Friday morning was my fifth laser hair removal treatment. In the first treatment, I tried the MedioStar laser on my neck and it was just far too intense for me, so the subsequent treatments I’d been using the Dermo Flash IPL.
When I went in this time, the technician, Liz, took a look at my chart and my face and said, “You know… for the amount of time you’ve been coming in, you’re not getting a lot of result.” And it was true - the Dermo Flash has worked a bit, and there were a few small hair-free patches, but it’s slow going. My hair is thinner, but it’s admittedly sort of hard to tell if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
“So would you like to try the MedioStar again?”
Oooo. Now, I’ve got a pretty low pain tolerance, and last time I tried that… well, it was just too intense. But she was right - it was slow going, and it might be time to get results. So I said we could try it again as long as we could stop if it was too much. She agreed.
Turns out MedioStar, while very, very painful, is much less intense the less hair you have. The Dermo Flash, having reduced the overall volume of hair, actually helped in that - the MedioStar was now still painful but not so bad I was utterly unable to handle it. The upside of that is that I was able to do my whole face using the MedioStar.
For reference, Liz did say that she’s talked to other people who’ve had this done and that everyone seems to agree getting a tattoo on your face is far less painful and intense than MedioStar. Think about this: MedioStar is so intense that it’s not uncommon for hairs to literally pop out of their follicles after being zapped. It happened during my appointment.
To manage the intensity of it all, here’s what worked for me:
- Between one and four laser pulses at a time, max. In really dense hair areas, like the point of my chin, one pulse is just insanely painful and is all I can take without a break. In less dense areas, like on my neck, I can take up to four. That fourth pulse is the edge of my pain threshold.
- Ignore the ice pack. It’s just a distraction and doesn’t help any.
- Take advantage of air cooling. They have this hose that blows super-cool air that they can use to chill the skin prior to using the laser. Before and after getting zapped, cool things waaaay down with that cold air hose.
- Get one stress ball for each hand. Something to squeeze is helpful.
- Breathe. Seriously. I darn close to passed out from tensing up and holding my breath.
All told, it took the full hour appointment to do my face, but we did it. By the time it was over, tears were running, I could barely speak, I was shaking, and I had sweated clean through the back of my shirt such that I had to go home and change before coming back to work, but we did it. Today, three days later, I feel like I have a bad case of razor burn and my face is red and sort of bumpy/irritated, but you can already see some difference. In two weeks, when the irritation has subsided, I think it’ll be much more obvious how much difference was made.
As painful as it was, I think I’ll probably do MedioStar next time, too. I need to start seeing some real change and knowing that the intensity gets reduced as hair disappears, it sounds like next time will be easier than this one.