laser hair removal: yes? no? safe? terrifying?

Alright. So, who has done it?!

I see Groupons all the time for it, but I don’t know much about it, and I am moderately terrified of possible scarring, spider veins, or my skin falling off.

I don’t know if these are actually possible side effects, so I thought I’d ask all you girls.

+ Have you done it? Legs, underarms, bikini, elsewhere?

+ Have you thought about doing it/will you do it if I will?

I’d just really love to never shave my glorious legs ever ever again.

And I’m offended that razor cartridges are like $28 for a 4 pack.

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  1. Haley k says:

    I have a friend who had her upper lip done. After all the follow ups she says she still has hair it’s just thinner and lighter. But I hope you get responses that others have had success. I’d live to have it too.

  2. Kristin says:

    I’ve tried it at both salons and at home, with the Tria. Both have been fine, since you can adjust the level of intensity. I didn’t have any adverse side effects to either, though I prefer the Tria overall since it ends up costing a lot less in the long run. Just be patient with it since it takes a lot of treatments to get rid of all the hair. 🙂

  3. Rebecka says:

    Yes, I’ve done it. Legs, bikini and face. It’s not for those who are sensitive to pain. It hurts (a lot) more than waxing, but the pain fades quickly. My first session I got some burns in my bikini area, that was NOT fun! It didn’t leave any scars though and my skin is still there. Sadly, so is some of the hair. I’m definitely less hairy but I couldn’t afford enough sessions to get it all. (The woman who did it also said the hair comes back eventually, after 5-10 years.) There are a few different methods of laser hair removal, so I suggest you do some research beforehand. Good luck!

  4. Katie says:

    I got a Groupon and had my bikini line done. The Groupon was for six sessions, but most of the research I found said it takes closer to 8-10 sessions to see real, lasting results. I wasn’t willing to pay for any more sessions though, and just figured some progress is better than none. That helped me manage my expectations, so I’m really pleased with the results. The vast majority of the hair is gone, but not all of it, and what’s left is much thinner and less noticeable. I LOVE that I don’t generally have to worry about shaving before wearing a swimsuit (except for a couple hairs that were more stubborn). I finished my last treatment about two(ish) months ago and no negative side effects so far.
    I will say that the treatments hurt… much more than I thought they would. :/ They were quick at least, because I was doing a small area, but it still wasn’t fun by any stretch. The closest thing I can compare it to is getting my tattoo on my ribs… and I think the tattoo was more bearable. Just sayin. I would not have the guts to do a large area like my legs, and I don’t think I would have paid for it without the Groupon. But I’m happy with my results!

  5. E Wiebe says:

    Yes, I have done it. I was a little nervous, mostly because I didn’t want it to mutate my insides (Im a bit of a weirdo) but was assured that no such thing will happen.
    I have done my legs, underarms, bikini and brazilian (yes. brazilian) I didn’t think it was painful, except one time when she didn’t use enough gel, but the pain was over quickly and she remedied the problem. I am used to waxing. It felt like rubber bands, being snapped on my skin. (I will say, for the brazilian, certain areas are more sensitive…)
    I found it to work really well, but it does take a few sessions. It also depends on your hair (dark hair works best, the laser has something to “grab on to”) but I was really pleased with the results. My hair came back WAY more sparse and a lot lighter! I did try 2 different types (cant remember the name of them though) because the first type didn’t work as well. That one she put black carbon on the area, then laser it off.
    Anyway, hope this helps!

  6. Emma says:

    Been there. Done that. Still have hair.
    The same thing happened to me, I kept on seeing groupons and I finally broke down and got one. I had six sessions for Brazilian laser hair removal treatment.
    I think I would have less hair now if I did the follow up sessions for the next few years, but I moved away and didn’t have the money to keep up with it. I guess my hair is thinner and a tiny bit more scarce now, however I remain unimpressed. Yes it was painful but not in a lasting way, no scars and no spider veins, etc.
    That being said, if I ever came into money or the right deal I would probably like to do it again and keep it up this time.

