Saturday was my second laser hair removal treatment, and I won’t lie, I
Since my first treatment four weeks
I’d discovered that there’s really no such thing as permanent hair
removal - it’s more permanent hair reduction. I started questioning
whether it’d be worth finishing, considering the cost and pain involved.
On that point, I figured less is still more; I’ve destroyed too many
pillowcases with this beard and it causes me too many skin issues, so
any reduction is worth it.
Also, there was the issue of pain. I’d had half of my neck done with a
MeDioStar laser and it was literally the worst pain of my life. The rest
of my neck and face were done with a Dermo Flash IPL, which is far less
painful… but also less effective. It took about three weeks to see the
difference, but it was clear - the MeDioStar definitely cleared the hair
better than the Dermo Flash. The Dermo Flash areas were slightly reduced
in overall hair quantity, so I can’t say it didn’t work at all, but the
MeDioStar area actually had some totally hair-free spots. There’s a
visible difference. Jessica, the technician, was right when she told me
that during my first treatment.
That difference caused me to panic. What if the only option I had was
MeDioStar? Could I handle it? Admittedly, I was sort of locked in
regardless - I’d started and need to finish. I can’t go through life
with this half-a-neck-full-of-hair thing I’ve got right now.
The thought of several more MeDioStar experiences and that panic made me
lose sleep. For about a week, I stressed about it hard. I went through
the various stages of
grief, pulling in
to Acceptance on Friday.
Saturday was the treatment so I popped a Vicodin I found in the back of
a drawer and headed in.
When I got there, I went into the treatment room and steeled myself for
the worst. Jessica surprised the crap out of me when I got there,
though: since I’d been there, they’d bought a new laser! This one was
an IPL (intense pulsed light, not actually a real laser) like the Dermo
Flash, but they’ve had much more success with coarse hair like mine
using this one and - get this - it’s less painful than Dermo Flash.
Less painful? And effective? Hell yeah. I actually heard Handel’s
Messiah playing and
saw light streaming down from the heavens.
The name of this new device is the Aesthera
Isolaz. Their web site books it as “painless”
and, while it’s not painless, it’s certainly far less painful than
anything else they’ve tried. It looks sort of like a big canister
vacuum with an LCD screen poking off the top of it. The technician dabs
some water on your skin, then takes the hose on the Isolaz and puts it
on the area you’re getting the hair removed from. The hose sucks part
of your skin up into it and then there are two bright light flashes -
the first one is just sort of warm, the second feels like a tiny rubber
band snap (about half as much snap as Dermo Flash). The suction lets go
and they move on to the next section. So it sort of is like a canister
vacuum - it has the suction and everything. (I guess they treat acne
with it, too, and the suction turns up so powerful it sucks the goop
out of zits. That’s some pretty powerful suction!)
When you’re done, it feels a bit like a sunburn for a few hours, but
even toward that evening the redness was going away and the sunburn
feeling was dwindling. By the next morning, it was all better.
It’ll take a couple of weeks before I can vouch for the effectiveness of
it, but Jessica told me they had pretty good luck with it, and that
builds my hope. I don’t think I’ll be totally done in just six
treatments the way we originally thought, but that’s okay; if it’s
working and it happens to take a couple of extra treatments, I’m cool