Getting zapped in the Territory

9 Mar

*This post was by T2, a co-author of In The Taratory from 2011-2013.*

Okay, so I’m sure most of you are vaguely aware of the latest craze in hair removallaser therapy. You’ve probably heard the ads on the radio while driving home from work, yarping on about smooth cha-chas and the like (geez, that HairFree ad really makes me chuckle – why would ‘everyone’ love your new smooth cha-cha? Or, more to the point, why/how/when would they all be SEEING it?!). Laser has been around since the mid 90’s, but dedicated clinics are now suddenly sprouting up all around the country and prices are rapidly falling – great news for those of us who don’t wanna fork out hundreds for the experience. So what’s this laser business all about, and how do Canberra’s laser clinics (that I’ve tried) rate? For those of you who really have no idea what I’m on about: laser therapy is a form of hair removal that’s likened to a ‘rubber band snapping against the skin’. It’s much quicker and much less painful than a trip to the traditional whipper-snipper. Basically, laser therapy uses light to target melanin (the thingy that gives your hair/skin its colour) in the area that causes hair growth. There’s also IPL (intense pulsed light) and electrolysis, which are different, yet similar types of wax-free treatments. Anyway, I don’t want to delve into too much scientific detail here. Head over to our good friend Wikipedia if you want to learn more about how melanin + follicles + chromophore + laser = smooth, lovely pins/cha-cha/underarms! I am personally a big fan of laser, as I never quite managed to get used to the pain of waxing. I’ve been to four different laser clinics in Canberra now and have had well over 15 treatments for various areas. Laser junkie? Yep, that’s me! I’ve been zapped by HairFree and the Canberra Laser Biotherapy Clinic (both in Belconnen), and the Laser Clinics Australia Canberra branch and the Laser Skin Clinic (both in Civic) (…geez, I wish they’d start being a bit more inventive with their business names – that was confusing). Two of these clinics are franchises and have locations all over Australia, while the other two are Canberra-owned businesses. All are top-quality clinics. Now, I’m not an expert on the ins and outs of different machines but I do have an idea of what works for me. For those who care to hear my opinion, Candela machines (particularly the GentleLase Pro) seem to yield the best results for me – so Laser Clinics Australia has been my fave clinic out of those I’ve tried so far. So, what can be expected at your first laser appointment? First, you and your therapist will slip on a pair of trendy goggles. Then you’ll recline and expose whichever area you’ve elected to treat (modestly covered with a towel if needed). The therapist will lightly highlight this area with a coloured marker (wouldn’t want to accidentally take the whole lot off now, would we!), and crank the machine into gear. This is where some people get a little antsy. The machine makes quite a loud whirring noise, followed by a loud ZAP as the therapist begins efficiently lasering away. It’s certainly not particularly comfortable (my legs usually get really twitchy about halfway through) but luckily, it’s over in the blink of an eye. For a small area, like underarms, the treatment will take 5-10 minutes flat, while a Brazilian might take between 10-15 minutes (the therapist will always stop if the prickling laser sensation is becoming too much for you, so it really depends on how many breaks you need). You’ll then have a little bit of soothing gel popped on and, a week or two later, the hair will painlessly shed away. No down time, no angry ingrown hairs – it’s pretty darn simple. Of course, hair grows at different rates, so you’ll likely need to have another 3-8 treatments to completely rid the area of hair (4-6 weeks apart). Your skin type will likely play a large role in determining the success of the laser treatment – people with dark hair and light skin tend to have the best results. Our fair-haired friends may find laser a little less effective Now let’s talk prices. Things obviously vary between clinics, but you can generally expect to pay between $30-$60 for a Brazilian zap or $20-$40 for underarms. Again, I really like Laser Clinics Australia – they always seem to have great deals, like their recent $39 Brazilian + underarms package. I’ve also had quite a few Living Social deals for cheaper treatments from HairFree pop up in my email inbox, though I’ve yet to buy one. So they may be worth keeping an eye out for, too. My advise is to shop around a bit – there’s that many clinics around these days that you can afford to take your pick! It’s not all about hair removal at these clinics, either. Laser machines can also effectively treat pigmentation, vascular lesions and other skin ailments (though more intense settings are used). As a Queensland girl, I’m so very lucky to be blessed with heaps of freckles/moles (NOT!), so I’ve also had laser sessions for skin pigmentation. This worked relatively well for my brown freckles, but not on my moles. As I later found out (and wished I had been told by my laser therapist, who had treated them anyway), moles still need to be cut out the traditional way because they have active blood vessels. Dammit 😦 So, apart from that slight piece of misinformation, I really haven’t had any bad laser experiences in Canberra. I did go to a pretty shitty clinic up in Sydney, who I’d come across through a cheapo Spreets deal. They were obviously flat out and trying to get through as many clients as possible. As a result, the job they did was rushed and ineffective. I’ve also seen those scary stories on A Current Affair (or Today Tonight?… one of those cutting-edge news programs, anyway!) about botched laser jobs – girls ending up being burned and scarred for life. Now that really, REALLY sucks, but I don’t think you should let it put you off giving it a go. Do your research and check out a reputable laser clinic. Ask your mates where they go – many girls I know seem to love chatting about their laser experiences! Personally, I’d advise against going to a day spa, only because laser isn’t the focus of their business and their machines may not be of the same quality as specialised laser clinics. But, as always, speak to a qualified therapist in the first instance (yes, I know, that’s what you always get told to do – I just don’t want get in the brown stuff for giving you dodgy advice!). They’ll be able to talk you through the process and alleviate any niggling worries you have. Anyway, moral of the story: if you’re sick and tired of waxing/shaving/plucking, give laser a go this year… after all, everyone will just LOVE your smooth cha-cha 😉 Attendees: T2 Cost: Varies depending on the area – generally $29+ Location: All over Canberra Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile Want more? www.hairfreeplus.com.au, www.laserclinics.com.auwww.laserskinclinic.com.au