  7. Currently in the process of having my chin, bikini, and underarms done. I got a groupon for it. So far I know that:

    – There are certain lasers and some are superior to others. Look for a place (call them first) that uses a Yag laser
    – It DEFINITELY takes more than 6 sessions
    – I’m on session 4 of 10 and I can tell that some of my hair is lighter and thinner but it isn’t going to go away completely unless I can buy more sessions
    – I do know other women who have had great success with this. They also had the funds to do it for a seriously long time before the hair was gone

  8. Susanna says:

    I’ve done it (legs, bikini, underarms, face) and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.

    The first few sessions hurt more because there was more hair. The last several (I’ve done a course of 12) I barely felt at all. There are a few hairs left but they are much thinner and lighter and I hardly ever shave. It’s fairly miraculous as I come from a very hairy family and have been plagued by hair removal since I was 12 years old. No more. Yes, it’s expensive and time-consuming (until it’s done), but I feel it’s worth it. No more ingrown hairs, no more razor burn, no more embarrassment.

  9. September says:

    12 sessions? painful? I don’t know where you guys went…
    If you go to a professional who has a good machine and knows how to use it, you will get excellent results. (I don’t think the good ones are the people advertising on groupon…) But you’ll pay for it.
    I spent $2500 for:
    -4 bikini treatments
    -3 underarm
    -2 lower leg
    If done correctly (works best on dark hair on light skin) it removes 20% of hair each time. Therefore after 3 treatments you should have removed at least 50% (it depends on what stage of growth the hair is in). 6 treatments would remove 95% of the hair.
    It was nowhere near as painful as waxing. Like rubber bands but a good technician is immediately spraying a cooling liquid. It’s red for a day and kinda gross when the hair is falling out (shave before going and then the burnt hair is pushed out over a week or so).
    BUT, this was some of the best money I ever spent. I would do it again and again. Though I didn’t do all the treatments, my goal was only to make my hairy bits manageable. As in, if I want to go to the pool I don’t have sick razor burn. As for the hair that’s left on legs/bikini/underarm, I have found it to be thinner. It’s been six or seven years for me and the treatments have held up well. I highly recommend it. I was too shy to get a brazilian but wish I had done that in retrospect.
    Make sure you go to a legit place though. If they have a lousy machine or don’t use the proper settings, it won’t take and you’ll spend a LOT of money for nothing. My place was in British Columbia so you probably can’t use a referral!
    Good luck!

  10. Kelly says:

    Hey Girl,

    Laser is not permanent! It changes texture/color of hair but it will not permanently remove all hair. The only treatment that will permanently kill the hair follicles is electrolysis. My mom is a nurse for 30 years, went for her electrologist license 15 years ago, and still practices both today. The treatment applies electrical and heat current to one follicle at a time- which will either kill off the hair with one time, or after several treatments. Take it from me, I started getting my eyebrows done in the 7th grade…I’m now 24 and have never plucked a day in my life! Treatment is pricey and frequent for a while, yet works. Trust me, I’ve met 100’s of her clients and have sent many friends for it throughout the years!

  11. beth says:

    I don’t know the cost of laser vs. waxing, but I’ve been waxing for a while, and most of my hair has stopped coming back in. I figured since laser is so much more expensive it was quicker and only one visit, but after reading the above comments I think I’ve gone the better way. I now wax my legs 3-4 times a year at $50 a pop, and when I go to wax there is just little wisps that need to be removed. I don’t find waxing painful but I think I have a pretty high tolerance to pain.

  12. Kelly says:

    I’ did underarms, bikini and modified Brazilian. It does hurt but they make topical numbing cream that you can apply 30 minutes before that helps a ton. I would reccomend that for sure if you do the Brazilian. I don’t regret spending the money. I rarely shave my underarms and bikini area. I wasn’t able to continued the modified Brazilian enough to not shave but it thinned the hair out enough that I can shave easily…which was not the case prior to lasor. Go for it; promise your skin won’t fall off! 🙂

  13. Jamie says:

    I did this in high school, because I had so, so much leg hair. The dark, thick, fast-growing leg hair that when I shaved my legs they would be prickly again in an hour or two. I actually got my legs waxed once, and the lady couldn’t get all the hair out! I found an advertisement for a deal at American Laser Centers. I went in, and they really tried to sell me on it. I would definitely advise acting liking you’re a tough sell – I ended up getting a much better deal so I got upper lip thrown in too. Can’t hurt! I did find the experience pretty painful, and I hated going. I actually didn’t use all of the sessions I should have, because I went to college out of state and had no car. Even without every single session though, it was well worth the money. I do still have some leg hair, but it’s so thin and light. I can shave my legs so quickly and it lasts for several days. Which for me, is a big deal! I might go back one day to “finish the job,” but I was happy with how it worked. Good luck!

