LET’S TALK BODY HAIR!
There are several reasons I opted for laser hair removal. One being the fact that I’m Italian and literally covered in hair. Sorry bout it, it’s the truth. I have to do my eyebrows every week, I would have to shave my legs every other day to maintain smoothness (If I cared. Ask me if I care about keeping up with THAT MESS doe- I don’t.) I shave my underarms every other day because it’s fast and underarm hair is uncomfortable to me.
& DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE DOWNSTAIRS SITUATION.
Body hair can get annoying, sure, but there’s nothing that compares to having to take care of that. For men AND women, any kind of “body scaping” in that sense, is just obnoxious. Especially if you’re prone to razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and all that jazz.
With that said, a couple years ago, I did opt for laser hair removal.
WHY LASER HAIR REMOVAL?
Due to the increased inflammation levels in my body, I deal with other complications in addition to my Crohn’s Disease. One of these fun complications is called Hidradenitis Suppurativa.
“The skin lesions develop as a result of inflammation and infection of sweat glands. This condition features pea- to marble-sized lumps under the skin that can be painful and tend to enlarge and drain pus. They usually occur where skin rubs together, such as in the armpits, groin, and buttocks. Medications, corticosteroid injections, and sometimes surgery can help manage symptoms.”
YAY FUN. So glamorous.
Let’s just say I don’t get these in my armpits. 😂
This actually started before I was ever diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I just had no idea what it was or why I was getting them. It started as one when I was 15, then another, then one more, and now I am the happy owner of 3 lovely bumps that get inflamed as they please. They’re very painful, they keep me from wearing tight pants, underwear, swimsuits, anything that would touch it more than what was unavoidable. Thunda thigh problems? 😂
I was told by several doctors to just stop shaving. I wanted to have them lanced/dug out and was told it was a gland issue and doing so wouldn’t help, but was never guided as to what to do to avoid irritation or where to seek help. I was never even formally diagnosed with this, I’ve just done enough research to know, and after having failed with several doctors and derms I just gave up on it and am dealing with it on my own.
With that said – I joined a Facebook support group and was reading about a petition that was started to get laser hair removal on the list of covered procedures on all major insurance plans. People and doctors were convinced this would be .. not a cure, but something that would definitely aid in controlling symptoms and irritations during a flare up. It took me all of 5 minutes to e-mail my nearest Ideal Image office to set up a consultation.
GO BIG OR GO HOME?
I mean, why stop at the bikini line, right? Full Brazilian it was! If you’re not familiar with a “Brazilian” it’s basically.. front to back. In between. All sides. You get it.
I signed up and agreed right on the spot, not even really knowing what was going to happen or how I was going to pay for it. Ideal Image runs tons of specials so if you’re interested in having it done, definitely wait until they’re offering a discount. I signed up when they were doing 60% off, and total, I think I paid a little under $2,000. They financed me, too, so this whole thing really helped build my credit, LOL.
At the time, I worked pretty close to the office so I always scheduled my appointments for after work.
When you get there and go back to your room, they ask you about any new medications, any recent sun exposure, or any new illness, and other questions like that. You’re not supposed to tan while having this procedure done. I stayed out of the sun for like an entire year while I did this. And it’s important to follow this rule because the laser seeks out the melanin that pigments your skin and hair. So if my skin is white, and my hair comes in black, it will laser the black. But if I tan, it can burn my skin, and that’s where people end up with these scary burns and scarring. NO TANNING!
Then the lady will leave to let you disroooooobe – just your pants and underwear for this one. I think for underarms you remove your top, but they will tell you what they need. Anyways, There is an exam table/bed with that paper on it just like at the doctor’s office, and you sit up there with your paper blanket and wait. They do offer numbing cream to use if your pain tolerance is low, but I always opted out. When she comes in you get a fun pair of sunglasses and you lay back!
For the Brazilian,like I said before, all up in yo’ business. By 22 I had enough lady doctor visits and cameras inspecting my intestines, that this wasn’t too painfully awkward for me. The women that did my appointments were all registered nurses and really sweet so they talked to me the whole time and were not awkward to be around at all, which was good. I think you need to be that way if you’re going to be doing this kind of thing LOL.
