Laser hair removal for spring

by Bernadette Fallon
laser hair removal skn clinic harley st

Decided you’ve had enough of waxing/shaving/epilating unwanted body hair – particularly now that we're heading into spring when you might want to bare a bit more than usual? Laser hair removal is the only permanent way I have found to get rid of that hair for once and for all – and I’m an expert on the subject, having successfully removed hair on – deep breath – my forearms, under-arms, bikini line and chin. Depending on hair thickness and skin type, a course of 6 to 8 treatments is generally sufficient to clear the area of hair – but in some cases it may be necessary to ‘tidy-up’ stray hair growth occasionally afterwards.

But the most important thing to get right when deciding on a course of treatment is the supplier. With so many clinics, spas and salons offering laser hair removal, the choice can be a bit bewildering. And, as the treatment involves applying short bursts of laser light (hot!) to the skin to kill the hair follicle, it’s important you choose an outlet that’s professional, safe, uses high quality equipment – and basically knows what it’s doing.

Finding the right clinic

I’ve long been a fan of sk:n clinics – as back at the start of this millennium, when laser hair removal was still in its infancy, a GP recommended sk:n to me. His recommendation was based on the clinic’s medical background – sk:n directors are all medical doctors. And so I forked out my money and the results were great – the first time I had experienced any form of hair reduction, after years of electrolysis and waxing.

And so, when it comes to choosing a clinic to have the hair on my legs removed – blissfully clear skin in just a few months! – sk:n is the obvious answer. I go along to the Harley St clinic for my consultation; sk:n doesn’t charge for this first visit, though some clinics do. In the consultation the therapist takes me through what I can expect from the sessions and how to look after my legs while I’m going through the treatment – basically, stay out of the sun or wear sun cream with a high SPF.

The laser treatment is most effective on dark hair and white skin – so getting a tan is completely pointless as the laser won’t be able to detect the hair as efficiently on darker skin. It is also potentially risky to expose yourself to high temperatures immediately after having a treatment – as the skin is extra sensitive after having heat applied. So no hot showers either for up to 24 hours, though lukewarm water is fine. She explains I’ll also need aloe vera gel to soothe the skin after treatment and a thermal spring water spray to cool it down. Both of which she gives me.  Then I have a patch test and book my first appointment for the following week.

Starting the treatment

I don’t have any reaction to the patch test so I’m back a week later to get started. Unlike some therapists who try to play down the discomfort factor, mine is quite honest and says it does hurt a bit, particularly on areas around the foot and ankle where there is less padding around the bone – but the pain doesn’t last for long. She’s right, there’s a jolt as the heat hits my skin – but she moves very quickly around my leg and so it’s just a pinprick effect before she moves on to the next bit. And the machine is fitted with a gadget that blows cold air out on the skin, to cool it as she works. Working fast pays off and I don’t have to grit my teeth for too long before it’s all finished and the cool water and soothing aloe vera is being applied.

Then I book my next session for six weeks’ time and it’s now just about checking the progress . Hopefully the hair should start to reduce even from this first treatment.

Results following treatment 1

And it does! Even after just one treatment I'm already using my razor less in the shower - I can go for a few days between 'tidying'. I must declare some prior treatment here however - I did use a home laser product on my legs several years ago, so I'm not starting from scratch with the removal. So don't be disheartened if you dont see much difference after your first treatment, particularly if the hair is quite heavy. It may take a few treatments before you see notice-able results, however if your hair growth is light you should notice a difference quite quickly.

And I'm back in six weeks for my second treatment. This time it's a bit more painful, as the machine has been turned up to the highest setting. My therapist is very concerned that I'm not in total discomfort and offers to turn it down a bit. However, I know that the higher setting means a quicker result, so in the interest of long term gain, I suffer the short term pain and just grit my teeth and bear it! But she works fast, and it's over quickly - phew. Looking forward to more great results this time.

Results after 4 treatments

I'm so impressed with the results on my legs - I've had to remove very little hair from this area all through summer. Now, four treatments in, and heading for Christmas party season, the skin is relatively hair-free. I do have regular growth on the area at the back of my knees - quite common my therapist tells me - but on the rest of my legs there are large patches of clear skin. I still have to do 'tidy-ups' to remove stray hairs so I'm not completely hair free yet, but as this is only half way through the treatment, I'm quite confident I will be.

Results at the end of the course of treatment

I'm hair free and loving it! Now, let me just throw this razor away ...

Information, cost and booking

sk:n clinics are located nationwide; to find your nearest clinic or for more information, visit the website at www.sknclinics.co.uk, or phone 0800 822 3305. Prices for laser hair removal start from £99 for underarms, with free consultation and patch test.

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