  14. Alexandra says:

    My mom started taking me to get waxed when I was 12 – I got my legs and lips done regularly until I was 18, and I still get my lips and eyebrows done. She bought me a laser package for my upper lip and I could barely stand to finish using it. HOLY COW that stuff hurt. To be fair, my upper lip is the most sensitive part for me, hair removal wise, and my eyes still water when I get it waxed. But the laser hurt like the dickens. And since I was such a wimp about it, they kept the level very low, so I ended up not getting very good results. So, lotta pain, lotta money, poor results. But waxing was great – I was able to go for a good 2 weeks without touching my legs. And even now that I don’t wax my legs (poor college student) the hair is wayyy thinner and only in patches, which is great since I’m shaving. My mom’s legs are completely hair-free, like silky smooth, and have been for years. In high school she had to shave twice daily to avoid a five-o-clock shadow situation. So yes, I’d go with waxing.

  15. Erica says:

    Expensive. Painful. And the hair has all come back. I still feel guilty for spending my money so foolishly, especially now that our church funds it’s own orphans home in Cambodia. The money could have done some good in the world!
    Look, we women have hair, and that’s ok even though society says it’s not. It sucks to have as much chin hair as I do, but, still. I would never recommend laser treatment for it.
    God bless you with your decision, though. Just sharing my regret. Sigh.

    • erin a. says:

      I just read your comment, after I wrote my own comment. I am inspired by you! I hate my chin hair so much. Argh!!!

      • Susanna says:

        The technicians at the laser hair place I use tell me that hair on the face is more affected by hormones, meaning, it’s more likely to come back and needs more treatments to remove. 6 treatments is really not a lot, I’d encourage you to get more on your face if it really bothers you that much. It does me, and I have no problem getting treatments to remove it!

        Erica, I’m sorry to hear about your experience, but everyone responds differently. Personally it’s been very effective for me and I feel it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

  16. Cecily says:

    This is good to know. I just started treatments in my armpits. The first one killed. But my hair is definitely coming back much slower.

  17. erin a. says:

    I got laser treatments 9 years ago on my thighs, bikini, belly, lip & chin. (embarrassing to confess some of that… most gals probably don’t have much hair on some of those spots…) I am really glad I did, although it was not completely permanent. I had the standard 6 treatments. It did hurt. But, like tiny slaps. The extreme pain was very short lived. The pain is quite severe over a bony area. That is why I opted to skip my calves and just shave. I dealt with such awful razor burn in the soft areas, that shaving wasn’t a good option. And waxing started giving me the same problem. Neither were working.
    Laser treatment is used for scars and for spider veins. So, I don’t think there is danger of that for side effects.
    I do have some stray hairs in some of these spot. But, nothing that bothers me. (Except my chin. humiliating, really. some day, I would like to get more treatments there…)

  18. Lindsay Eryn says:

    I live in Seoul, South Korea (cosmetic procedure capitol of the world). When I found out that laser hair removal treatments here were much more cheaper than in the States, I went for it. I’ve been to two different clinics because my first one gave me nice results at first, but then they weren’t so permanent.

    At the first clinic, I spent approx. $900 for the following:
    5 sessions on lip
    5 sessions on underarms
    5 sessions on bikini
    5 sessions on my entire legs

    At the second clinic, I had to pay per session which raked up the price pretty high (for Korea, at least). I paid approx. $534 for the following:
    3 sessions on bikini
    3 sessions on underarms
    3 sessions on lower legs

    I decided to cut out the lip and thigh portions at the later clinic because I realized that the hairs there weren’t as dark and course as I thought they were. Either that, or the darkest and coarsest ones were done away with by the appointments at the first clinic.

