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More laser hair removal (pew pew anew!)

More laser hair removal (pew pew anew!)

In a previous post I mentioned that I was re-commencing laser hair removal after 3+ years, and since then I have had several sessions so I thought it was worth posting an update for those that are interested.

I’m going to go into some fairly intimate detail, so if you might be offended by such things then you may want to skip this post.

But, if you’re happy with it, then read on…

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Posted by on 11th November 2017 in Diary, Hair Removal, Health and Beauty

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Pew Pew Anew!

Smells like victory.

It’s been almost 5 months since I had my final session of laser, and in the intervening time I have kept an eye on how successful it has been. On the whole it’s been pretty good; an awful lot of my hair appears to be gone. However, I have had some regrowth.

On my arms and legs it has been limited to individual hairs here and there; nothing that a couple of minutes with a razor wouldn’t sort out. Likewise with my underarms. My tummy was a whole different story though and has had pretty much total regrowth (albeit sparser and thinner). My bikini line likewise. My chest has suffered some regrowth too, albeit not to the same extent as my tummy. And on my face, there has been some return – not enough that I can grow anything more than salt & pepper stubble after almost a week but definitely enough that girl mode still needs a lot of foundation to cover the shadow.

So, I decided it was time to have a 7th session of laser and made the booking. I had the session today.

The girl who did the treatment was an emergency stand-in who had come over from another branch because the regular girl was ill. This didn’t bother me too much as I have only had one session with the regular girl as the ones I started out with have both left now so I have no real attachment to anyone.

She suggested we ramped up the intensity since the notes said I coped fine with the previous settings; something I was very happy to do as I was just about to ask for that. So right away I felt we were on the same page. And, indeed, it very quickly became clear that she was very competent, thorough and fastidious. I got a very definite sense of her doing a proper job and not skimming over things in a hurry, which is something I can’t say for the girl I had last time who did the whole body in record time. When I posted about it at the time I said that I thought she had done a good job but I can see now, with comparison and with hindsight, that she rushed it rather.

The more intense settings were extremely painful at times, and we had quite a bit of ‘snap, crackle & pop’ and a definite smell of burnt hair in the air. Smelled like victory.

Another thing that was pretty cool about this therapist is that pretty much nothing phased her. I tentatively asked if she’d zap my bum crack and perineum and, without even blinking, she said she was happy to do that, which is totally awesome. I’d already shaved myself down to a neat triangle and, um, also in the areas I just mentioned (I’m probably giving TMI here) and she just zapped my bikini line to where I’d shaved and also the aforementioned (blushes). As I said earlier, she was very fastidious which means I am a little sore because hairs got zapped that have never been zapped before. But it was so worth it.

For my chest and face, she dropped to a smaller spot size but put the intensity up even further to compensate. The chest didn’t hurt much but the face was excruciating and we did it in little zaps with rests in between. She also zapped hairs on my underchin and neck which I realise now, with hindsight, that the previous therapists missed. So, as I said, this girl was *really* thorough. I mentioned this to her by way of compliment and feedback, and she said that she likes to provide a level of service that she would want to have if someone was doing it to her, and also she doesn’t like to waste customers’ money. Amen to that – I wish more people had that attitude. She also said that she wished she had my pain threshold to do the entire body at once. I have to say, I’ve never considered myself to have a particularly high pain threshold. But I can be pretty determined when I want something and I have quite a lot of mental fortitude, so I just deal with the pain because I know it is transient and it is worth it. I don’t think I would cope well with systemic or chronic pain though.

Finally, and this is a first, she got me to sit up so she could check the tops of my shoulders and did some final zappage there. So, just to say this one more time, she was *really* thorough and fastidious. I really felt like I got good value for money on this one.

It turns out that the branch she usually works at is actually closer and more convenient for me. The only reason I go to the branch that I do is for historical reasons; it’s because a good friend recommended them and was able to get me a referral discount there too. But the people that my friend recommended are long gone now so I have nothing to keep me going back there. I’ve therefore asked for my records to be transferred to her branch so that I can get her again.

