This post is a bit moot as the clinic is no longer operational. They have closed their doors without any announcement, and without any warning your are left with a groupon like coupon that is still valid. Nonetheless there may still be value in reading this. For those hesitant to try laser hair removal, or are curious to see what it is all about, this one is for you.
I have been going to this particular clinic for years now, for various reasons. I have seen products and services amended, the decor altered, a few changes in staff, and even a change in ownership. I took a year’s break from their slimming services, only to return to find it a completely different clinic. The staff had all turned around and the feel of the place was no longer the same. No longer was it just of expense, elegance, and extravagance. You no longer felt intimidated by the perfect receptionist behind the front counter, or just assume staff were skilled technicians based on the way they dressed. This was now a clinic for everyone, comfortable. The staff were welcoming, every customer was treated alike. And with them advertising on platforms such as “living social” and “groupon” a lot more than just affluent women were able to purchase their wares. In hind sight I shouldn’t have been surprised by the closure. Generally, new establishments and ones on their last legs choose to promote themselves with steep discounts. The latter, as a last ditch attempt to rejuvenate what once was. Clearly it didn’t work and I was still owed three treatments worth of hair removal service
My coupon entitled me for a year’s worth of laser hair removal. The catch, one hair removal on one spot only, and each leg qualified as “a spot”. There is also a necessary breathing period between treatments, 6-8 weeks. So at the end you might only be able to squeeze in five sessions throughout the entire year. This and I only found out after signing up, that you will definitely need more than ten sessions to see substantial results. A friend too sought out laser hair removal, and after five sessions noticed that she was growing back patchy, and would have to invest in more sessions to see all the hair truly removed for good.
Along with laser hair removal “Paris Clinique” also offered inferred sauna treatments, facials and massages, hair growth treatments, and a bevy of slimming solutions across five different machines. I am not ashamed to admit that I have tried a few of the latter and have seen amazing results at a very steep cost. Something that would require upkeep and maintenance, and something that I couldn’t continue to afford. So my latest and last visits were solely for their laser hair removal treatments at discount. And this is how they went.
The shop was primarily white. I suspect the original concept was that white walls and white surfaces at such places were necessary to give customers the impression of it being sterile and clean. An important point at a spa, important at any place in which you intended to be exposed. It worked. Their elaborate floral bouquets, crystal chandeliers, and antique framed photos once gave you a feeling of opulence. It was a fancy setting and you felt fancy in it. After all, all the treatments you were signing up for were considered extracurricular. Services only those with extra income could afford.
After necessary waivers are signed and you fill out a very comprehensive survey revealing your skin type the process begins. The surveys share with the techs how sensitive your skin is and at what setting they need to start you off at. This is mostly dependent on the ancestry of your skin and your hair type. For example darker skin and thicker hair requires more volts to have an affect. Whereas a paler complexion and whispy hair is more forgiving at a lower setting. Tough, darker skin and Asian coarse hair put me mostly in the former category.
Typical female body parts to remove hair from are the upper lip, under arm, legs and bikini zone. The most popular, and what I was seeking out was the Brazilian. They say pain is beauty and I was going to find out just why that is. The first visit is a consultation. Here expectations are set and requirements are laid out. What to do. What to avoid. The requirement is at least 1mm of hair growth, they need the root of the hair to get to the root of the problem. And you cannot go tanning or have excessive exposure to the sun for a week before and after your treatment week. Doing so may result in discolouration of the skin due to the use of lasers and light in the treatment. Shaving is okay, but tweezing and waxing are not. Both pulls the hair out by the root, and that is what they need. They target the root to remove the possibility of continued and future hair growth.
At this point I have made a few visits for the same cause, so this post is a compilation of the visits. I have been sticking to the same technician as I find her methods sound, and her voice and face soothing. I am directed to one of their rooms and given privacy to remove everything waist down. If you aren’t comfortable with showing someone your full frontal in all its glory, this particular treatment may not be for you. You get intimate. You prop yourself awkwardly and keep stiff on the table, it is the nerves, you know what comes next. I usually hold off shaving for just a week and yet always seem to come in with my hair too long. This requires my technician to trim with a mechanical shaver in hand. She is gentle and very careful, but the process is not something you can ever get used to, it takes a lot of trust to allow someone to be this intimate with you, with the fear of being cut looming. She is shaving your labia after all. Luckily she isn’t looking for precision so it’s over quick. The job is finished off with a swipe of a wet wipe to remove excess fallen hair. It makes you feel like a child, but you asked for this process and only have yourself to blame. You bear with. How many years since your last diaper change and assisted wipe?
You gear up with protective goggles and she warms up the machine. It has a paddle with removal plates. This is what goes directly on to skin. The larger surface area allows for less zaps needed to cover the entire area. A few times she starts only to up the power and tells me she is doing so. And each time I wish she hadn’t. Each zap already stings as it is, but to know it will sting more because it is at a higher setting, is unnerving. The machine winds up, a beep goes off and a second later you get hit. It’s like multiple pricks and hot pain for a split second. It the next one that you fear. I never get through the treatment without gripping the platform under me and never leave with out sweating through my shirt. Luckily the tech starts from the bottom, where it hurts most and works her way up, to where it is less sensitive. And I have a system where she helps direct my attention to my breathing. I breath in and when I exhale, she pushes the button. The pain is still there, but greatly lessen because I am not anticipating the zap, but instead concentrating on taking the perfect deep breath. This continues for what seems like forever, though the more you do it the less time it seems to take. My tech is very thorough so she asks me to flip over and push my buttocks cheeks apart to get every possible stray hair. I comply. Sort of humiliating if I think about it. I asked for this, I only have myself to blame.
If needed she applies an aloe serum to soothe the humming sting. You are given the room to redress in private. As the days go by the hair that has curled up from the process falls out. Many don’t grow back and you notice what does come back, does so thinner and finer. It is working. How many more times are needed to make this a permanent solution?
I have also gotten electrolysis done on my under arms many years ago. It was at a different clinic, that too no longer exists. From what I can recall the experience is fairly similar, but without the same amount of shame. I am more willing to expose my armpits to a stranger, even if they are bushy from the 1mm of hair needed to conduct the procedure. It also hurts less too, in fact I remember a few spots and several zaps made me ticklish. Fast forward over ten years, the procedure has stuck. At most I have a few strands growing, they can easily be cut down with a glide of a disposable razor.
If you decide to try laser hair removal or a Brazilian for yourself it is a great treat. In our society being smooth and hairless equates to and can make you feel sexy and powerful. You jump into a bikini with no fear of exposing a hair, and are always looking your best with no need to upkeep. And with enough sleuthing, you too may be able to find a coupon to have this long term procedure done at a low cost. But if your reservation lies in having to expose yourself, take solace in the fact that most technicians are women, they have seen it all. What you have isn’t special and will hardly be memorable. It is their job to treat every vagina like the one before. They work on a conveyor belt of parts that need zapping, and they do it focusing on the small picture. You are no different from the next.