FTC: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Okay…how many times have we heard laser hair removal is not for black people? WRONG! That my friends is a myth. However… before you dive on to Groupon and grab up the first laser hair removal deal you see… let’s have a chat first.
My Experience With Laser Hair Removal As An African American
What you need to know: Laser Hair Removal does not promise to rid you of hair forever. Most places state you can expect 60-90 percent less hair in the area. Laser Hair Removal essentially kills the hair follicle. This means after a session then as the hair grows out of the follicle it will eventually simply fall out (it’s pretty crazy to see while taking a shower). Because hair grows in cycles you usually have to return for another laser treatment in the same area within 6-8 weeks.
Following closely to this 6-8 week schedule will give you the best results. You also need to know what type of lasers do they use in this area. Depending on what they say you can then choose to move forward with them or not. The best laser for African American skin tones is the YAG laser. There are a few other variations that I’ve seen that are also great for melanated skin You need to know if your salon and tech is licensed (all people working on your body should be licensed FYI) and what you should do to your skin after you leave the salon.
Questions You Should Ask: You should certainly ask about price, the type of laser(s) that are used and any other questions you need to know to feel comfortable. Don’t just go to any Groupon laser hair removal salon, because you want to make sure you’re putting your body/skin in good hands. If you get there and you don’t feel comfortable or that the environment is clean, leave and find somewhere else. Your laser tech should be putting you at ease by providing loads of information about post treatment and the laser session.
My Actual Experience: So I started getting laser hair removal in September 2017 when I got my new teaching job. My two staple waxing locations were no longer near by my place of employment so now it was becoming an inconvenience. I also was kind’ve tired of shelling out 40-60 bucks every 6-8 weeks, and didn’t want to shave.
I didn’t head to Groupon, instead I went online and simply google’d “African American laser hair removal locations”. To my surprise more options popped up than I expected. I chose the ones closest to my job, and Yelp’d them. I started with their ratings (obviously that’s what Yelp is for duh), looked through pictures to see if their establishment was clean, and if their prices fit within my budget. Even after all of that strenuous research (okay it wasn’t that strenuous) I still called to confirm everything I found online with a representative from the salon.
I decided I would start off with 6 Brazilian laser treatments, and since I was a first time customer I received 20% off. I was then told to shave two days prior to my appointment. When I arrived for my first appointment, my laser technician went through all of the steps I would take post laser treatment, and put all my nerves at ease. She was very patient, and informative about what could happen, what will happen, and what steps I need to take over the next three weeks.
Then it was laser time. I was more so in my head than anything else because I was expecting hot rays of fire to be shot at my lady parts. That wasn’t the case. The YAG laser that was used was surprisingly gentle (I mean… as gentle as a laser can be) and there was a cooling/fan like attachment that helped with the pain. It honestly felt like tiny little pinches. The discomfort level was certainly way lower than any Brazilian wax I’ve ever received. After my first laser my next appointment was scheduled for 6 weeks later.
Fast forward to July 2017, I’ve completed my six Brazilian laser sessions and have moved forward to lasering my armpits and upper lip (There was a 2 for 1 deal I just couldn’t pass up). While the pain level does increase as your sessions continue it still is way lower of a pain threshold than a Brazilian wax. Think of it as a light eyebrow plucking sensation.
Overall Thoughts: My overall final thoughts are if you can afford it and are curious about it go for it! I’m pleased with my armpit and upper lip results. After 3 sessions on my under arms, and four sessions on my upper lip little to no hair grows back in either areas. However… my Brazilian area is a different story. I still have hair that grows (Laser does not promise to remove the hair forever… just keep that in mind) and I’m considering scheduling 3 more sessions. Different areas of your body take longer than others to laser away the hair. They will require more treatments (frequent or infrequently depending on the area of your body).
I had 0 down time. After my laser treatments, I would hop off the table and head back into regular life. This is common most of the time, but everyone’s skin is different. Therefore if you have sensitive skin you may have some irritation. As far as ingrown hairs goes… I have had pretty much NONE! That is a God send as I was the ingrown hair queen during my waxing life. Hands down laser hair removal was a great investment, and I highly recommend it as an option to getting rid of any hair that is bothering you.
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.