This Is What It's Really Like to Get Laser Hair Removal

It's not as scary we thought!

A person with their hairless legs up on a couch
Photo: Getty Images

There's something I'd like everyone to know: Laser hair removal has changed my life. I'm truly not sure how I made it this far in life without getting it done.

My only frame of reference for laser hair removal was a friend who had it done in 2011, and I recalled her complaining about how much it hurt, so on the way to my first appointment at LaserAway. I was so terrified that I was shaking, but I reminded myself that beauty is pain! (Also, the technology has advanced a lot since then, at least that's what I convinced myself.) And I was so over the hassle of shaving, especially considering I have such sensitive skin, so the time had come to finally try it.

I arrived at the offices and was greeted by Paula Acosta, a registered nurse, who brought me into my room. We talked about where I'd be getting treatments (underarm and Brazilian). She handed me a robe to wear, protective eyewear, and then it was time to go.

the LaserAway hair removal waiting area room

Here's where things got awkward. The only thing that hurt during the whole procedure was my ego—I cannot stress how uncomfortable I was having a stranger all up in my business. Especially when you have to contort to make sure all the areas are reached (use your imagination here). My heart was pounding out of my chest. But Paula—a former trauma nurse!—and her calming demeanor put me totally at ease and reminded me that she sees so many naked patients in a day, there is nothing she hasn't seen before. Phew.

The procedure itself takes just minutes, and there is NO pain. I know that's hard to believe, but it's a fact. All you feel is the cool air from the laser that simultaneously blows on you while you're getting zapped. Your nurse will take care to hit each and every area, but it goes by very quickly. If it freaks you out, you can hold a stress ball, but I was happy just chatting with Paula about life and watching the Kardashians on the giant TV screen. Not only do you need to come completely hairless to your appointment, but Paula also advised that it's super important to be freshly hair-free and to take your time shaving or waxing, as any leftover hair burning is the only thing that hurts (so definitely shave the day of your appointment, and even better if its two hours before.)

It's that easy! You're in and out in a flash. You visit once every six weeks and depending on your skin tone and hair texture, you will need to complete around six to eight sessions total. The only post-treatment restrictions are no showering in super hot water for a few days, no working out for 24 hours due to the friction, and no shaving for a week.

And that's it—then you're hair-free for life. But wait ... if it's that easy, why doesn't everyone do it?

"The only reason someone wouldn't do it today is that they simply aren't aware of how well it works," Paula told me.

That, and the cost is a factor too. At LaserAway, it varies from $99-$599 per treatment, depending on the area. But since you need eight sessions, it's more cost-effective to purchase a package, which for the Brazilian area is $1,794. Factor in how much you'd spend in a lifetime on razors and waxing, and think about the cost-per-wear for LHR (literally, hair-free for life), and it seems like a downright steal. And the convenience of never having to worry about shaving again is literally priceless.

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