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If any of you have read my posts in this forum and the one I asked Dr. Rivkin awhile back, you know that I've been stressing about laser hair removal because of the potential pain factor. It's not just that I'm a big baby (WAAAH! ), I have VERY sensitive skin. I don't mean that I just break out easily and turn red (which I do when I shave, wax, or epilate), but that I seem to have sensitive nerves in my skin (sensitive to touch, verrrry ticklish, can't have anything even remotely stiff or scratchy on my skin, etc.)
About a year ago, I had laser done on my face for removal of some broken blood vessels and that felt like a snapping rubber band with heat and an immediate cooling afterwards. I could stand it for what I had done, but the more pulses I had to take, the more wincing I was doing. So I just thought it would be really hard for me to take that kind of snapping heat sensation in the sensitive areas of my body, like underarms and bikini area. I know a lot of women have waxed these areas before and figure the laser is less painful than that so what's the big deal. (I absolutely cannot take the pain of waxing either. )
Then I heard about the Soprano XL laser and read about it on Dr. Rivkin's site. I asked him about it in a question and he said it was basically painless. I'm not an expert on lasers, but basically, the difference with the Soprano is that it zeros in on the hair follicle and slowly heats up the skin with each pass of the laser, rather than blasting the skin like the other lasers do. When it gets "hot", it feels similar to a hot rock massage or having a heating pad on your skin that gets warmer and warmer.
So I found a place close enough to my house that offers laser hair removal on Saturdays with the Soprano laser and, frankly, I'm amazed at how comfortable it was. I was there from 12:30 to 3:45 (we probably got started lasering at 1:00) and at one point, was so relaxed, I was falling asleep on the table while getting zapped! Had my feet, my entire leg, full bikini, buttocks (I guess this is the "extended bikini") and underarms done. I shaved everything last night. It was the absolutely first time I've ever shaved my entire bikini area and I've never waxed or epilated there so, basically, this was "virgin" skin, and even that area didn't hurt.
I had heard from another technician that uses another type of laser that the underarms always hurt the most, so when the nurse told me we'd do those first, I was a little worried. I didn't feel a thing! I didn't even realize she had done it already; I thought she was still prepping!
The R.N. and her assistant were great. They used a lot of cooling gel, the nurse would ask me to tell her if it got too hot and if it did, then she could just make more passes instead of having me endure extreme heat. I only had to tell her it was too hot about 4 times during the entire afternoon, and that was more my anticipation that the next pass might be too hot, rather than hurting from what I'd just felt.
The majority of the time, I couldn't even feel anything but very slight heat (like the temperature of warm bath water). The only places that were at all sensitive were my toes and tops of feet (along the bone) and that just felt like a little bit of pinching, and on the labia area, but the assistant hit me with cool, freezing air while it was being done so it was really easy.
I had a couple areas (in the upper pubic region) where she had to make about 5 series of about 20 passes to make sure the hair was going to fall out (using a tweezer test) and even having that done over and over again didn't hurt. In fact, the thing that hurt the most, was the assistant tweezing single hairs in various areas to test the effectiveness of the laser.
After the treatment, there was a tiny bit of redness around the hair follicles but no different than when I shave and nothing close to the redness I get when I epilate. I went to the mall immediately afterwards and had no discomfort whatsoever.
I know the next few days are going to be the hardest as I deal with the "stubble" until some of the hair falls out. The R.N. told me that I can let everything grow if I want, and then just shave 24-48 hours before the next visit. That's probably what I'll opt to do (except for lower legs which I'll shave), because I'm more comfortable in clothes and fabrics once the hair gets longer and past the stubble phase. (I don't have time to shave all these areas every day to stay "stubble free", plus I want to see how much hair grows in.)
I also opted to do the entire bikini area just this first time to see if that thins the hair in that area and then I plan to do a Brazilian (just leave a triangle at the top), I think. And I want to lower my hairline about 1/2 inch along the top because had a TT last year.
I do have some questions for those of you that shave in preparation for laser, or that shave the pubic area in general. How do you shave the butt completely? I can't really see what I'm doing or reach all the areas. Trying to figure out how to do this for next time. Also, is there a way to make a crisp line when making the 'triangle" for the Brazilian when I'm shaving? When it gets waxed, the waxing strip makes a definite line but not sure how to achieve that with a razor.
One other question I have is about tipping. How much do you tip when you get a treatment? I paid $595.00 for a single treatment in all these areas and really had no idea how much to tip. They worked on me for almost 3 hours. And if I opt to do a package, how do you figure out tip for that? Just curious what other people do.
Anyway, I know this is a long post and very detailed, but I wanted to share my experience with anyone who is thinking of doing laser hair removal. I think it's really worth it to look for this laser due to the comfortability factor. I went on Alma's laser website and they list the doctors/spas in each area that offer it.
As far as whether laser is going to be effective in removing my hair (which I think is pretty coarse and thick and grow fast), I'll have to wait and see. But so far, it's been a good experience.
