What beauty regime?
I’ve never had a beauty ritual, nor regular treatments. Occasionally I double cleanse, but I’m just as likely to hit the sack with a full face of make-up if it’s been a late night. Since my last facial, my skin has felt great (thank you Luxskinclinic) and I’ve been kinder to it. Hair removal, however, is a treatment that has nothing of the treat about it.
Laser hair removal: Research
I’d been thinking about laser hair removal for a long time and finally decided to do some proper research and find answers to my questions, such as: Where should I get it done? How much will it cost? Does it work? Does it hurt? Is it safe? And, does it hurt? (Again). After a fruitless internet search which left me more confused than ever, I walked into EF Medispa in St John’s Wood to speak to a human and (over)shared my hair removal history, which I am about to share with you.
Hell is a Brazilian
When I was 25 I had a Brazilian wax by the woman famed for bringing it to the UK – Otylia Roberts. Whatever has possessed me to do this, I thought, when I was on all fours and it was too late to back out. When the torturous treatment was over and I had been plucked like a chicken, I suddenly became cold and shivery from the shock (or perhaps the humiliation). I did discover what pubes are for, though – they gather to a little point which directs your pee into the loo in a nice, tidy stream. Without them, well, it’s a bit of a mess.
(You do not need to see photos of this).
The patch test
After that I tried modest waxing but still found it unbearably painful and ended up with ingrowing hairs, so skip to 2018 and my laser hair removal patch test at EF Medispa. I was convinced it would hurt too much for me to sign up for a full session and that would be the end of that.
But lo! As I was donning the goggles to protect my eyes from the laser, apologising for being jumpy and scared, the nice lady put some cool aloe vera gel under my armpit and rolled a little plastic gun around on my skin for a few seconds until I heard a beep, which meant it was over. No pain. I laughed. The relief!
She did the same to one of my legs and then my bikini line. My patch test was a success. I was actually giddy. I proceeded to sign up for a course and have never looked back.
What you need to know
- You could be in a room staring at the picture of this lady’s perfect bottom for quite some time.
- I’m not a hairy girl. If you have shaved your entire life and have stubborn hairs, the treatment might feel more sensitive and prickly.
- Make sure your clinic has the a state of the art machine. Laser hair removal has been around for a long time and there are some old machines out there (= pain). You want the SopranoIce machine that’s the price of a Lamborghini.
- Menstruation can make your skin more sensitive. As I found out.
- You’ll need to shave the area(s) 24 hours before your session (not immediately before, as it makes your skin sensitive. I found this out too).
- Certain medications and skin conditions conflict with treatment so discuss this with your therapist.
- If you want a completely hair-free bikini/undercarriage, you’ll have to lie on your stomach and spread your butt cheeks (sorry, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t give you the full picture).
- The recommended number of treatments is 6-8, but after just three sessions I remain smooth. A few strays have started to appear so I will have a top-up eventually, but I don’t think anyone would notice.
- Don’t go with a tan – your skin needs to have been out of the sun for several weeks (before and after treatment), so winter could be the perfect time to get started.
- The pain will be the payment – up to £2000, depending on the areas you want to treat and how many times you need to go.
My greatest disappointment came when I realised the treatment had worked. I thought – what if it’s cool to be really hairy again, someday, like the eyebrow thing? What if everyone is flaunting a big bushy triangle and I won’t be able to grow mine back? (Which is surely the whole point). Be prepared to mourn your bush.
The humiliation factor
The staff are incredibly calm and professional at all times – they have seen a lot of bottoms (see point 7, above) – so we managed to maintain bright and breezy chat throughout. However, my clinician seemed quite taken by the fact that my skin is darker in that area and suggested I might like to try anal bleaching. I think I’ll pass on that, actually, but if I were thinking about it she’d be my girl.
EF Medispa, 69 St John’s Wood High Street, NW8 7NL. Branches elsewhere.
Not a press visit – I paid for my treatment.