Yes, it’s intimidating. It feels just about how you’d expect it to. It feels like someone is pulling back a rubber band and snapping it on your most sensitive areas. But the pain doesn’t linger. Like it literally only hurts for that split second. And the lasers they used blow cool air while it zaps, so it’s sort of a strange sensation. They do it pretty quickly, I’d say 2 zaps/second? 😂 The whole thing lasted mayyyybe ten minutes. I had a stress ball in one hand and my cell phone in another, thinking I would text my way through the pain. heh. I spent the entire session like this:
AH. AH. OW. OW! AH! OOOOOOOOOOH MY GOD. OK. AH! OW! NO YOURE FINE KEEP GOINGGGOOOOOWWW. AH!
Some places will ask you to get on all fours to do the back, which is totally awkward to me, luckily I just had to lay on my stomach. But that part was always 1,000x less painful.
When you’re done, they leave and give you a bottle of aloe to apply to the lasered areas. It obviously felt good because it was cold and I just got lasered red, but it was reeeally uncomfortable to walk around with what some might call a “swamp ass” sensation. Soggy. Sloshy. Ew. I was always going straight home, so it was usually fine, but one time I scheduled on a Saturday and had plans after and that was just unpleasant.
Some can experience skin irritation after a session, but I never did. One time I had these small welts, but that was it and they were gone in an hour. There was no pain after the session. It was just warm. LOL.
At each appointment, they use a stronger laser than before, and you go in every 8-10 weeks or so. I got 9 sessions total and only finished 7 before I moved and I just haven’t gone back for them. But they don’t expire, so I can go back whenever I want to do them.
(Also, go here to see The Gabbie Show‘s vlog on her Brazilian laser hair removal experience. I’ve never witnessed anything more accurate. HAHAHA.)
Every time you go in for a session, they zap you and over the next 2 weeks, your hair literally just pushes out of your skin. It’s the weirdest thing. The remaining 6 weeks are spent hairless & then with your hair growing back, and then you go back in for another session. Each time, you should have less hair growing back, until it’s just not anymore.
It’s been over a year since I had my last session (#7/9) and the only hair that has grown back is the thin, blonde hair. My bikini line is clear. The top portion is clear. It’s wonderful. Any baby hairs, or hairs that are thinner or lighter, don’t go away. But the coarse, thick stuff, gone! And Ideal Image offers a lifetime warranty so for women who deal with hormone imbalances or get pregnant, go through menopause, etc. They can go back at any time during their life and get more sessions for a copay. It’s been really awesome to not have to shave or deal with the areas that are scarred over or inflamed. I think my not shaving has affected how often they get inflamed. So I’m really glad I did it.
YES YES a million times YES. Some women would rather wax, but why deal with the pain over and over again for temporary results when you can deal with the pain a total of 7 times and NEVER WORRY ABOUT IT AGAIN. Is that even a question?! I rarely shave anymore. When I say rarely, I mean maybe once every couple of months or so. My bikini line is perfect and my spots, while they still get inflamed, don’t get irritated with razors, razor burns, or me messing around in the area trying to get clean for the beach or the pool, or whatever. I highly, highly, recommend anyone with this illness to look into hair removal. Or even if you just want to never shave again, definitely look into it!
Do your research. Not every laser facility is “good” or “quality”.
Don’t do it on a Groupon.
Make sure you’re working with registered nurses, in a clean and professional facility.
Price check. Make sure you’re not getting scammed.
Do research on the equipment they plan to use on you.
Know the dos and don’ts.
Follow their suggestions and guidelines.
Answer their questions honestly. Some medications require you to stay out of the sun, so lasers would definitely be out of the question.
I would totally recommend going to Ideal Image. They have offices all over the country. They’re super professional and have very nice, personable, and fun people working there.
Don’t go while you’re on your period. Or pregnant. You’re 100x more sensitive and it’s 100x more painful. I say this from personal experience! You’ve been warned.
*Ideal Image did not sponsor this post. I paid for all of my procedures – this is my honest opinion!