Well, there have always been certain things I wanted to do and certain things Dave wanted to do. Dave had always wanted Lasik Eye Surgery, which he got in December 2009. He loves it, by the way. He believes it was the freakiest thing to have ever happen to his body, but everyday he loves it. He got that done and encouraged me to cross something off my "bucket list." It seemed like a good idea. I was working, and we don't budget my paychecks, we were inbetween kids and even sleeping at night. In general, life has been in a pretty nice holding pattern for the last year or so.
So, I took him up on it. I got laser hair removal.
I took a referral from a friend for a "med-spa" in West Omaha (by the swanky eye doctor, by the way). I had always wanted my underarms done. Not because I hate shaving them, but because my dark hair shows up under my light skin, even after I shave. It has always been something that I am terribly embarrassed about-- as in every summer, softball season, basketball season, prom dress and wedding day. Every time I put my hair in a pony tail and wore short sleeves. You may not realize how often people actually see your pits, but trust me. I remember on my wedding day, my photographer encouraging me to put my arm around Dave's neck when I sat on his knee. No way. Look through every picture of me you have and I can almost promise my arms are down.
So the particular med-spa I went to had a special: Pay for all 6 underarm treatments up front, and get 6 bikini treatments free. Heck yes. Another "trouble area" with this black hair and light skin-- sign me up. So I wanted to give you all a few thoughts about this process, now that it is over. I had my last treatment just after our cruise.
* Surprisingly to me, the goal of laser hair removal is not total removal. It is 85% reduction.
* Success completely depends on zapping the hair during the right phase of hair growth. So it is a guessing game to some extent. This is why you need to wait 4-6 weeks in-between treatments for best results. If you get laser hair removal yourself, I encourage you to do your own research and make sure that your spa is timing the treatments correctly. I saw a lot of spas doing 6 treatments in 6 weeks. Bummer for those people.
* Once the hair is zapped in the right hair growth phase, it is gone forever.
* The darker the hair and lighter the skin the better candidate you are. This made me an excellent candidate. If you have a lot of blond hairs that you can't see until the sun hits them, you are not a good candidate. (And I don't feel one ounce sorry for you :)
* The "med spa" world has a lot of turn over in it's clinicians. I only chose a spa where the laser technologists were Physician Assistants or Nurse Practitioners-- Master's Level medical professionals. I take this seriously, even if it costs a little more.
* The med-spa clientele is somewhat "needy." They are often cash paying for elective procedures. I might have fallen into this category, as I insisted that I only would come on a Tues/Thurs at 10AM. Lol. I was not going to line up extra daycare for this, miss a client, miss a nap time. I was insistent and not afraid to remind them how much I was paying per treatment. As a result of this somewhat entitled clientele, there is high turnover in the med spa world. For those Master Level technicians, they are working odd hours, evenings, and weekends taking care of "needy" and demanding clients. They are paid per treatment on a "commission" basis. Can't say I blame them. Or me.
* Even still, each of the three clinicians I saw (only one actually quit to take a job in a family care clinic), each had years of experience and assured me that the training was rigorous. "I take a laser to people's faces, " one of them told me. She said they have a high rate of liability and must do it right each time.
* It hurts like
* It is a weird hurt that is over the minute the treatment is done. By the time you are dressed, you've forgotten. There is little they can do to help with the hurt, save an ice-pack on the area before the laser hits it. Still, I often had to ask them to stop so I could catch my breath-- which they completely understood.
* I never cried. My technicians said most women don't, but that men do. She believed they had a lower pain tolerance, and also were generally getting large areas like their back done. I would cry for sure if my area was that big. Some areas are more painful than others due to skin sensitivity as well as underlying bones and nerves, and to no surprise the bikini is one of the most painful (yet small).
* The most common area for women is the face-- upper lip, sideburns, eyebrows, etc. However, this is also the area with the worst overall results (though they are still showing significant reduction) due to the fact that a lot of that hair growth is driven by hormones.
* If this works, and I have the time and budget, I'd love to get my lower legs done (from over the knee to the toes). Though apparently the shin bone and ankles are very painful. And that is a much larger area. It's not that I don't like shaving, it's that I could shave everyday and still look like I need to.
* I say "If" this works, because I had this done once before about 11 years ago. Granted, the lasers and research weren't what they are now, and I only had 3 treatments and I don't know how long in-between-- so I am skeptical. However, I have been very pleased with the results.
* I loved the cruise that much more because of these treatments. Particularly my bikini line, but I also loved not being self conscious in my short-sleeved shirts.
I can't wait for spring. I love my
I would give a high referral thus far to Sage Spa here in Omaha. If this is something you are considering I hope you'll talk to me.
On the journey,