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Several years ago I decided to stop shaving my legs and switched to waxing. I was sick of ingrown hairs and the little red bumps that formed on my lower legs from an old school razor. (Note to readers: If this is already too much information, this article is probably not for you.) Waxing your legs, I soon learned, is wonderful—for three days. Then the hair begins to creep back in and you are stuck with it for at least two weeks, three if you want it to be even more efficient. At the end of last summer, I put my furry foot down. No more of this back-and-forth business, I decided. It was time to look into a more permanent option.
I remembered first hearing about laser treatment removal years ago when people were first talking about it and thinking, “Eek, that sounds risky, I’m going to wait and see if this goes the way of the LaserDisc or the DVD.” Basically I wanted to make sure it was legit and worth the time, pain, and cost.
The way laser hair removal works, I soon discovered from a quick bit of precautionary research, is that pulses of highly concentrated light are emitted from the laser into the hair ...
... follicles. The pigment in the follicles absorbs the light and that destroys the hair. When I read that 90 percent of laser hair removal patients who are good candidates for the procedure report permanent hair loss after an average of three to six sessions, I was sold. “Chewbacca be gone,” I vowed to myself. “Next year, I am getting my legs lasered.”
My interest was particularly piqued by the spate of at-home laser treatments recently on the market. Could it be that easy? An investigation into the leading brands revealed some intriguing contenders, from the Tria 4X (an FDA-cleared device that claims to deliver more than triple the hair-eliminating energy of its DIY peers) to the IluminageTOUCH (which is approved to safetly treat a wider of skin tones than traditional lasers). But while the convenience of zapping away on my couch while watching Law & Order: SVU was seductive, none seemed quite right. I can barely operate my electric kettle—should I really be handling a laser?
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