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20 Responses to “Getting zapped in the Territory”

  1. Sarah March 10, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    I was told I was an ideal candidate for laser hair removal because I have pale skin & dark hair so the laser would only target the hair follicles & not my skin. After a few weeks I started to swell and bruise and when the hair began to shed it was so painful I almost couldn’t walk. The pain lasted for at least four days while the hair shed even if I exfoliated several times a day. Afterwards I had a huge amount of in grown hairs as the next cycle of hair growth came through. The new hair was more coarse and thicker than before. I ceased treatment & went back to waxing but now I find waxing more painful than it was before. I go to a new beauty salon now & the girl who does my waxing told me she’s had several people react the same way to laser as I have come in to get waxes.

    I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I don’t think the beauty therapists administering the treatment do enough research on each individual to ensure they are suitable for the treatment. You can’t have laser if you’re on different medications or have certain medical problems. I told them up front about all the medications I take & they didn’t bother to check any of them to make sure it was safe. They also don’t warn you properly that your skin may react badly or explain how to deal with it if it does. They also advertise it as permanent hair loss but in actual fact it isn’t.

    • inthetaratory March 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

      Wow that really does suck, Sarah… Was it just the one clinic you tried? (I suppose you probably wouldn’t have been too keen to go back and try other clinics after that experience though!!). It’s interesting to hear about other people’s experiences – yours is actually the first negative one I’ve heard (about from the ones on TV that I mentioned). The clinic I went to up in Sydney sounds a lot like the one you went to re: looking into medication – they gave my form a quick glance then filed it away without any sort of checking into whether my meds would be ok! That didn’t really instil me with much confidence from the get-go. So I guess it really does depend on the clinic you go to… whether they’re focused on getting as many clients in and out as possible, or whether they actually care about doing a top-quality job with each client’s individual needs in mind… Anyway, sorry to hear about your experience – ouch 😦

      • Boris-4444 November 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

        Please help, I didn’t mean to put my email address as my name!! I don’t know how to edit it

      • inthetaratory November 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        It should be removed. Please feel free to comment again 🙂

    • kf July 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

      Hi can u pls contact me
      Kflintoft@gmail.com . I had a bad treatment and inadequate after care information from one of these places too

  2. Gary Lum March 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Fortunately or unfortunately I grow no hair apart from my head and pubes. I wish there was a reverse laser so I could grow hair on my legs, arms, chest and back. Then my skin would not be so dry.

  3. thoughtsappear April 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    I love laser hair removal! I’ve had it on the lower half of my legs and bikini line. I love not having to shave often!

  4. hair removal treatment October 29, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that
    I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.
    I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  5. Lily Mulholland May 3, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    Thanks for the reviews – very helpful (and I hope my experience will be similar to yours!)

  6. hair removal products for men July 14, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Howdy! This blog post could not be written any
    better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
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  7. Natalia August 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    Hi there,

    I would like to know if hair grows back after you’be had like 10 sessions? And if so, at what rate?

  8. Kristy November 9, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Hi,
    Great article on hair removal, a never ending problem for me!

    I have been going to Brazillian Butterfly in Civic. Had two treatments on underarms & brazillian. Three more to go with the package I bought. I spent 35 mins initially with the therapist answering a million questions. She then did a test area in both places and came back two weeks later to start my treatments.
    I would recommend Brazillian Butterfly in civic for laser hair removal.

    • allblogz November 16, 2013 at 3:52 am #

      Hi Kristy I agree with you I’ve enjoyed reading this posts, I like the site and will be back, some very good news and important information. I get form this site and love this site. if you have some time please visit my site which is about laser clinic and give me some good tips to approve my site like your site. thanks

  9. kf July 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi can the poster(Sarah) who had a bad treatment please contact me with the clinic as I had a bad treatment at one of the clinics listed too.
    Kflintoft@gmail.com

  10. Jessica April 21, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi I’m looking at getting laser done. I live near Canberra so I will try and go to a clinic in Canberra. I noticed some purple had bad treatments done. I really want to know what clinic so I can avoid going to it. I’ve been putting this off for about 3 years and I have finally decided to go but I’d be so upset if I had bad results/treatment.

  11. Isiah Rabeneck August 3, 2015 at 5:51 am #

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here often. I’m quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  12. Desmond Dellamora August 3, 2015 at 5:53 am #

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  14. Anthony November 30, 2016 at 9:22 pm #

    Great

  15. resultslaserclinic December 1, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

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