Many years ago, there was a different version of me. The early 20s Lins wasn’t a particularly happy bunny and it all came down to my version of body confidence – or lack thereof. I was overweight and unhappy, and it all manifested itself in a warped view on other people who took care of themselves. I was hyper-critical of people who went to the gym or wore too much makeup or cared about their appearance.
Now I realise of course this was all to do with my state of mind. I’m never going to be that person who spends hours getting ready every day but as I approach 40, less a trot than a gallop, I’ve realised that actually, I do like to take care of myself for the most part. And I don’t even really think it’s to do with getting older. It’s just because I’m now comfortable in my own skin and want to enhance that where I can, not because magazines tell me to but because I want to.
So when an opportunity arose to work with London Premier Skin & Laser Clinic on a laser hair removal campaign I thought, why not? I should state for the record a couple of things. 1) I have never even had a wax. Yep, I’m an old school razor kind of girl. I do have an epilator but I have a lot of leg and epilating takes a really long time. 2) This would not be my first foray into laser enhancements. I actually had my eyes lasered 11 years ago to correct short-sightedness and even though Pete and I really disagreed on it (he didn’t want me to go ahead), this was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
London Premier Laser have a number of clinics dotted about throughout Greater London and of course specialise in many cosmetic treatments as opposed to just laser hair removal. But I felt intrigued to try something new – I did after all write a blog post at the start of the year to say my 39th year would be my best year yet! That said, I’m not brave enough to go the whole hog and decided to plump for my underarms. Perversely, despite being a relatively small area it’s the one that I find most annoying to tackle when it comes to hair removal but I’m hoping come the summer time, maintenance will be a thing of the past!
The clinic I decided to use is the Soho one, tucked away in an old mansion block on the China Town end of Shaftesbury Avenue. The clinic itself is very small but surprisingly light and airy and all the staff I’ve met so far have been super helpful and friendly. The first step with laser hair removal is to go for an initial consultation and patch test. You mustn’t wax your hair, since the laser needs to find the hair follicle and likewise no tanning or fake tan either, something to think about if you’re wanting leg hair removal. That said, and what I didn’t realise is that you do need to make sure you’ve shaved otherwise the power of the laser is focused on the hair itself rather than the follicle underneath.
The lovely lady treating me is called Maria, originally from Ukraine. She explained the whole process very carefully and allowed me to ask any questions that I had, as well as helping me fill in the questionnaire to make sure that all the treatments are appropriate. The patch test only needs to be done on one armpit and is simply to make sure you don’t have any reactions to the laser itself. You can wear a vest top in case you don’t fancy getting your lacies out and once the dark glasses go on, it’s over in a jiffy.
We then set up my appointment for the actual hair removal treatment the next morning, based on the fact that it was highly unlikely I’d react adversely to the patch test. Back I went to the clinic, feeling a little apprehensive because people had told me different things about the pain involved, but honestly, it’s impossible to judge how you’ll feel. The machine itself is attached to a long tube, a bit like a vaccum cleaner if you have a pull along one. Cold hair is emitted first to cool the skin, allowing the laser to go deeper and penetrate the hair follicle itself.
As for the laser, well all I can say is that it feels like 4 tiny little pin pricks and both armpits took less than a minute. So little time in fact that I had to ask about 3 times if that was it. There is varying strength depending on the coarseness/presence of hair – for example, removing back hair from a guy may take a little more effort than removing underarm hair from me. Maria always asks though how it feels and judges what adjustments she can make based on that. Pain factor for me personally was absolutely minimal but the smell of burning hair temporarily is obviously a little unpleasant. I had precisely zero discomfort at all as soon as the procedure was finished and just went about my day as normal. So far, totally winning!
My next appointment isn’t until the third week in April and this is very standard. Typically laser hair removal will take place across 6-8 appointments, all of which will be around 6 weeks apart. The reason for this is as Maria explained, that hair grows in cycles. These are known as the anagen phase, where the hair is growing; the catagen phase, where the hair is resting and the telagen phase where the hair falls out. If you just have one laser hair treatment, it will only capture the hair in the anagen phase and not any hairs which have not yet emerged. By returning for sessions every 6 weeks, it will in time capture all the hair and leave me with seriously silky smooth underarms. Or that’s the hope anyway! I’ll be back with more updates after my next treatment but so far I’m delighted.
Disclaimer: I’m working with London Premier Skin & Laser Clinic who are kindly providing treatment free of charge in return for my blog posts and shares. As always, I only work with companies and brands that I value and think may be of interest to you to. All words are my own.