Before we begin, I would like you to know that this is a candid and honest conversation about vaginas, butt holes and the finer details of being a woman and removing hair from your body. If you are uncomfortable with TMI or the word VAGINA, then you may wish to stop reading. I’ll give you a moment to click out.
Now that we’re past that, HI FRIEND! Welcome. Let us begin.
I’ve been waxing religiously for over half my life. I began with my eyebrows, because I make brow contact before I make eye contact. Not long after, I started waxing my underarms because I wanted deodorant commercial underarms — you know the smooth even coloured ones like this… look at that, no darkness and a perfectly even skin-tone. *Hmph* should only we all be so lucky deodorant lady.
When you have #melaninmagic, one of the things that often comes with that is hyperpigmentation in areas like the underarms and bikini. For me, both areas are significantly darker than the rest of my body and it always looked like there was a shadow there, so my esthetician suggested waxing both areas to minimize darkness, and I was hooked. Not to mention, I am the lowest maintenance woman ever — the less work I have to do the better. Waxing allowed me to go 3 weeks without worrying about anything and for more than a decade the only time I used a razor was on my legs.
I’ve never been a particularly hairy human (thank Beysus), so shaving my legs is something I don’t really need to do more than once every 10 days or so. All of that said, what really prompted this jump to laser was two things: my eyebrows and ingrowns. For all my waxing services, I go to my sweet angel, Ashley at The Ten Spot Leslieville and have been since I moved to Toronto — seriously she’s the effing BOMB. Anywhoo, they used to have something called the “quickie brow” that was just a clean up and it was cheaper than a full brow wax, which I always got because I hardly have any hair on my brows anymore. They removed that service about a year ago and let me tell you, I was VEXED. On top of that, I struggle with ingrowns as most womxn of colour/curly haired womxn do. Waxing significantly reduced them, but still they can get pretty bad.
Back to the eyebrows — I was super annoyed that I now had to pay full price for the removal of 7 eyebrow hairs and a trim. I know in your head you’re wondering why I didn’t just take care of them myself and I’m going to tell you why: I CANNOT BE TRUSTED WITH ANYTHING THAT REQUIRES THIS LEVEL OF PRECISION. I am a notorious “over-doer”, meaning that if I were in charge of tweezing my own brows, I’d have none. I am a firm believer in leaving these types of things to professionals (hair, waxing, nails etc.). I’m just not a DIY kind of broad and that’s that.
I got to thinking about the other waxing I was paying for and how little hair I had left on my body and then I did the math… *ahem* I’ve spent $100 every 3 weeks (including tip) for the past 4 years on waxing in Toronto alone, nevermind the 8 years of waxing before that. You can do the math. At this point I figured it might be time to see what I can do about permanently removing the remaining hair on my body. So I began my research on laser hair removal, and it was so overwhelming I thought my head would explode. Some places wanted you to buy packages of 10, some said it doesn’t work on my skin-tone, some said it might not be all gone after 10 sessions…. You get the picture.
My biggest problem with this search is that everywhere I went, I felt like they were just trying to close me on the service rather than explaining to me why their laser was the best option for me. I’m someone who needs to understand concepts before I can get behind them — your girl doesn’t drink the kool-aid and nobody I spoke to could explain the process well enough to convince me to do it.
One day, when Ashley was in the thick of waxing the vagine and tackling yet another ingrown hair for me (if your aesthetician doesn’t get your ingrowns for you, she’s not a real one), she told me that the Ten Spot was going to start offering laser services. Naturally, I was interested and for months she patiently explained to me how it worked, she tested it on herself and told me exactly what the benefits and drawbacks were. She answered in detail, every single question I asked her, and finally, I was sold.
What Kind of Laser is It?
