It is a universal ideal the world over: men are supposed to be hairy and women are not. The problem, however, is that while a head of thick and luscious hair on a woman is something to be proud of, women also have hair on their bodies in places they would rather not, and so they embark on painful, and sometimes extreme, lengths to get rid of it.
There is a plethora of temporary hair removal options available to us today – waxing, plucking, shaving, hair removal creams and so on – but most of these options only exasperate the hair growth so you end up hairier than before, creating a losing battle!
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that in the quest to be hairless, more women are turning to the permanent option achieved by laser hair removal, which can be used on the face, legs, back, chest, underarms and bikini like. While it may cost a small fortune, the 85 per cent permanent hair reduction guarantee is enough to make it worth every penny. Plus, when you start to add up how much you spend on disposable razors, new blades, or waxing treatments, the expense to live fuzz-free longer may not seem as bad.
To put laser hair removal to the test, I decided to get rid of my underarm hair once and for all by having laser treatments at Prescription Skin Care in Auckland, using their state-of-the-art Cutera CoolGlide laser machine. The great thing about this machine is, unlike IPL (another form of pulsed light hair removal), it doesn’t matter what skin colour you are, so you can use it all year round, even when you are tanned. IPL, however, cannot be used on darker skin types as there is a risk skin may be burnt because of too much pigment. Unfortunately, blonde or red hair is still a no-go, however, as there is not enough pigment in the hair follicle for the laser to target.
Another advantage about this machine is it is much faster than many other laser models, which is a huge plus given the minor amount of pain involved, especially in some areas, such as ‘down below’. Also, the headpiece that the machine uses contains a cooling device (hence the name CoolGlide), which lowers the skin temperature before the laser beam strikes it.
Having my underarms done, the pain was intense at times (it’s best to have the treatment done in the middle of your cycle when your pain threshold is higher); however, the treatment is so quick (took less than five minutes for each underarm), it is over before you know it, and the application of an ice pack afterwards cools and calms the skin instantly. Some describe the feeling as a series of bee stings, which isn’t far from the truth. However, it is such a temporary sensation for such an amazing result, it is worth the discomfort. For those who have a low pain threshold, you can take painkillers prior to your appointment and apply a numbing cream that helps considerably.
Most people need a course of treatments, between eight and 12 sessions, four to six weeks apart. Yet, this very much depends on the individual’s hair thickness and hair growth. I am on my sixth treatment and absolutely love what I can see – a virtually hair-free, smooth result. The hair is so sparse and grows so rarely, I only have to shave the area once a month. In fact, the thought of ever having hair there is so foreign, I can’t even remember what it was like.
Cutera CoolGlide Laser Hair Removal
From $120 per treatment
Prescription Skin Care
+64 9 529 5784