    The clinics used different lasers. The first used and a machine that looked like a sonogram with gel to make the contact close with my skin. It hurt pretty bad. On my lip, it felt like the technician was holding a lit match to my skin. I cried a little each time. Also, the first time I went, I’d used deodorant on my underarms. That hurt pretty badly.

    The second clinic uses what I can only describe as a point-and-shoot laser. It doesn’t come in contact with my skin. The technician just aims it where she sees hair. This laser also hurts MUCH worse. But, as the doctor says, this one is probably better. I’m starting to believe him as my hair hasn’t been growing back in the treated areas as it did before.

    If I could do the experience again, I wouldn’t have spent the money to get my thighs and lip done. For me and my hair, it wasn’t worth it. I am looking very forward to possibly not having to shave my armpits again, though, and I really like having my bikini area the way it is now.

    I’ve written about the first clinic here: http://lindsayeryn.blogspot.kr/2012/03/laser-hair-removal-im-for-real.html

  19. Julia says:

    I WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend using this:

    http://www.dollarshaveclub.com/

    You get a bunch of kick-ass razors for VERY cheap sent to your home. (Actually GREAT quality).

    It’s marketed towards men, but some women also use it. I love it!

    As for hair removal, I think it’s very unnatural and my friends have claimed that it grows back after not-too-long. Don’t do it!

  20. If you are planning on undergoing laser hair removal, you should limit plucking, waxing, and electrolysis for six weeks before treatment. That’s because the laser targets the hairs’ roots, which are temporarily removed by waxing or plucking.

  21. Jamie Duncan says:

    Having a review about hair removal is a must, especially for people who want to know the most effective treatment. Sometimes, hair removal is not only for vanity but also for medical purposes.

  22. Laser East says:

    Laser hair removals is feel satisfaction.

  23. kobonatynew says:

    laser hair treatment is not permanent solution, you need to repeat again and again when the hair is grow then why wasting your money if you want to do laser therapy just book some online discunt coupons for <a href="http://www.kobonaty.com/deals/laser-hair-removal-dubai.html"laser hair removal Dubai. All the best

  24. Laserhappy says:

    I had 6 treatments: the technician that did the first 5 sucked and didn’t get into the middle of my vagina…. so that is the only area i have hair left… after a year.
    SO HAPPY i did this. it was a groupon, I spent $280 I think.
    I have one or two treatments at $89 each to get the middle a few times. LOVE LOVE LOVE that i did this for myself, no more razor bumps in the bikini area, smooth clean area, so easy to shave right now, but hope to get the rest soon. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.
    She used the air blaster rubber band snapping gun. hurts so bad. I’m not kidding, i grit my teeth, sometimes i have to ask her to move somewhere else for a while. but totes worth it. love my clean area…. and that i got it done before grey becomes something down there! HA.

  25. Peter says:

    Awsum blog . very nice post.
    Thanks for sharing this .

    http://skinlaserhairremoval.blogspot.com/

  26. Shultz says:

    As far as I have read about laser hair removal, any person needs to do at least 2-3 sessions of it, if he/she wants to get rid of hair completely and there is some medication also involves in it.

  27. First of all a big thank you for putting this extensive source of information and sharing your knowledge and experiences with us. Some people say it is painful but for me it really wasn’t. I get my eyebrows waxed in and it is relaxing. I love the way it looks when I’m done. It definitely makes your skin soft and smooth.

  28. Eema jamil says:

    Mostly people are finding the best ways to remove my unwanted hairs around the body, and I’m glad that your blog makes me think that there are a lot of ways in removing hair and it is done through laser hair removal treatment . I’m impressed also with this blog , Visit the site for more great results. Laser Treatment Clinic in Abu Dhabi

  29. hifza says:

    laser hair removal in Abu Dhabi has gained immense popularity in the recent years. It provides a permanent solution for removal of unwanted hair. The laser beam targets hair at the root which kills the hair follicle permanently. It is a non invasive procedure which requires no recovery period and downtime. The result is hair free and smooth looking skin.

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