The Ten Spot uses a Diode Laser, which is basically the gold standard. Most other places use IPL (intense pulsed light) lasers. The diode laser in the case of The Ten Spot has a few distinct advantages, the first of which is that before they even put that laser near your skin, they do a skin type read on you. Their technology measures the melanin content of your skin and automatically sends that info back to the diode laser, so your service is tailored to your unique hair colour and skin type.
This is NOT the case with IPL lasers, which rely on the aesthetician just eyeballing and making a best guess on your skin type — this is dangerous and why many people end up getting burned during their laser process. The diode laser also rests on your actual skin, so when she blasts the area, it’s getting the full force of the laser. IPL lasers usually hover above the skin so when the light is blasted, it isn’t as concentrated because it spreads out. In other words, the diode laser is more precise and can be used on all skin tones and types from the fairest alabaster beauty to the deepest #blackgirlmagic.
I just finished my 5th session on my underarms and brazilian and I can tell you that after the first session I saw an insane reduction in hair. The best part is that your hair basically falls out on its own and you can pull it out with tweezers or sometimes you can even just pull it out on your own — which I’m not even going to lie is SO SATISFYING, LOL. To be honest, the most annoying part of the whole process for me is shaving. I am atrocious at it (remember I’ve been waxing for 12+ years) and I have no effing clue how people shave their vajayjay on a regular basis. I had to google how to do this and get alllll the hair and bruh, that ish is so hard to do. I’m like a gymnast in the shower trying to do this and Ashley still has to touch it up. Every 4 weeks I come in all proud like “Hey Ash, this time I got it all” and she laughs at me and is like no bish, you didn’t.
Does it Hurt and What Do You Need to Know?
The sensation in the first few sessions for me was completely tolerable. It feels like taking a rubber band, holding it against your skin, pulling it taut and letting it go, but only in some areas. I found my underarms to be entirely painless and my brazilian was tolerable for the first three sessions; pain level was maybe a level 3 or 4 in some areas. In the case of the brazilian, the general rule is the same as waxing, the closer you get to the labia the more painful it is.
The fourth and fifth sessions however are a whole. different. ballgame.
At this point, my settings on the laser changed because my hair is sparse, fine and patchy everywhere, so they up the ante. I’m not going to lie to you, the brazilian SUCKED the fourth and fifth sessions (underarms were totally fine). And by “sucked”, I mean at several points I told Ashley that she was dead to me because this hurt and I wanted to kick her; nevermind the curse words coming out of my mouth — I was actually sweating with anxiety because it was so uncomfortable. The sensation is still the same rubber band feeling, but imagine pulling that band to its almost breaking point and releasing it against your wet skin. It’s an amplified version.
The upside is that the pain is momentary and goes away within seconds and the whole thing is done in under 8 minutes. If I’m being totally transparent with you, and this might be TMI but I need you to know the facts, I get both the booter and the cooter done (because Brazilian) and I probably won’t bother with the booter next time because that sensation is something I can live without — I might try the numbing cream but after doing a cost-benefit analysis, I’m not sure I actually care enough about having a hairless butt hole to suffer through that discomfort again.
Another important thing in all of this is that you MUST STAY OUT OF THE SUN. My underarms and vagina don’t generally see sunlight so it’s not really an issue for me, but if you are getting your legs or arms done, do it in the winter. This is essential. Do not lie to your esthetician about this and don’t get laser if you’ve been in the sun. You can burn your skin and do irreparable damage. Just don’t.
My favourite part of the Ten Spot’s laser services is that they are pay as you go, so I don’t need to buy 10 sessions at a time and bankrupt myself. That said, they are pricier than other laser places, but that doesn’t bother me one bit. They’re clean, Ashley is the best in the game and I’m on track to have this hair situation handled in 6-8 sessions, which is about half the number that most people have to do. For me it’s totally worth the extra cost.
I don’t have before and after photos for very obvious reasons, but if you want to know more about this whole thing, feel free to leave a comment below or book a consultation with Ashley at the Ten Spot and she will answer all your questions.
Until next time my loves,