Ladies, the worst time of the year is here: SHAVING SEASON. Gone are the days of winter wear, where we can hide our sasquatch legs with cute skinny jeans. And although ripped jeans in the spring can hide them, shorts are starting to become more and more necessary as the days get hotter. Fear not, for there are options. There’s shaving (ew), waxing (ouch), flaunting your natural leg hair or laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal is a gift given to women from the goddess of hairlessness. The procedure is considered a selective photothermolysis, or SPTL, it matches to a certain wavelength of light and uses a laser to target melanin. The light from the laser then breaks down hairs from the root and gives you permanent hair reduction. To achieve the full effect, a couple of sessions or more (depending on the area you’re targeting) are necessary.
Lots of girls haven’t tried laser yet out of fear of pain or price, but here are some things you should consider before trying it out.
1. Pro: You (almost) never have to shave again
Laser can help people who are susceptible to more hair growth. For example, laser hair removal is ideal for people who want to attain silky smooth underarms, legs, face and the dreaded bikini area. Since they are larger areas, having to re-shave the areas or even waxing can be time consuming, painful or costly. With laser, you can rid yourself of hair in that area in just six to seven sessions that may last about 15 minutes to an hour. If done properly, you won’t even experience the stinging or itching shaving or waxing may leave behind.
Adelyn Orfila, a graduate from Florida International University, swears by laser hair removal.
“I love laser hair removal because like those radio commercials say, I never have to worry about shaving ever again,” Adelyn says. “I’m currently on my sixth session for my underarms and it’s like I never grew hair there to begin with.”
Laser is the best method if you want to remove hair with good precision. Of course, only going to a couple of sessions isn’t going to give you permanent hair loss, but if you complete each session you can bet there will be no spots with stray hairs.
2. Pro: No razor bumps!
Okay, so laser hair removal isn’t permanent hair removal, but it is permanent hair loss. So, sure, hair will grow back, but it probably won't be enough to have to use a razor. Laser can be a great alternative to people with sensitive skin; razor bumps or scratches can cause scarring and be a huge discomfort. Although laser may sting a bit during the process itself, it won’t leave your skin dry and won’t cause skin breakages.
3. Pro: It helps with complexion
Thinking of blasting the ‘stache away? Laser hair removal can help with not only removing unwanted facial hair, but it can also improve the area around the hair. Everyone knows hair can accumulate oils that can be damaging to your skin, and in turn, give you horrible breakouts. If you zap the hair away, there won’t be any oils to give you pimples.
Stanesha Rivers, a senior at Florida International University, used facial laser hair removal to not only get rid of pesky hair, but also for the benefits it brought on another cosmetic level. “I would recommend it to other girls because it makes facial hair one less thing to do maintenance on,” Stanesha says. “It has eliminated the hair and lessened the oiliness of my skin.”
Voila, a solution to your hair problems and skin issues!
4. Con: It only works on dark hair
Dear blondies or light-haired collegiettes, laser may not be the best option for you. In fact, laser only eliminates dark hair. The laser targets the pigment in hair follicles and kills the hair from its root and prevents it from growing back. Some physicians may have different laser types for darker skin or different colored hairs, so there is still hope. Just make sure to ask if they have the right tools before going through with your appointment! If not, other treatments like electrolysis target any kind of hair color or type of skin pigment. Just remember to ask the technician if the procedure is right for you.
Related: Your Guide to At-Home Hair Removal
5. Con: It’s hella expensive
Okay, so laser is expensive, but have you bought razors or shaving cream? On average, a pack of five crappy razors that slice your legs like an 80s horror flick will run you about five dollars. One really good razor will cost you the same price, but will rust faster than you can say “Look how soft my legs are,” and don’t even get us started on waxing prices.
Laser obviously won’t cost you five bucks, but can save you a lot of money in the long run. Especially if you look for coupons online (God bless Groupon). However, if no coupons are found, you can expect to pay around $150 to $500 per session, according to DocShop.
6. Con: It can be painful AF
Beauty is pain, right? One downside to laser is how much it stings during the actual process. Vanessa Cuadros, a recent Florida International University grad, went through a couple of laser hair removal sessions when she was 19 years old.
“It feels like a thousand bees are stinging me,” she says. “Moving their stinger around the wounds constantly.” Vanessa received treatments for her underarms and legs, and she says that some parts hurt more than others. “The pain depended on the areas, so like my underarms didn’t hurt, but certain parts of my legs did." The pain was so much, Vanessa couldn’t finish her treatments. However, she did mention thinner and slower hair growth.
Hairy leg, hairless leg, mustache or baby face, the most important thing to remember is to choose whatever you are comfortable with. Hair is a natural part of your body, and there’s no need to be ashamed of it! But, just in case you want to live that silky, hairless lifestyle, laser hair removal is a great choice if you have the money for it. Good luck, girls, and may the awkwardly-placed holes in ripped jeans be ever in your favor.