Right now I’m a little sore but extremely happy about today. I’m looking forward to seeing what the long term effects of today’s session will be. Certainly I am left wondering where I would be now if my previous 6 sessions had been done to this standard.

 

 

 

 

Posted by on 7th June 2014 in Diary, Hair Removal

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Pew!Pew! Six

laser-symbolI had another session of laser yesterday. It hurt just as much as the last one but I just gritted my teeth and got on with it. The pain is only transitory and the redness and swelling goes down really quickly with me. By the time I left I didn’t even look like I’d had laser, even on my face. I guess I’m really lucky there because some people are inflamed and blotchy for several days after.

I’m really pleased with how it’s going so far. My arms are completely hairless now, as are my legs apart from the odd rogue hair here and there. My back is also looking really good too, to the extent that I’m now confident about wearing tops and dresses that show your back. My tummy and chest are pretty good too, although there are little clumps of hairs here and there still. Hopefully this latest session will have nobbled some of those. We’ll see over the next few weeks.

 

Posted by on 1st September 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

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Madam… madam… sir

Had a rather odd day today.

I needed to go up to London for a Voice Coaching session today, but there was an Art Deco & Art Nouveau fair in Woking this morning and my appointment was in the afternoon, so I detoured via Woking on my way up to London. It’s sort of on the way.

The fair was a little disappointing, although I think that was more down to my mood than anything, plus the realisation that I don’t think I am as “into” Art Deco as I initially thought I was. I didn’t stay long; after 45 mins I was done and back on the road to London.

Westfield Shopping Centre

Westfield Shopping Centre

I got into London in good time and, instead of parking up in Hammersmith as usual I decided to drive a little further to Shepherd’s Bush and park up at the Westfield Shopping Centre for a little shopping. Also it’s a flat £5 for the whole day to park.

Whilst there I grabbed this sneaky selfie.

After a little shopping I hopped onto the Circle line to get myself round to the Voice Coach’s office. As we passed Notting Hill, there were announcements that stations were closed due to the Carnival and as we passed you could hear the music thumping and look down at how crowded and busy it was.
When I arrived, I was a good 25 mins early so I popped into a local wine bar and had a cheeky glass of white wine. £4.40 for a small glass is par for the course in London but still galled a little as it tasted little better than plonk you could buy for the same price per bottle. Still, it was nice enough.

So, suitably refreshed, 2pm came around and I went up to my Voice Coach’s office. Knocked on the door, and no answer. I checked my emails, checked my texts, sent a text to her checking the time was correct, then availed myself of the loo to freshen up, then checked back. Nothing. By now I guessed something was up, and also realised that my gmail account was no longer linked to my phone as I recently switched to 2-Factor authentication on that account, so laboriously started to reconnect it on a 2G+ data connection and finally, after 20 mins, had it. And there was an email sent at 12.30pm cancelling the appointment due to ill health. Crap. Or, rather, vomit apparently. Ewww.

So I decided to go to the Science Museum. Don’t ask me why, I just wanted to. Now, first mistake was to go to Baker Street (since it was close) and try to head West. Heaving. Absolutely packed with Carnvival-goers. There were police everywhere and the train that arrived as I did was stuck for ages trying to leave because it was unable to close its doors due to people messing around. I got on the next one but felt really uncomfortable with the pissed-up people on board, plus a group of guys near me were blowing up balloons from capsules and inhaling them. I’m guessing that was Nitrous Oxide (aka Laughing Gas)?
So at the next stop switched trains to a different line, not least because the train I was on wasn’t going to where I wanted to go. LOL.

Eventually I made it to South Kensington and started to walk the underpass to the Science Museum. Now, if you have never walked this route in heels my advice would be “don’t”. By the time I got there my feet really hurt. And after wandering round the Science Museum for about 40 mins they REALLY hurt, despite several rests at convenient seats. But I bravely carried on, and then went next door to the Natural History Museum. However, after about 20 mins of that I felt I wasn’t going to make it. Hobbling outside I jumped in a cab and asked to be taken back to Westfield. The helpful cabbie informed me that it was pretty busy due to the Carnival and we could be delayed. Yeah, ok, whatever; this seat seems pretty comfy right now.

