Alice Cooper had it right: Only women bleed.
And voluntarily sign up, no not sign up…PAY…to have their privates practically electrocuted via laser.
So here we go. A tale about my first experience with laser hair removal.
Being a Greek, as many Greek women will tell you, is lovely. The long dark mane, the thick black eyelashes–all good cause we still look pretty much like ourselves sans makeup. The downside of that is that most Greeks are also hairy little buggers. Consequently, at least for this Greek girl, the battle of the hair has been a struggle no less epic and absolutely longer than that of the Trojan War. Re-read that: Even the Trojan War only lasted ten years. I’m going on, oh, say, my 25th year in battle. Sheesh.
So lucky for me, in 25 years’ time, technology has come a long way, and there are now more options than ever to truly denude yourself (and I’ve tried almost every one):
- Shaving. Check. Check. Check. Check.
- Depilatories. Check.
- Waxing. Check. Check.
- Electrolysis. Check.
- Threading. Dude, it would take a whole spool of thread to do the job right. I don’t think so.
- Laser: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-e-e-e-e-ck.
Now given that I’ve had electrified needles stuck in me and hair ripped out of my body in large patches, I am well-acquainted with the pain associated with hair removal. And I’ve discovered I have a pretty high tolerance for it, as well as the ability to completely compartmentalize the fact that my aesthetician is only a piece of paper away from being my gynecologist. So I thought the “rubber-band-popping” pain of laser hair removal would be a piece of cake. I should’ve known better when they offer ed me the option to purchase numbing cream. Hindsight.
Regardless, I decide it is finally time to do the laser treatment. In preparation for my first session, I have been instructed to first cleanly shave all the areas I want treated, then apply said numbing cream 30 to 45 minutes prior to my session. Which I do.
Shaved, slathered, and psyched, I roll into the facility and sign in. They call me back and I’m instructed to just 86 the panties altogether since I’m signed up for underarms and a Brazilian. OK. Done.
Next, I lay down on the table, my nurse practitioner, Nurse J, hands me some laser sunnies, tells me she’s going to start with the underarms first, and proceeds to spread this clear gel on my right pit.
“Are you ready?” she asks.
“OK. Here we go.”
She begins running the laser along the outer edge of my right armpit. I hear crackling sounds, almost like a bug zapper on a hot summer’s night. That’s the sound of my sub-dermal hair being fried. There’s a little pain, but I think, that’s not so bad.
As she moves the laser more toward the center of my underarm, Nurse J says, “Usually it’s the middle that hurts a little more,” at the same time I start to feel a searing heat that makes me realize my thoughts of this being manageable pain were waaaay premature. As Nurse J continues lasering my right armpit I start to sweat. I start thinking, I paid big money for this torture! Am I mad?
I apologize for being a baby even though I’ve only let out the occasional semi-squeal. Nurse J tells me I’m doing great, that some people can’t sit still, some literally scream, and a couple have gotten up and cancelled their contracts. Oy vey.
I’ve realized by now that the numbing cream, their over-the-counter version, is not helping much. But fortunately for me, Nurse J is expeditious and soon the pit pain is over and she’s ready to move to the bikini.
Nurse J moves south, and preps me for lasering. Of course, when I relay this story to my favorite Aussie later, in typical boy fashion, he finds it a bit erotic, and I quickly set him straight. Because as soon as Nurse J begins running that laser across my…
In the name of all that is holy, I know I’m a sinner, but can someone please rescue me from this pain? Oh HELL! I think, what have I gotten myself into?
I’ve never had a tattoo, but I think this must be what it feels like. My favorite Aussie says getting a tattoo is like having a hot razor blade sunk into your skin. Hmmm. OK, that might be a pretty accurate description for this as well. ‘Cause I’m feeling like someone has hooked electrodes to the vicinity of my privates and thrown the switch. Snap, crackle, pop! It’s like an electric chair for pubic hair. No, really. Complete with the stench. (You know when you accidentally juice the gas grill up too much, then light it and it ignites wooof in a big ball, and your eyelashes singe off? Yeah, that smell.)
People, I. Am. DYING!
Nurse J is sympathetic. “I’ll take little breaks,” she says. Please, can you?
Oh, what fun I had. And it only got better when I was told to flip over so she could…well, ladies, you know what a Brazilian entails.
After it was all said and done, as I slathered on a cooling menthol-infused lotion, I thought, How lovely for me. Only six more sessions!
Nurse J escorted me to the front desk so I could schedule my next appointment. I thanked her for being so fast and professional, then turned to the girl behind the desk:
“Can I go ahead and schedule my next session?” I ask.
“Sure. Let’s see, that means April.”
“Great,” I say. “Um, and can I get some of that prescription-strength numbing cream?”