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Bucket list #66 Laser Hair Removal

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At the end of 2019 I decided it was time to finally start the process of laser hair removal. The idea of never needing to shave, wax or pluck is a dream come true for anyone. It is only cost effective in the long term because it is an expensive treatment, but once you’re done, and only doing check-ups every year (if even), it is incredibly worth every cent.

I started a few treatments on my body and I was really scared that it would be painful. There are so many different machines and watching Kimora Lee Simmonds screeching in pain while getting laser shots, or the Kardashians having their laser done on-screen and squirming while having the treatment, made me a little anxious.

I don’t think my pain threshold is very high and I compared to these women who seemed somewhat tortured I almost chickened out but I go to my cousin who owns her own salon and use a machine that is different to the ones I’ve seen on tv shows I’ve watched. One day when visiting her she did a patch for me to try it out and get over the anxiety hurdle. She just gave me a taste of what to expect. Over about four months that little patch was silky smooth and I didn’t grow a single hair! The pain was tolerable as the area is first shaved and the laser is applied afterward with a gel to help move around on the skin.

The machine boasts “no pain laser” and I would say that it’s true, however, the laser gets progressively warm until it is a little unbearable, so it’s more a feeling of discomfort, rather than pain. When the laser gets too warm there is a cold setting so it immediately soothes the skin after the heat of the treatment.

I saw a show where Kim Kardashian said she was completely hairless, except for the essentials of course, like eyelashes and brows. That would be so convenient! Striving to get to that too! I know too many people who have to plan their outfits at least a day in advance in case they need to shave their legs or set up a wax appointment and let’s not even touch on the winter months where a grow out seems like a more likely choice! LOL

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Now that I live close to the beach, not having to worry about hair and clothes that cover certain areas, it’s going to be the best thing ever. I’ll only need to think of heading to another appointment every couple of months or even a year depending on specific treatments and how far in the process I am.

I was quite happy with the progress of my treatments, but I’ve since started on Oratane, a pill to treat my underlying acne issues and to help get clearer more even skin. With this insane treatment, your skin gets severely dry and you’re not allowed to wax or laser or it poses the risk of long-term (forever) scars. Your skin is extremely sensitive and a tiny wax could rip the skin off! It’s a drug used on cancer patients so I’ve seriously given thought to stop my laser treatments and waxing. Shaving in the interim kinda sets you back and you would then need to restart the laser process and all the money invested into it, is lost. It was a hard pill to swallow (excuse the pun), but I reckon having clear skin would be well worth the sacrifices. The treatment on my skin is over 4-5 months. The moisture in the air, in Cape Town, helps with the dryness but I’ve certainly had some hard days. You’re not allowed in the sun, and being a sun-baby, that has been the hardest part.

I’ve had a few moments where I have gone into the sun and realized later that I need to be more careful. Sometimes, especially when it’s overcast, we forget about the UV rays and that there is still a risk to not wearing sunscreen and a sun hat, and still being extra cautious because scars are likely not treatable. I’ve decided to stay clear of morning beach hikes with too little cloud and tree cover because the reflection from the ocean surface is just as bad as direct sun. My Dermatologist even mentioned not sitting out near the pool because of the sun reflection.

We are slowly gearing up for summer and I have one month left of my treatments so I am excited to get back to normal and restart my laser appointments. I’m a little nervous about it again. Since moving I may have to go to a new salon so not sure what machines they use and if the treatments will boast “pain-free” as it was before, but it would be so worthwhile once it’s all over. So we’ll see how it goes…

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