We eventually got there, and I decided that shopping was very much in order but that shoes were a must. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything I liked at a sensible price, but each step was getting more and more painful and I was getting more and more desperate. I was also taking more and more frequent breaks. Basically I was hobbling from one seating area to another at this point. I was in agony.

At some stage in this fog of pain, I swung near a shop and some girls in the doorway of one started to try to get my attention, calling “madam… madam… madam…. ” in that ‘can we just have a moment of your time to try and sell you something’ way that people do and then when I ignored them and swung away from them, switched to “sir”. Then laughed uproariously in an “OMFG!” way when I finally looked round (I did so in case they were trying to tell me I had dropped something). These were members of staff, remember! WTaF?
Sadly I didn’t note the shop and I was in too much pain to do much, otherwise I would have gone back to enquire what was so funny and whether a P45 was equally funny. Great way of winning customers, eh?

Finally I went into yet another shoe shop (I think it was Barratts) and told myself I was buying something no matter what. I found some Rocket Dog shoes I really liked but they didn’t have them in an 8, only a 7. There were also some Hush Puppies that I didn’t really like but were in an 8, so I got them to bring me the other one for those. I then went through pair after pair of shoes until I got sick of asking “do you have these in an 8?” and started asking “so what DO you have in an 8?”. Eventually, I though “f*ck it, I’ll get the Hush Puppies”. So took them to the till and they rang up £50 which did not seem at all right as I had been looking at shoes in the £30-£40 range. But that was the price. However I was close to tears now and couldn’t bear the thought of having to put my heels back on. So I just paid. So, basically, I paid more than I wanted to pay for a pair of shoes that I didn’t like. FML. That totally undoes the bargains of my last post too.
[Update: I managed to subsequently get a full refund on them at my local branch of Barratts a week later]

Still, at least I could now walk so I considered going to Yo! Sushi but realised I couldn’t really spend £30 on sushi when I’d just overspent on these shoes. So I went to the food hall and had Singapore Noodles at Bamboo Basket for £7.50

After that, and a little more shop wandering, it was now 7.30pm and I really had had enough. So I wandered back to the car and hit the road to come home.

 

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Pew!Pew! Five – with added ‘ewwww’

I had my third session of laser on Saturday. I decided to grit my teeth and go for the 15mm rather than the 12mm we had to drop to last time. Initially it was very painful but then I sort of got ‘dialled in’ to the pain and it became a lot more bearable. It was still excruciatingly painful at times though, especially on the chest and tummy. For the face she dropped to a 12mm but that is usual. That too was very painful but fortunately over pretty quickly. So basically I managed to have a session on the settings she would normally use, rather than the milder ones we had to go down to last time due to the pain levels. So I feel sort of proud of myself on that.

I still haven’t worked out what the 15mm and 12mm refers to. From research on the web, it looks like it is the spot size. Yet Cynosure’s own website states that the 15mm spot size has a lower fluence (energy delivered per unit area) than the 12mm, which confuses me as the therapist says the 15mm is ‘more intense’ than the 12mm. If someone could explain this to me I’d be grateful.

Inflamed hair follicles from laser treatment

Inflamed hair follicles

One side effect of the 15mm is that your hair follicles all swell up, making you look like you have some terrible skin complaint. Fortunately it calms down after an hour or so, although I’m still very red and blotchy in places almost 48 hours on, especially on my chest and tummy. My face is also quite sore-looking and stubbly. If you’re thinking of having laser done and you have a Y chromosome then be aware that, for me at least, it is almost impossible to get a smooth shave for a few days after no matter how close you shave. It’s just something I’m learning to live with. From experience I know I will be smooth again by a week later which is fine as I go to work in the week ‘in disguise’ (so to speak).

Talking of next week, I have my next Voice Therapy lesson next Saturday in London. I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve been practising as best I can since my first lesson and it will be interesting to see how I have got on. I hope my cold has cleared up by then though, because right now I am able to do a quite passable impression of the old Carlsberg adverts. LOL.

Then the weekend after that I have friends over for the weekend. So it looks like I have a busy schedule for once. Yay!

 

Posted by on 29th July 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

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Pew!Pew! Four

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had my second session of laser treatment yesterday. It was my third visit but only the second time any one part of my body had been treated.

