One of the things I dread most about summer is the almost near-daily ritual of shaving my legs. With fair skin, dark hair and a potent dose of multivitamin, I cannot go more then 24 hours without stubble peaking out on my calves. The problem is, I also have sensitive skin that is prone to razor bumps and ingrown hairs, both which are itchy and irritating. Last year I attempted waxing but after a few days, the hair is already growing back and I have to wait weeks before another visit to the salon. This year, I decided that it was time for a permanent option…. Laser.
The first time I heard about laser hair removal was years ago when a friend decided to have her upper lip lasered. It sounded painful but it was a small section and it made sense since she, as many women, are very self-conscious of facial hair. Years later, she still does not have to worry about a female mustache. So I decided, if it works on the face, why not give my legs a try.
I decided to visit board certified Electrologist & licensed Cosmetologist, Berenice Electrolysis and Beauty Center in New York City for a consultation. She explained to me how the process works and how long it would take before I would be hair-free. The process can take around six to seven visits depending on the hairs growth cycle. “Not all hair follicles are active at the same time.” The goal is to laser the active follicles which the hair absorbs the light and destroys the follicle. During the follicles rest cycle, there is no hair growth for the laser to capture.
The first visit to Berenice, I was quite nervous as to what to expect as far a pain. Berenice hands me a stress ball, covers my eyes for protection and gives me a “test zap” to show me what the process is going to feel like. The best way I can describe it would be like a rubber band being flicked up against your skin multiple times. But, it is really not as harsh as that sounds. After the first few zaps, I just took a deep breath and reminded myself this is not as painful as waxing. The stinging and the smell of burnt hair just reminds me that those hairs are forever burnt off of my body.
The first three sessions were around 3-4 weeks apart then we moved to 5 weeks. After my third session, there was a noticeable difference in hair growth. There was drastically less hair and it was much thinner. The visits became increasing less painful since there was less and less hair to remove. So I pushed on.
I am currently on my fifth session with Bernice and nearly hair free. Since it is winter, I have not shaved for nearly 2 months now and even though I would not leave my house without my legs being covered, I am not looking like a furry cave woman either. There is very little hair left and it is sparse and thin. Two more sessions and a spray tan and I will be ready for summer!
Berenice Beauty & Electrolysis Center is located on 14 East 60th Street, New York, NY. Visit bereniceelectrolysis.com for more information.