Hair. Besides the hair on your head, talking about hair anywhere else on the body that is not on your head isn’t the most attractive of conversations. In fact, in some respects (or most of mine), it can be a pretty embarrassing situation just talking about hair elsewhere on my body, never mind people actually noticing that I’m not a fair haired Goddess (oh the dream) and what’s EVEN worse is when someone is actually thoughtless enough to point out and comment on an insecurity because THEY think it’s odd and they want to point it out to you like you never noticed it yourself before. Being from an Asian background, body hair was a common trait. I knew that… But society didn’t!
I wanted to write this post and tell people the struggle of growing up & having to battle with the constant removal of hair. I remember being much younger and googleing ‘Why am I so hairy compared to my friends’ & I must have gotten 1,000 hits talking about guys & their body hair. No mention of women at all! It was virtually impossible to find an answer that would put my mind at ease. Of course, now being older… I know that it really just is down to genes & there actually isn’t anything wrong with me!
Hair. It’s a wonderful curse. Big brows & long luscious waist length hair can be the envy for some, but stubble ridden legs & oh so noticeable peach fuzz has been the bane of my life since I was about 10 years old.
Since I can remember, I have always hated getting changed in front of my school peers and even as I got older, I would never dream of using the changing rooms at the gym! Shying away into the toilet cubicle has never been a choice but a must! I wasn’t always self conscious of my dark body hair, nor was I really aware of it until I began being teased about it in Primary school. A girl in the year below me commented ‘Ew, why do you have hairy legs for?’. I remember feeling so ashamed at moment in time that I curled up into a little ball trying to cover my legs with my arms (which were also covered in dark hair). I went home that day from school & asked my mum if I could use that ‘cream stuff’ that my elder sister was using to make her legs look nicer, to which my mum agreed! At the very young age of 10, I began removing my body hair.
Removing my leg hair was of course just the start! I quickly moved onto removing my arm hair, upper lip hair & started plucking my eyebrows around the age of 13. At this point I was in secondary school & I wanted to get ahead of my appearance before anyone else had the opportunity to say something. It wasn’t until I was around 15 that the next comments came flooding in about the hair on my face. Being Asian (to every Asian girl reading this & feeling my pain) it’s quite common to have fine ‘facial hair’ or ‘sideburns’ if you will. At this point, I decided to start bleaching my facial hair. My grooming regime each week was around 6 or 7 hours and I had to make sure that I had bathed the night before we had P.E or dance so I could shave my legs and not get teased!
Fast Forward 10 Years
Since bleaching my face for the first time when I was about 15, I since tried several other techniques to get rid of the hair. After bleaching, I began epilating my facial hair, underarms & legs. Was it painful? HELL YES! But it was a pretty quick and easy way to maintain the hair growth and it kept the stubble at bay, unlike shaving. It just became a bit of an issue with reaching the trickier areas around my face due to the shape of the machine itself. After becoming fed up of missing patches, I then began shaving my face for a while. I got really bad breakouts from shaving so turned to waxing for a while. A word of advice for anyone trying to wax their own face. DON’T! It’s pretty tricky and it can easily go wrong! After making several mistakes, I turned back to shaving my face after feeling like I had no other real alternative. But of course, my breakouts started again & my skin looked like I was in my teens again.
Reflecting back, it’s pretty crazy to think that I have been removing the hair from my body for over 15 years. Not a day goes by that I don’t have to pluck my eyebrows or spend 15 minutes before putting on my make up ensuring that my stubbly sideburns are tamed. I have tried pretty much every hair removal treatment under the sun. Shaving, hair removal cream, epilating, waxing, threading, an IPL machine & even burning the hair on my arms (do not try this at home). I had exhausted all hair removal methods known to man at this point and I was so tired of being paranoid about the hair on my body that I knew I had to do something more permanent about it! I decided I needed to enquire about laser hair removal.
My Consultation With DestinationSkin
I had never enquired about laser hair removal before, nor had I known anyone else that had received a treatment like this either (bless my hair free friends). I did a quick Google search and after researching and comparing a few places around Manchester and reading reviews, I really liked the sound of DestinationSkin. They also seemed to be the only clinic that had really reasonable prices for their treatments and bundle packages which again, saved you a little more money too! I was sold & booked in my consultation for the following week.
The clinic is situated in House of Fraser on Deansgate & it’s pretty easy to find as it’s sign posted well. After filling out a quick medical history form, I was called in straight away to see my practitioner, Amanda. I had already decided that I wanted to opt for one of their packages. I went for the Full Leg Bikini Body package over a 6 session period. This package included my underarms, bikini & full legs. I also got my full face added on to my treatment package (cya later sideburnssss!).
Amanda began by talking me through the treatment process and here are a few things you need to know if you’re considering Laser Hair Removal:
❋ 6 sessions won’t get rid of all the hair completely! Hair will become thinner, finer & sporadic, but usually 12 sessions is the recommended amount to become totally hair free.
❋ Laser Hair removal isn’t ideal for anyone with a fair skin & fair hair combination. The machine needs to be able to tell the difference between the skin & the hair itself, making fair skin & dark hair the best combination for treatment (Other skin tones are suitable too)
❋ They have different lasers to treat different hair types and this will be looked at during the consultations to make sure you receive the one that’s perfect for you
❋ You’ll see results after your first treatment & treatments should be done 4 weeks apart for the face & 6 – 8 weeks for the body
❋ You can only wear mineral makeup after treatments as it’s the only formula that won’t interfere with your skin post treatment
❋ An SPF 30 must be worn as your skin is very sensitive post treatment
❋ You will most likely be red after treatment, but this is a good thing! (it means it’s working). So no parties, nights out or spa days planned for the following day!
During a consultation for laser hair removal, test patches need to be done on each area so you’re all ready & prepped for your first session. Amanda marked out a little square patch on each section of my body that was receiving treatment and we began the test patch on my lower legs. Various intensities were trialled out and the classic ‘1 to 10’ scale to measure my pain threshold was used. Naturally, anything towards my boney ankles was going to hurt a little more than a denser area of my body like my thigh, but the ‘pain’ wasn’t exactly excruciating, more along the lines of a little nip. Anything above a 7 on the pain scale was a no no & we continued to proceed with the remaining areas so we could make a smooth start for my first session in a couple of weeks.
The test patches were done within a half hour & I left the clinic feeling really positive about starting my laser hair removal treatment. The staff at the Manchester clinic were so helpful & friendly that it completely relaxed and calmed my nerves about an embarrassing issue of mine. The thought of such a heavy burden and endless hours of grooming each week finally being a thing of the past is a feeling I don’t think I would be able to fully express or even put into words.
After leaving the clinic and being so impressed by the wonderful staff and painless test patches, a few days later I had decided to opt for the full Head to Toe package instead! I popped back into the clinic for some more test patches & I’ll be documenting my full Laser Hair Removal journey and of course be telling you how I get on with my results!