For years I have lived with the thought that my facial hair shines like a beacon from my face, glinting for all who looked my way. The dread that I'd feel when I rushed for work and forgot to pluck those stray chin hairs, or how self-conscious I’d feel when I suddenly feel the beginnings of a thick hair on otherwise smooth girly skin. I’ve perfected holding my pen with my hand in front of my chin by midday should anyone come near me at work or risk any sight of fast-growing nasties.
Plucking, waxing, threading, and most recently epilating to rid myself of ever growing girl beard and moustache have never been a lasting solution, and at the rate my hair grows, I was waxing my upper lip every few days — the pressure to remember and the humiliation upon forgetting impacted my life. Unless you have the same problem you have no understanding of how much it affects your confidence every day. It’s one of those things we just don’t talk about. A close friend who witnessed my daily struggle suggested laser hair removal and introduced me to the Northampton Laser Clinic on Wellingborough road. I had always been a bit afraid of lasers or thought treatment would be very expensive. A recommendation was great so I called and booked in.
At my first appointment I had a consultation which was free of charge and I found it very reassuring. The whole process was explained very well so I could understand how the laser damages the hair and what to expect. It’s a very friendly clinic with the kind of ‘girl next door’ easy to chat feel but a beautiful modern clean professional clinic. It was very impressive from the minute I walked in the door. (It’s so much nicer on the outside than you expect from the shop type front on the outside!)
I was happy to start treatment but I had to have a test patch and leave it one week before I could start the treatment. I was keen to just get it all done there and then but they were very clear it’s all about skin safety and making sure the hair and skin respond to the laser correctly.
Hazel took me through all of the relevant procedure aftercare. The whole process left me feeling relaxed and to be honest it sounded too good to be true to have a life with a hairless upper lip and chin.
The test patch started with a pair of uncomfortable laser safety goggles but keeping your eyes safe from laser light is understandably a priority!! Then just as explained there was a blast of cold air followed by a sharp zap that I could feel on my chin. It didn’t hurt. It was just a weird sensation ending with a waft of cooked hair as the battle with my face fuzz began. The test patch was quick on a small area of thicker hairs. Some Aloe Vera jelly was applied to cool and soothe the area zapped. Then some lovely mildly scented SPF cream. That reminds me they really spell it out about ‘no tanning’ on the area you are having zapped. It just isn’t safe to treat when you have a tan basically. Thinking a paper bag or a very large hat is in order for summer if I’m starting treatment now!
When I got in the car I couldn’t resist having a look in the mirror. The area test patched felt smooth even though I could still see the hair in the follicle. I was desperate to prod and poke and pluck but I resisted just as I was told. You can shave any time between treatments but nothing else is allowed. This freaked me out a bit as I wasn’t sure I could commit to not plucking at the first sight of a black hair. Sure, enough these hairs started to fall out over the next few days. They were dead and dropping out. I loved it. It was working even after a small test patch.
Can’t wait for my treatment to start.
Seven days (and counting) after the test patch I went back to the Laser Clinic for my 1st full treatment. It’s easy to find and easy to park (always a bonus). The Front of House team - ooooops I forgot to mention them before. They are such lovely ladies and met me with a smile, chatted away remembering our conversation from the time before. It’s not often we get met with a simple smile and however cheesy it sounds; I think it makes all the difference. Especially as most of us daunting the doors of a laser chamber for the first time feel considerable anticipation.
When I went into the treatment room, my test patch was assessed. Wow the detail. They are so thorough. I told them already the results from just a test patch are better than anything else I have tried so far. There’s a lot of paperwork and clinical notes first. Then I hopped up on the treatment couch. I wasn’t nearly so nervous as the Test Patch was fine and the Laser Practitioner just makes you feel totally at ease. I didn’t expect the treatment to be over quite as quickly as it was, and to be honest, I think I expected some pain and a lot of discomfort, so I was surprised at just how comfortable I was during the full treatment.
I left my first treatment feeling like this was that start of a changed life for me. Of course, I put on a great show and pretend it’s all fine but all you ladies out there who have suffered the upset of unwanted facial hair will know exactly how it feels and how you wish for an end to beard depilation in despair.
Over the next 10 days, the hairs looked like they were growing but they were just falling out. Zapped hairs were dead and dropping out! I shaved most days just so there were no hairs visible and out of habit (wanting to pluck but following the laser rules ‘only shaving allowed’). I had another 10 to 14 days without hair. That might not mean much if you haven’t had chin hairs to battle with daily for most of your life or you’re comparing it to underarm hair but it is massive to me. I was obsessed checking for hairs as usual but so pleased there was nothing to pluck or shave until about the last 5 days before my second treatment was due. They explained at the first visit that our hair grows in different cycles so we get zapped every month until all the hairs have been killed off. Just one treatment and I had some reprieve and it felt a bit emotional….in a good way. I am finally getting rid of this daily nightmare of removing or hiding facial hair.
I returned to Northampton Laser clinic a few days ago for my second treatment. I saw a different Laser Practitioner this time but she was just as pleasant and professional. The experience was very similar to the first treatment, except that I now had an expectation of how the session would go. The same now-familiar cold air blast followed by a zap down the follicle and the waft of cooked hair – which I now associate with my hair free future and my confidence returning. People have no idea how it affects your confidence. I once spoke to my GP as it was getting me down so much. He really didn’t understand or provide any helpful advice. I wish they would just tell us about lasers. I’m so glad my close girlfriend told me to go to this place. It was the nudge I needed.
After just two treatments, I can already see and feel a difference. Not just the dramatic slowing down of the hair growing but the hope I feel for me! This is life changing. Facial hair is not something we should have to live it. Albeit I’m getting carried away now fantasising about having laser from head to foot!
Thank you, Northampton Laser Clinic, – this is life changing for me.