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Laser Hair Removal for Brown Girls

July 19, 2011

Before going in for my first experience with laser hair removal I looked all over the internet for an account from a brown girl.  All I got was the usual generic descriptions and no real precautions or experiences from women of color. So I’ve decided to journal my experience hoping it might help someone.

When I first considered laser hair removal, I went to one of my best friends to get some information.  Yes, GOOGLE!!!!  The first thing I learned is that my darker skin absorbs more light, so it was very important that I found a facility that owned a YAG laser. This laser has longer wavelengths than lasers of the past.  This is important because shorter wavelengths can burn darker skin (because the skin is absorbing all of the light).  And with the skin absorbing all of the light, the hairs don’t get much attention and are less likely to be zapped away.  So guess what? You are left with some burned skin and STILL have hair that you don’t want! BAD DEAL! NO THANKS!

So once I was armed with this information, I started scouring the daily deal emails. As expected, Groupon showed up and showed OUT! They advertised a special for FOUR treatments for $95!!!!!!  At $200-$300 a pop, I figured this was I deal I could not pass up.  So I found out what facility the Groupon was for and called up to make sure they had the YAG laser.  And they did!!!!! Groupon was as good as bought at this point. The facility was Cosmetic & Laser Specialists in Atlanta.

The First ‘Date’
The first treatment was filled with anticipation – I felt awkward, embarrassed and a million other emotions all at once.  The area I am having treated is my neck.  Yes, I’m a hirsute! It’s the grossest thing ever to have to groom your neck as a woman. So not only was this Groupon a good deal, it was a God-send for me and my bruised self-confidence because of unwanted hair.  I went in for my first appointment, confirmed that the technician would be using the YAG laser and sat back and listened to her instructions.  She had me ice the area and the next thing you know, we were lasering away hairs!  The one thing that I wasn’t prepared for was the smell.  I can’t front, I got a little nostalgic when the smell registered in my nose. Yes, I knew that smell of burning hair.  It was like being placed back to being 8 or 9 years old in my Granny’s kitchen having the pressing comb pulled through my hair while I cried out periodically, “Please, Granny, don’t do the edges!”  The laser pulsed and burned hairs getting me closer to a neck I would not be ashamed of and I could not wait to see the results.   Each pulse felt like a rubber band popping on my skin, but the technician allowed breaks for me to apply an icepack to numb the areas a bit.

On my way home, smelling like freshly pressed hair, I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror to see the results.  I was pleased with what I saw so far.  When I got home, I rushed myself to my favorite mirror with the awesome light and began inspecting the area.  I was VERY pleased.  It was as smooth as I remember it being before hirsutism plagued me.   A few days later, though, I began noticing incredibly small spots.  I discovered that they were something like scabs at the site of the follicle.  I did some digging around and discovered that my lack of care for the area is what caused it, so I went to my second appointment aware and ready!

Stay tuned for part deux!


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