Hair Removal

Treatment Diary: Trying Laser Hair Removal for Legs

The Bare Truth About Laser Hair Removal

I’ll be the first to tell you that I’ve had a lifelong, complicated relationship with hair removal. As a very dark-haired woman with olive skin, it’s always been quite obvious when I’m due for a shave. And by that, I mean that the hair immediately starts showing through my skin—a five o’clock shadow, so to speak—even immediately after I shave.

I started shaving my legs in the third grade and was the first person in my class to do so. I told my mom that I felt embarrassed about my legs and before I knew it, she purchased me a light-pink-and-lavender electric razor that could be used in or out of the shower. I couldn’t believe how smooth my legs felt.

As I got older and my hair got a bit thicker, shaving my legs became more of a headache. It felt like I could never totally make the appearance of hair go away—even if I’d just shaved five minutes prior. When I graduated college in 2007 and moved to New York, I begged my parents to sponsor laser hair removal for my underarms. The technology was relatively new at this time, so my mom said they’d help me out with this venture so long as I went to a fully board-certified dermatologist. She was very concerned with safety. I did, and it was really expensive and hurt a whole lot. Why? Because the technology was so new at the time. In the past 15 years, laser technology has improved tremendously. Additionally, there have been amazing advancements in increasing the comfort level and decreasing the price of these treatments. They’re more affordable, less painful, and more effective than ever before.

I’d done laser hair removal on many parts of my body, but I’d never tackled my legs. I’d been fearful about the cost and how much pain I’d have to endure to have it work well. I was beyond excited when I was offered the opportunity to try out LaserAway’s laser hair removal on my legs. I made an appointment at the sparkling new Park Slope location in Brooklyn and showed up excited, curious, and even a bit nervous.

Currently, LaserAway uses the Cynosure Apogee Elite laser for its laser hair removal procedures. This is one of the safest and most effective lasers available on the market. It blasts a stream of nice, cool air as it moves across the skin so that your nerves feel distracted and the prickling sensation feels minimized. Laser hair removal works by emitting a light that is absorbed by the pigment of the hair. That’s why it traditionally works best on people with lighter skin and dark hair. The laser then damages the hair follicles within the skin and keeps them from growing new hair. It’s important to do at least 6-8 rounds of hair removal because your body hair is growing in different phases and only the hairs in a specific phase of growth will be destroyed and kept from growing new hair.

My appointment was with a nurse named Mina, and she was incredibly helpful. She asked the requisite questions, like whether I was pregnant or had any recent sun exposure. She handed me a stress ball to squeeze in case I felt any discomfort. After putting on my protective goggles, Mina drew a chalk outline across my legs, separating them into sections to make the procedure more precise. She then worked her way from my ankle all the way up my thigh. After about 15 minutes, Mina flipped me over and spent another 15 minutes on the back of my legs.

The pain truly was minimal, but it was a bit more pronounced as the laser went over my shin bones and ankles. Overall, I was shocked by how much more comfortable this procedure has become. Today’s technology is a far cry from what I experienced in 2007—and the evidence is in how smooth my legs remain. While LaserAway recommends 6-8 treatments to achieve optimal results and complete the laser hair removal process, I started seeing results after just one treatment. Today, nearly a month after the laser treatment, I’ve only shaved a handful of times. I cannot encourage this treatment enough. For women—particularly dark-haired ones like myself—it frees up so much time and mental energy previously spent dealing with shaving. I will most certainly be back to LaserAway for a follow-up treatment.

Want to learn more about what laser hair removal can do for you? Reach out to one of our treatment specialists here.

Blair Smith is a lifestyle and beauty writer who currently resides (and will likely stay forever) in Brooklyn, New York.