I confess I had been expecting it to hurt a whole lot less, but I was sadly wrong there. Actually, to be fair, some parts barely hurt at all, but the bony parts of me, and also my chest and my face really hurt. Like *really* hurt, as if someone was stabbing me with hot pins. Eeps!

We started off with the 15 (I have no idea what the units are, or whether it refers to spot size or to intensity) and we tried that on my hand and wrist, and it hurt a lot. And then all the hair follicles swelled up and I looked like I had a skin disease. It was rather horrid actually! I couldn’t take that intensity so we dropped it to a 12 and it was a lot better after that. My arms are quite freckly though and that made it quite painful as the pigment absorbs the laser. Although it does have the benefit of reducing the pigmentation which could be good.

We did the legs after that, and that didn’t hurt too badly apart from some coarser hairs up on the upper thighs. And also my knees that hurt rather a lot. But that was nothing compared to the pain from my chest. I have some pretty deep follicles on my chest hair and they properly hurt. And smelt too! Horrid burnt hair smell.
We then took a bit of a break by doing things that didn’t really hurt, like bum, bikini line, back and neck. All that was left after that was the face, which was the worst of all. Less said about that the better, but at least I survived. All in all I was in there about 160 mins (ie. just 20 mins shy of 3 hours).

The salon room doesn’t have air conditioning, and also the cold air chiller has to dump its heat somewhere so just dumps it into the room. Also the laser machine itself generates a lot of heat too, so the temperature in the room was gradually rising and rising. I was just in my undies and also I like it hot, so I was finding it more bearable than the poor beautician in her uniform. We were both visibly wilting by the end though, and it was pretty unbearable. I think I’m going to write a letter to ProSkin about it, and say that I think they absolutely have to install aircon in there, or at the very least some heavy duty extractor fans to draw the overheated air out. I’m also surprised the Cynosure cooler doesn’t have some kind of ducting to dump its hot air somewhere else.

My only worry about writing the letter is that they might instead decide to simply not offer full body treatments in one session, and that would be a big bind for me as it takes me around an hour to drive over there and I don’t want to double my journeys.

I have to wait another 6 weeks now before I can have my next treatment. That feels like forever right now!

 

 

Posted by on 16th June 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

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Pew!Pew! Three

Today I had the rest of my first Laser Hair Removal treatment.

Last Saturday was the easy bits – legs, bum, bikini line and back. But today I had the really painful parts; tummy, chest and face. I also had arms and shoulders, but they were inconsequential.

God it hurt. I don’t just mean unpleasantly uncomfortable, but more like this…

[youtube=http://youtu.be/FDOh3ACX-5g]

 

It’s said that there is a fine line between pleasure and pain. I am by no means a masochist (far from it!) but every time we stopped for a few seconds during the most painful and intense bits, I burst into giggles. Mainly from relief but also from endorphins. It was odd!

Anyway, pain is but a transitory sensation and it soon passed. And I am so happy and excited to be treading this path. It is so going to be worth it!

 

Posted by on 4th May 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

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Pew! Pew! Lasers!

It’s said that even the longest journey begins with just a single step. Well, in my case, this one begins with a Patch Test.

I have decided to embark on a programme of Laser Hair Removal, with a view to ultimately having a hairless face and body. I’m fed up with having to do so much shaving and depilation before I can go out in girl mode, and feel like Cinderella with the clock approaching midnight when it comes to facial hair (sorry to break the Suspension of Disbelief by mentioning that). I should also be able to wear a less heavy foundation when all the facial hair is gone, which should be good.

So today I visited a ProSkin clinic and had a Patch Test with their Cynosure Elite Laser Hair removal machine. The girl who did it was really nice and seemed very knowledgeable, and did test treatments on my leg, arm, chest and face. I have to be honest and say it really stung, especially on the chest where my hair is quite coarse, but I think I can bear it. And the rewards will be worth it, I hope!

So this is all very exciting!

Meanwhile, I’m back to Salsa classes on Monday. Woot!

 

Posted by on 20th April 2013 in Diary, Hair Removal, Out & About

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