Monday, April 2, 2012

Adventures In Laser Hair Removal

 This post is a few months old...

....that's right I got Laser hair removal.

Leah introduced me to Janelle a few months ago. Janelle mentioned that she was going to get laser hair removal done. I have been wanted to get it done for a long time and thought that having a "friend" to go with would make the process easier. I immediately invited myself along.

Janelle had a Korean speaking friend call the "salon" and make appointments for us. We planned to meet Saturday afternoon. The plan was to grab some lunch then head over to the salon.
I had to take the subway for about an hour. I am glad I brought a book to keep my mind occupied. I was getting really nervous!

Janelle and I ate at a delicious sushi place....I wish I remembered the name. It was the kind where they have the conveyor belt of plates come by and you pick what you want off of the moving belt. It was delicious. We ate until we were very full and it was only about $10 each.

After lunch we had to meet her friend Kim. Kim is a Korean woman that grew up in the United States, but is back in Korea to work. We followed her to the salon. Meanwhile I am a hot mess. I am all giggly and can't stop talking. The anticipation was killing me.

When we got to the salon we had to fill out minimal paperwork. Basically just our name and birthday. After the paperwork we met with the doctor. He showed us a power point of the pros and cons of laser hair removal and side effects. blah...blah...blah....

Afterward an assistant came in to talk us through the bill. I had decided early on that I would get my armpits done first. I figured that it is a sensitive area, but not as sensitive as other areas and it would be SO worth it to never ever have to shave my armpits. At home to get laser hair removal on your armpits is about $150 per treatment and you need anywhere from 5-8 treatments on average. (I did a small amount of research and found this to be the typical price advertised online in the Portland, Oregon area). When the assistant came in and asked what we each wanted she quoted me at 50,000 won or about $45.00 USD. This seemed like a very good price and I figured I would have to come back 4 or 5 more times, so less than $300.00 for a lifetime of happiness. But I misunderstood the would cost me $45 for all 5 of my treatments! Or about $9.00 a visit. I was in shock! For less than dinner and a movie I will be underarm hair free!
I paid the woman at the front desk and patiently waited for the doctor to call my name.

To my surprise they called Janelle and I back at the same time. Which is fine. Neither of us were getting anything private done so the idea of seeing her armpit didn't bother me. Or vise verse.  As the nurse walked us back to change she opened up this tiny broom closet that was lined with lockers. She motioned for us to both get it. I can't even begin to explain how small this changing "room" was.  We shimmied in and had to shimmy again to get the door to shut. Hahaha just thinking about it makes me laugh. It was like when you see the cartoons with 15 clowns in one little car. That was us, 2 grown women, changing in a mini broom closet.. We changed and headed out into the next room.

I was escorted into another room and the nurse motioned for me to lay on the bed. Then she flipped a bunch of switches on the laser machine. It honestly sounded like a jet engine was powering up. It freaked me out! After a few minutes of just sitting there the nurse came in a wiped my underarms with some kind of cleaner then a different solution.

As the doctor walked in I knew there was no turning back. He sat down and said hello in perfect English and just started going for it. He grabbed what looked like the little handheld scanner at a grocery store and started zapping my pits. At first it wasn't so bad. I didn't have time to think or worry about having a laser zap my skin. Before I knew it I was yelping like a hurt dog and then in what I thought was sympathy from the nurse she comes at me with a wet rag to wipe my pits. Oh no, no sympathy for her, it was simply water to increase the pain and allow for some form of electrical shock conducted by water. You know that smell in a tanning salon at the end of the day? The smell of fried skin and cleaning product? That's the smell that began in seep into my nostrils. As the pain increased my legs began to twitch and kick. The nurse kindly held me down. As I let out a last yelp, the doctor said my first pit was finished. As I began to gather myself I began to question if it was worth it.
As I lay there and the nurse and doctor prepare my other pit, I can hear Jannelle behind the curtain giggling. This is not laughing matter. I yell back "It doesn't hurt". And begin to laugh.
The next pit was slightly less painful. Maybe I was more mentally prepared for the zaps or smells. Keep in mind this zapping process lasted maybe 3 minutes. When the doctor finished up he said not to worry that next time wont hurt at all. Right.

As I walked out and Janelle walked in I wished her good luck. She got her eyebrows, underarms and upper lip done. Her session lasted maybe 10 minutes. While she was getting zapped, I stood in the hallway with my arms resting on my head. By the time she was done and walking out of the room I felt zero pain.

We headed back into the mini closet changed out clothes and treated ourselves to a few drinks at a cute bar near her house.

Since then I have had another laser treatment. I honestly have 5 hairs in my right pit and about 7 in my left. I am over the moon happy with results! I am shocked with how well the laser treatments work. Well worth the 3 minutes of pain.

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