonal changes but for the most part, yup it’s permanent!
9. Is there anything I need to do afterward?
The biggest thing for aftercare treatment is to not wear tight clothing or workout. So don’t do hot yoga right after a session. I’ve worn jeans after, leggings, it’s fine. But everyone may be different. You may notice some red bumps and inflammation which is normal. Just apply a cold compress if you like. And again, do not go in the sun for 2 weeks after. Bringing melanin back up to the surface of your skin may cause irritation.
10. What does pricing look like?
Each studio is different, but OVME ranges anywhere from $1,700 for 6 sessions for full Brazilian to $2,400 for full legs. There are also membership options at OVME which is a great way to save money. For a monthly fee you receive various discounts. From Botox to laser to complimentary B12 shots and facials. You can browse the OVME membership options here.
11. Lastly, is it painful?
Personally, I don’t think it’s that bad. There are moments when I need to take a breather, but it’s usually because I’m almost always too tan every time I go in. Again, it’s targeting melanin/pigment so if you’re tan it’s going to zap the melanin. Over an entire session, it can start to get a touch painful. For me, I think I have a high pain tolerance. I’ve never really been super bothered by it and think it’s totally worth the slight discomfort for the incredible results.