Sorry if this has been TMI. So excited; just had to share!
I like you am not an expert on lasers, so I as far the "names" that are being used out there - clueless. I just go and get it done, and have never gotten into a conversation like you are referring to about their lasers used etc. Now I feel totally dumb compared to your knowledge. geez!
So I enjoyed reading your post.
I didn't know about the tipping factor. That never crossed my mind. I'm hoping I'm not the only one, or else I will feel horrible all the times I've been there I was supposed to tip, and never have once.
I've only gotten the basic bikini so far, reading everybody posts and what you have shared w/me I'm going for the extended soon.
So, I'll let the other ladies share their experiences about the extended bikini and how they shaved.
The tech.'s told me that is what most woman are using opting for.
Just wanted to thank you for this great info. about that.
And now I feel horrible about never tipping.
i've just come home from my first session with this machine and am very frustrated. The treatment didnt hurt and was very quick, however im very confused. Most if the hairs i went into the treatment room with are still there.... is this normal? do the hairs just fall out from the treatment and then grow back less or is the treatment meant to remove the existing hairs aswell??? it's alot of money and im very nervous now!
I kno this is a very old post but I hope I can still get a reply. I am looking for the right place to finish my laser hair removal treatments and I am stuck on this one machine (Candela) because I kno it is effective on me. But now I am presented with this new machine: the Soprano, so I am extremely curious if u can share details about ur experience with the hair growing away after having ur treatments done. Has your hair stopped growing in the areas treated? If not completely, then how much less? How many treatments did u need? AND where did u find this place for such an inexpensive price??! I truly am more concerned with the effectiveness of the machine than the painless promise.
I'd appreciate a quick response and am grateful for any details u can give me.
I got a package for 6 sessions of Soprano XL laser hair removal. So far i had done two sessions of Brazilian bikini. It is absolutely painless, there is no discomfort.. There is no result either.. I think my bikini area looks exactly as it did before i started the treatment.. The technician who is doing the treatment told me that during the first visit you loose 10% of hair, second visit - 30% of hair, then 50%, and by the 6th visit it should all be gone.. So I guess I will just keep going, since I paid for the package anyway..
Just wanted to give an update on the end results of my hair removal with Soprano laser. I believe my last treatment was in July or August of 2009. Had about 6 or 7 treatments.
Underarms--reduced about 70 percent. I still have hair that grows in but it's soft and sparse. I epilate it with very little pain once every 7 or 8 days and am hair free for at least one week. Then it grows in without stubble. Before LHR, used to have to shave daily, sometimes twice a day.
Lower legs--I used to shave daily and have "five o'clock shadow" appear within 12 hours. Now the all over density of hair is much less (about 80 percent less) and the hair is finer and softer. I still shave lower legs because I like complete smoothness, but can skip 2-3 days of shaving and the regrowth isn't prickly.
Toes and feet --hair lessened but still some there. Would like to go back to touch this up. Can easily shave it off though and lasts a few days.
Upper legs, thighs, inner thighs--90% of hair is gone and what's there is much finer and softer. This was the area where laser worked the best for me and really changed my life. I had very thick, dark, coarse hair on my upper inner thighs and had to shave daily which gave me rashes, shaving bumps, etc. Now, I don't shave there at all. If going on vacation or swimming, I can easily epilate or wax what little hair is left. Or can shave the remaining hairs once in a while to keep them from getting too long and they grow back in soft.
Bikini/pubic area--This is the one area where the laser hair removal didn't work for me very well. Initially, was planning to remove all hair except leave a triangle at the top of pubic area. While the hair lessened somewhat all over (maybe 20 percent?) and more so on the top of pubic area than on labia area, the hair just didn't come off as easily here. The hair on my butt was reduced about 40%, seemed to work better there. I think because the skin in that area (on the labia, etc) tends to be darker or pinker instead of white, perhaps the laser doesn't work as well. I am contemplating trying it again at some point to see if can reduce the density some more. But it's still been an improvement for me, because the density of hair was lessened and if want to wax, it's easier.
Anyway, hope this is informative for those thinking of trying laser hair removal. I have never tried another laser but the Soprano, simply because I am a wimp and afraid of the pain. The Soprano was painfree in most areas and mostly painfree with very minimal discomfort in pubic area.
I've been going to a clinic in Reading for a while now who uses the Soprano, compared to other machines I've tried, like IPL this is bliss! The therapists in Beauty By Design Clinic are amazing, if I got any questions I drop her a text and she's so helpful. I highly recommend this place, also the clinic is stunning and cosy which makes the treatment that little but nicer. While I was waiting for my therapist, who I see every time (my other clinic I saw someone different each time) she gave me tea and home made cup cakes. Was nice to be looked after. Check them out, I recommend them and have referred a few people over now. It's beauty by design clinic in Woodley reading xxx
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