Friday 9 February 2018

Hi ladies (and gentleman) today I want to talk to you guys about body hair. I just want to make a quick disclaimer that as a woman, it's up to you what you wish to do with the hair under your armpits or elsewhere. Even though society tells you you must be a smooth doll, it's a personal choice. Judging by my eyebrows and the thickness of the hair on my head, I definitely don't fall in the spectrum of girls who 'only have to shave once a month because they don't have a lot' - I still think this is a myth and if not, I am incredibly jealous. After trying a variety of hair removal methods - waxing, threading, hair removal cream and even those 'magic mitts' (that were meant to get rid of your hair through friction), I decided the best and most effective thing to do was get laser hair removal with Ocean Medical Clinic.  

laser hair removal

To start from the beginning, I'd first started waxing my legs when I was 14 and was told that after a few years I'd only have patches, granted the top quarter of my thighs don't grow hair anymore but there has been no difference anywhere else. There is also a chance of your skin losing elasticity because of all the pulling action and harshness of it. I have pretty sensitive skin, so although this kept me hair free for 3 weeks I was still prone to ingrown hairs and such. My mum always told me to never touch my thighs with a razor, so this made do everywhere else but we all know the results aren't very long lasting. To complicate the matters, I had an operation when I was 16 and came out of it pretty weak, so was put on some sort of steroids which completely messed up my hormones. So alas, my hair was growing faster (and thicker) than Jack's beanstalk. 

Which is why for me, laser hair removal was the best option. I started my sessions with Ocean Medical in November and have had two treatments so far and have only had to use a razor a handful of times in between. The sessions are spaced out as there is a 'hair growth cycle' so you need to wait for the new generation of hair to come around before you can kill them off. You are required to shave in between sessions and can't use any other methods as this will get rid of the hair from the root and the laser won't be able to destroy the hair follicle. 

How does Laser Hair Removal work?

Laser hair removal stops the hair from growing back by using a highly concentrated light energy to destroy hair follicles. The pigments within the follicle absorb the light, which eliminates the hair and stops the follicle from growing more. Depending on the area and the patient's skin tone/type of hair/hormones it usually takes around 6-8 sessions to see complete results, and even after that some patients might still need a 'top up' once a year as new hairs are 'born'. 

Does LHR hurt?

So I actually had a go at laser a couple of years ago on my bikini line, and it hurt so bad I cried. It felt like someone flicking elastic bands at my sunburnt skin and then pressing matches on my skin or something - I had to use numbing cream an hour before just to get through it. I only went to a couple of sessions as I moved to the UK so didn't finish the whole treatment, however my hair had grown a lot less. Last year I also had 1 session done at a beauty salon, but I quickly realised they were using an IPL photo laser that in hindsight, doesn't really give you lasting effects so I stopped. 

laser machine

Why Ocean Medical Clinic?

I'm always transparent with you guys, and you might be thinking 'of course she's going to say nice things about them, she's got a collaboration with them' BUT I had actually been having treatments done here before partnering with them, so I can truly vouch for them. For starters, they are the only place in Gibraltar offering proper laser hair removal, that is not IPL. Not only do they provide these services, but being a medical clinic means that if anything were to happen you are covered and in good hands. From what I've seen in other areas, their prices are very competitive and can be paid in instalments. Their staff is friendly and welcoming and ready to answer all your questions and concerns - which is fairly important when you're letting someone zap you with a laser whilst lying on a bed (half) naked. 

My LHR Journey 

I thought it would be a good idea to keep a journal of my sessions to see what's changed from treatment to treatment, and let you guys know what to expect! If you're interested in getting any sessions done at Ocean Medical Clinic, simply call or pop into their store and use my code 'OMCGIANA' for 10% off any treatment. 

November (Session 1)

For my first session I had my upper lip, underarms, full leg and bikini area - as I mentioned before, when I'd tried LHR previously it hurt a lot, so I was very apprehensive and was probably sweating a bit whilst the machine was getting 'heated up' They put a cooling gel over the area to be treated and then go zapping away in areas, and to my surprise, it was actually very tolerable. The only places that fathomed an 'ouch' were my ankles, middle of the top lip, and my inner thighs. The whole thing took around one hour. My upper lip I only had to touch once, and the lower half of my legs also took a while to grow back. My underarms were hair free for around a week, but it wasn't until like two weeks after I realised there was hair there, because it had grown back so thin that I couldn't even feel it.

February (Session 2)

So it's been 3 days since my last session, and I'm still here smooth as a baby. I have a burst vain on my leg and 2 small tattoos which need to be covered during the treatment, so the hair immediately around that is still growing at a normal pace which isn't ideal (darn my life decisions) but also a great way to compare how the laser is working. This session I found relatively painless, but is felt more in the more 'boney' areas.

May (Session 3)

So from my last session I saw the most results in my underarms, no hair grew for about a month. The fact that it also grows back weaker means you can't even feel when the hair does start to grow, which I only noticed when I had my arms overhead mid yoga class and caught my reflection in the mirror, at least it was an all female class right? . Around mid April I went for a 'top up' at the back of my thighs because I felt the hair hadn't really 'fallen off' there, and since that I've had the odd few patches grow. My lower limbs do seem to be a bit more stubborn, but there has definitely been a decrease in the frequency of me shaving my legs.

Today's session took around 1 hour and did hurt more than last time however this can depend on a lot of things - your hormones, your skin sensitivity that day, or the laser technician may have raised the temperature to get 'deeper'.

August (Session 4)

I think the best thing about getting LHR done at Ocean Medical Clinic is that you can get it done in the summer, something I found wasn't the case with a lot of other lasers. You just need to take 3 days off of sunbathing before your session and 3 days after. I think in the 3 months since my last session I had only shaved my armpits a handful of times, my thighs twice a month and just for peace of mind I'd shave the bottom of my legs every Friday (if I was going out). Just because there were patches that the hair would still appear in. The only painful part I felt this time was when she was doing my underarms. Even though all of my hair hasn't completely fallen off I can definitely notice the difference and that some patches are hair free. I've also noticed that the dark 'shadey' look that can sometimes appear on your underarms when you shave is completely gone.

I'll be updating this post after my treatments to keep you guys updated (if you're interested). If you have any more questions about LHR just drop me a message! If you live in Gibraltar you can receive 10% off your treatment by using my code OMCGIANA.

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