So I booked a package which consists of 6x sessions, at 4 weeks apart. Usually this wouldn't be the case (usually stretching to every 6 weeks). But because the hairs are dark, my skin is dark and the hairs grow quick, the practitioner and I decided to treat every 4 weeks. Fair enough, I thought.
Preparation prior to session 1
A week before my first session I 'upped' my exfoliating game; going from once a week, to three times a week. I figured this was a good head start to getting use to doing this once the treatment had started as I want to minimuse ingrowing hairs as much as possible.
So the day of treatment had arrived and I was advised upon arrival for the first session to ensure that I had shaved as much as I could of the area. Now let me tell you this, shaving your 'foo' yourself is the hardest thing EVER, whilst trying not to 'cut' your delicate region! The precision and focus on my face was an utter picture (tongue to one side, slow and careful). I did however decide that I didn't want the bald / plucked chicken look, so opted for a Hollywood finish, so left a 'line' which I thought looked ok. Because we're not all brilliant, there were some bits I could not reach, so I left that for the practitioner who was happy to shave off.
At the clinic / preparation before session
When I arrived, I was greeted by the Director of the business, Tara McCullough, who was friendly and so welcoming. Before treatment could get underway, Tara briefly went through my notes and etc, explained what would happen and I was asked to sign on the dotted line confirming I was happy to proceed. I was then handed a pair of disposible knickers / thongs to put on and hop onto the couch. The areas that I was unable to reach shaving, the practitioner kindly tidied the area, ensuring no hair was visible / on the surface of the skin. Using a white crayon pencil the area was marked out so the practitioner knew how much of the area was being treated. I was given some safety glasses to wear to protect my eyes, clear cold conductive gel was applied to the area, the machine was 'fired up' and the session was about to commence.
During the treatment
Because this was the first session, it was hard to know exactly what setting to use on the area. Using the figure of 8 motion the practitioner focused on one area of the bikini area, upping the setting bit by bit to a setting that was tolerable, but not excruciatingly painful. Doing this for a certain amount of time ensured the laser was targeting / killing as many of the hair follicles as possible. I was always asked how did the area feel, often asked to give a rating out of 10. Once I hit the rating of 6/7 the practitioner knew at that stage it was at the right setting which was tolerable, but not to a point I couldn't bear it.
How did it feel?
Because the hand-held gun of the laser has a cooling system which is ice cold, this helped to keep the skin cool making the treatment a lot more tolerable. Not going to lie, it is not completely painless, it is more of a discomfort but quickly eases. The sensation is more of a prickling which is the root of the hairs being zapped, but it's not sore / painful.
The session lasted for approximately 40-45 minutes, which is a bit longer than usual due to the skin type that I have and the area being treated. Once the treatment had finished, I was given aloe vera to apply, to help soothe the area and also help with the healing process. Surprisingly my skin was not red or irritated which I was very happy to see. I was informed however that in the coming weeks, especially weeks 2/3 the hairs would begin to fall out, but I was to make sure I exfoliated 3 times a week to prevent ingrowing hairs.
Post treatment - weeks 1 - 4
A day or 2 after the first session, I immediately noticed the hairs were growing back slowly. I noticed I wasn't suffering with ingrowing hairs which I suspect is because I have been religiously exfoliating 3x times a week. I was also expecting the area to be incredibly itchy during the regrowth stage, however I have to admit, it hardly bothered me. I did however ensure I applied aloe vera every day, morning and night, wanting to make sure the area is cared for well during the treatment process.
Overall: A good first session which surprised me, and I cannot wait for the end results.
I have had my 2nd session however I am currently 2 weeks post treatment, so will review in 2 weeks time.