[I have a feeling that this is the beginning of a TMI post, but someone’s gotta do it]. They say as South Asians, most of us are blessed with luxurious hair. Well, I think there can be too much of a good thing. I know it’s not just “us” either. I’ve had countless conversations with my girl friends of all backgrounds on how to take care of pesky body, and yes, facial hair. I think I’ve personally tried everything — shaving my legs is convenient and fast, but I just can’t handle how itchy my skin gets afterwards with certain razors; depilatories contain irritants and chemicals I rather do without (and the hair grows fast anyway); I can take the pain of waxing and it does lead to thinner and less hair but waiting for it to grow out in between just sucks. And forget waxing or threading my face — I break out so easily. I literally have to resort to bleaching the hair because there’s no way to get rid of it and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that all those chemicals are probably not the best thing for your skin. SO the final option was laser. I harass my friends who have already had it done about the details, and to be honest, it kinda freaked me out a little. “They shave the area beforehand.” Doesn’t the hair grow back thicker? All I pictured was going in for a treatment and coming out a few weeks later looking like this:
And then it came down to skin tone. Up until now, I’ve mostly heard that the best candidates for laser hair removal are people with the light skin/dark hair combo. Not to say that if you don’t fit that description, you can’t get laser done. But you run into the risks of burns because the laser won’t be able to pick up on the pigment on lighter hair, or confuse dark skin for pigment it’s supposed to zap. Great, so we’re screwed? It might have come at the perfect time, but I was invited to visit laser cosmetic doctor, Dr. Stephen Bracci at Verve MediSpa.
They told me I could come in for a complimentary treatment, so I decided it was in my best interest to ask about their laser services. I told Dr. Bracci about all my concerns and what I had heard about darker skin tones. In fact, he’s treated numerous clients with my medium skin tone and it’s totally doable. He usually starts at a low frequency and decides what strength to use the laser at. Of course, any laser procedure has it’s risk of burns, but that’s when it’s important to go to someone with the right amount of experience. He also mentioned some other skin issues may even go away with the laser (sporadic break outs and blemishes). I talked at length with him about it, and after he made me feel comfortable about getting it done, I signed some forms and was ready to get my treatment right away.
The thing I was most excited to find out what the procedure (at least for me) was practically painless AND super fast. For some reason, I pictured get laser hair removal to take up at least half an hour to an hour of your time. But the actual small treatment area I got done takes literally seconds. First, they had me wash my face and then they went the areas once with alcohol just to make sure it’s clean. Then, using a medical razor (which is a LOT more sensitive and should be used by only a skilled hand), they clean the area. Next, they apply cold gel to help the laser glide easily. Afterwards, I just wear a pair of tinted glasses and wait for Dr. Bracci then determined the strength of the laser he’ll use. He goes over the area and in no time, I’m finished. I just did the sides of my face to start and it was spotless. Pristine. The treated area was slightly pink, but they provided me with 1% hydrocortisone cream to help with the redness (and it went away in a few minutes anyway).
The best part was the aftermath though. I only had one session and figured the hair would grow back easily soon after. I know with laser, it’s indicated that you need multiple sessions to actually kill the hair follicle for permanent results. So, I was totally expecting at least a little of the same growth back in the four weeks between this and my next appointment. I came back to my apartment, and told my roommate about the process. After a couple of weeks, she told me, “Your hair isn’t really growing back.” It was only week 2, so I told her let’s just wait to see after the full month. Surprisingly, after four weeks, only a little invisible hairs grew back. I know it’s different for everyone, but my skin was still so smooth. My skin was responding so well.
I went back for my second appointment, raving about how happy I was with the results. This time, they didn’t even have to shave anything because there was barely any growth. Again, the treatment time was less than a couple of minutes. It’s beyond exciting to finally find a solution that seems to be working so far!
SO, I’m calling this the Laser Hair Removal DIARIES because I’ll keep you posted on my progress with laser at Verve as it goes on. I’m going to be doing at least six treatments. Everyone’s experience is different, but I’d love to ask Dr. Bracci any questions you may have as I go along, so leave them in the comments!
I have been recommending his office to all my friends (and truthfully, more friends have actually been asking me where I’m getting my treatments done because they see the results). As far as cost, it’s usually $150 per session for face and more for body, but they’re running a promotion right now that brings it down to $99 for certain face areas ($200 for full face) per session until June 30th, and they do offer free consultations. Mention that you read it on Beauty and the Feast for discounts!
Medical office info:
Verve Medical Cosmetics
240 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022