Getting Laser Hair Removal has been on my beauty to-do list for a very, very long time. I know lots of wonderful beauty professionals offering the service and am frequently envious when I see my friends? smooth legs after they have committed and spent the winter months having the treatments in time for Spring. They can flash a bit of ankle in a cropped trouser come a sunny day with not a moments concern, unlike the other less well organised of us for whom razors, waxing (and a little tan), are required before flesh can go on display with such flamboyant ease.
This year, however, is my year. I have bitten the proverbial bullet and embarked on the quest for smooth, hair-free limbs. Hell, I'm going for it all - my underarms and bikini area are also in the firing line, if you will.
LHR (to those in the know) is one of those beauty services that has unfortunately been given somewhat of a bad rap due to being undervalued in both a financial and an efficacy sense by countless Groupon and other discount deals. This 'savings model?, offering beauty in bundles for a cheap rate, saw frequently less-than-reputable salons were using old machines, or inexperienced staff to administer the laser which then resulted in, at best; ineffective treatment with hair growing back after six months, or at worst; skin burns.
This 'sell it cheap, do it quick? philosophy is utterly the wrong approach for laser treatments. And most things.
I decided to go to the Monkstown Laser Skin Clinic for my course of treatment as I have a huge amount of faith in Peggy and Ann there. They have looked after my skin after an outbreak of adult acne, and I have sent many people to them to get their skin in top shape pre-wedding or big occasion. The care they take in someone is stand-out, so I knew that if anyone was going to point lasers at me, it should be them.
Most people know the basics - that it is best suited to those with dark hair. Pale skin is also a bonus as it allows the laser to penetrate right down to the follicle of the hair and blast it to oblivion. All of which sounds painful, right? But after my initial treatment, I found it to be ok. It's not an entirely pleasant feeling, but if you can handle being waxed - you can handle this. It's a momentary sensation, like an elastic band being flicked on the skin - nothing traumatic. And as with everything, the build up is the worst. I took two Nurofen before each treatment on Peggys? advice, and it dulls the sensations slightly.
So, the results? Well, three treatments in of six I am due to have and I am very impressed. After the first session, I saw that hairs took weeks to grow back, and some never have. I shave in between, but in this cycle (my third), I have only had to shave once - which is radical for me. I can see bald patches on my legs, where there is nothing ?yes, NOTHING! And the other glorious side effect means all ingrown hairs, the previous bane of my life, are gone.
This is a treatment that I can't believe that I have waited so long to have, but I hit 40 next month, and being hair-free (finally!) is a nice way to celebrate that...I feel like I've grown up in beauty terms.
By Ellie Balfe