There's nothing that's quite as good for the old adrenaline as getting ready to zap your face with a laser, but it seems like there are a million things to know before using an at home hair removal laser. Of course, it's always exciting to try out a new product of some sort and see if it holds the potential to make your life a little bit easier. This is true of everything, from iPhone cleansing wipes to a new mattress. But is it true of laser hair removal?
The promise of being able to cut down on (or entirely skip) shaving and waxing my upper lip, armpits, or abdomen was too good to pass up. Having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome gives me thicker hair on my face and body, and I do prefer to shave (although I know not everyone does). As a result, the Tria Hair Removal Laser seemed like a promising candidate for "life changer."
The brand is pretty straightforward about its laser not being as strong as the ones that dermatologists use because, uh, giving something for doctors to people who aren't doctors is dangerous. It does take a while to complete each session and you have to do regular sessions, so using my Tria was a bit unlike using any other beauty tool or device I have owned.
Here are the 15 (sometimes emotional) stages of using your laser hair removal kit for the first time.
1. Reading Every Single Thing That Comes In The Package
You don't want to mess this up. You don't really know what would happen to you if you did, but you don't want to risk the worst.
2. Waiting For The Laser To Charge
OK, now you know everything and you just want to get started zapping yourself already! Hurry up, laser!
3. Pysching Yourself Up To Actually Do It
You remind yourself that it's going to be worth it and that you cause yourself unnecessary pain all the time. I mean, you re-watched Grey's Anatomy three times. You have high pain tolerance.
4. Watching Every Single Beauty Vlogger Do It To Themselves
I mean, you can totally do this. You're not scared of anything. Maybe you should watch other people do it first, though, just to see. OK, it doesn't look so bad. They don't even flinch!
5. Psyching Yourself Up A Little Bit More
You've done far scarier things than zapping your face with a little laser. Seriously. You got this.
6. Deciding What Strength To Put It On
The higher it is, the better it's going to work. The lower it is, the less it's going to hurt. Hmm... You will go back and forth over what strength to set the laser at for about 10 minutes before deciding on the lowest one.
7. Trying To Figure Out Where It Will Hurt Least
The knee! Definitely the knee. No, wait, your armpit. Nah, it has to be the leg. Half an hour later, you decide on your cheek where there isn't really any hair. You know, you're just going to see.
8. Just Goin' For It
The laser matches up to your skin. You gently press it against your face... and jump two feet in the air. Uh, that's not the feeling you were expecting.
9. Realizing It's Not Actually Bad At All
Hey, after the initial shock wears off in all of 10 seconds, you realize it's waaaay less painful than waxing.
10. Making Sure You Go Over Every Millimeter Of The "Zapping" Area
The instructions said to make sure you were overlapping coverage, to make sure you're getting every single follicle. Your roommate tries to talk to you and you shush them with, "I'm trying to concentrate in here!" Very important work is afoot.
11. Being Totally Paranoid That You're Going To Burn Yourself
There are tons of safety features built in to make sure this won't happen and the laser is incredibly safe, but you can't help be nervous that you're going to be the one dummy who manages to screw up royally. You can see the little circle-sized burn on your face now. They're going to call you "Circle Lip." It won't even be funny, it'll just be a fact.
12. Actually Sort Of Loving It
The little bit of warmth/snapping you feel is actually kind of nice and satisfying. You feel like you're making something happen. Methodically moving the laser is pretty meditative. This isn't bad!
13. Trying To Figure Out Where Else You Can Use It
OK: You did your upper lip, armpits, toes, nipple hairs, and abdomen. There has to be somewhere else you can zap. Maybe your partner wants something lasered? They totally (probably) do. You can do it for them!
14. Waiting Two Weeks To Go Again
It's in your iCal and you have a nice bottle of wine and a full DVR planned and you feel great about your life choices.
15. Awaiting The Results
You know you're not supposed to see results until after four treatments, or eight weeks. But, you can totally see a spot where a hair used to be. Right? There was totally a hair there before.
Images: Jodie Layne