About 4 years ago, I had a really expensive bout of laser hair removal from one of London’s top spas. I lived in East London and the spa was in West London, so every six weeks I’d be stuck in traffic making my way slowly across the City. Being a model at the time, it was important that I was always hair free, so laser hair removal seemed like a great procedure to go ahead with.
The problem was I don’t think I had the right amount of sessions, if I recall I think I completed five sessions. And I also didn’t realise that laser hair removal does require the occasional top up when hairs start to come through- perhaps one session every year or every other year.
So after paying thousands of pounds I can safely say the treatment didn’t work. If it had, I wouldn’t have minded the cost.
So when Transform got in touch and asked me if I’d like to review one of their non surgical procedures, I didn’t hesitate to pick laser hair removal. Although I’m certainly intrigued by some of their other procedures (such as skin tightening, botox and derma rolling), I did feel that being hair fee would still be a beneficial lifestyle choice.
After all I’m a busy Mum and maintaining smooth legs and underarms does become a hassle. And with winter coming we all know I’ll be hiding my furry legs under tights and trousers unless I get them seen to!
So I booked a free consultation with my nearest Transform clinic, and made my way over to see if this time around the procedure might have some success.
The consultant spent a long time discussing my medical background and explaining how the treatment works. I told her about my previous experience. She explained even though the machine I previously used wouldn’t have been quite to the standard of the machine now used (lasers have increasingly gotten better), I shouldn’t have had the regrowth had I had the correct amount of sessions.
Waxing during my beauty therapy days (where you all have to practice on each other) may have also stimulated the follicles leading to some of the regrowth I experienced. So no waxing ever again, if you do want to remove any hair that might come through (even during the treatment), you must make sure to only shave and not pull from the root.
She explained how the procedure would feel, what to expect and ran through a list of issues that might arise after having the treatment but would be of no cause for concern (and when I should be concerned by a reaction). If there was a problem with the patch test she did let me know that Transform always have an on site nurse for such issues. But it would be extremely rare for it to be serious.
After assessing my skin type and hair colour, she figured out the strength of the machine to be used on me for it to be effective. Every one will need a different level, depending on how they react to the sun and the amount of pigment in the hair.
This treatment will not work to remove any extremely light coloured hair or fine hairs. However it has moved on since I used it and black skin no longer poses an issue for the laser treatment as it did previously. (Just in case anyone with black skin is reading and has avoided the treatment for that reason).
One question I did want to know was the importance of booking with a clinic such as Transform. After all, I see deals daily for laser hair removal. What I learnt was that laser hair removal used to be stringently practiced with the correct medical accreditation. However, because the accrediting body no longer keeps an eye on laser hair removal it does mean a lot of ‘salons’ have opened up using a different certifying body which isn’t as highly regulated. Transform still maintain the high levels expected previously. This made me aware that on some occasions it’s not worth going budget.
Eager to see how this machine would compare to the one I used previously, I hopped up onto the bed to test my pain threshold. Before the laser was used, my therapist took photographs so that if I did go ahead with the treatment I’d be able to notice the difference, and she’d also be able to keep an eye on the progression.
With good old cold jelly applied to a small area of my leg, she used the laser to just test the area.
It certainly wasn’t pleasurable. The laser is worked around in circles and increasingly gets hotter until it reaches the correct temperature to damage the protein around the hair follicle. It starts off nice, and feels like someone is repeatedly pinging you with elastic bands by the end!
Because my underarms are also going to be treated she did a patch test there as well. My pain threshold under my arms must be higher because it didn’t feel quite as uncomfortable.
After the test though I was completely fine. No red areas, no discomfort or pain at all.
She has recommended that I have a series of eight sessions at six week intervals. During laser treatment it’s important to keep the treated area away from sunlight where possible, so actually having this treatment done during the autumn and winter months is a great idea!
I feel positive that this time around the treatment will be successful. The therapist herself has used the machine and showed me the results on her legs and arms.
I’ll update you after my first complete session…