Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair Removal

So I was discussing my experience with laser hair removal with a few different people today and I thought I would share a couple pictures to show where I was and where I’m at currently.

2015.01.18 - Baseline
2015.01.18 – Day before first session.

I started trying to eradicate my facial hair officially on January 19th of this year. I originally purchased six prepaid sessions from a provider on GroupOn. The company, Medshare, had a number of favorable reviews on GroupOn and other sites. The price was extremely affordable.

However, I noticed from the very first session a couple of things. One, their “Laser” wasn’t actually really a laser, but IPL or Intense Pulsed Light. After the first session, I checked it out on Wikipedia. Per the wiki, I thought IPL might still work for me.

First session did very little that I could tell. I would stand in front of the mirror and try and see if I could find any little indication of a change. This behavior continued for all the sessions with Medshare. My second session was two weeks later and then subsequent sessions were 4 weeks out.

By the time May had arrived, I had booked my six session, which was the last of my prepaid GroupOn purchase. I was discouraged to say the least. I started looking at other options like Electrolysis. The idea of having to do my whole face one hair at a time with electrolysis seemed miserable at best and incredibly time consuming. I follow another trans woman on Instagram. She has been documenting her process which is 100% electrolysis. To say that it is slow moving and very painful looking is an understatement. The benefit is that electro is the only method that is 100% permanent. Laser on the hand is advertised as “permanent hair reduction.” As I’ve learned in life, verbiage is everything.

Of course, at this point, I remembered that a local trans friend, Sarah had mentioned the big difference for her between IPL and actual laser. So I did a little research on different providers and I emailed Premier Laser for a consult. At the consult, she gave me a quote for 8-12 sessions, with a 2 year guarantee on re-growth. The price was higher than even I expected, but I was so frustrated with Medshare, I said “TAKE MY MONEY.” It was like an impulsive car deal. Emotion creates motion.

I called MedShare and canceled my last appointment with them. I never told them why, just that I couldn’t make it and I would call to reschedule.  I don’t really have an opinion on the place. I’m more upset with the loss of time rather than the money I spent there. I don’t know if the GroupOn deal is a scam to get you in and lead you on for as long as possible before turning the power up and actually showing some progress. “Power Level: GroupOn” one of my friends joked. However, since the IPL machine had no skin pre-cool, I can’t imagine too much more power from a pain perspective.

2001.06.27 - Pre
2015.06.27 – 36 hours since last shave. Regrowth markedly reduced

My first appointment with Premier was on May 27th. Actually the same day I was supposed  to be going to Medshare. Their machine is a real candela system. They do a pre-cooling spray right before each pulse of the laser. I suspect it’s CO2. It smells like the CO2 I used to use in BB guns as a kid. Even with that, it still is more uncomfortable than the IPL. Which I think speaks to the amount of energy is being dispersed into your follicles. With the IPL, I’d be red for an hour or two after the treatment. For this, I held an icepack to my face for an hour and I still looked like I had a bad case of sunburn for the next two days. Nothing changed for about a week as far as hair growth. I exfoliated with a scrub and by the end of the second week, I was seeing considerable less regrowth. I basically have a really goofy looking patch on my chin and some spotty growth on my upper lip. The rest is just spotty hairs here and there. So in my opinion, the results were pretty dramatic.

I just had my second session with Premier today, so I’m hoping for even more clearage in the next two weeks or so.  I’ll post an update on that later next month.

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