how fast does it work?
February 15, 2008 5:39 AM   Subscribe

When one has laser hair removal on one's bikini line, is the bikini line immediately smooth--as in, one leaves the office hairless? (I understand that at least several visits are required over time, though.) I'm leaving for a vacation in a week, and I'm debating between starting the laser process or just getting a wax.
posted by pipti to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total)
Get a wax. You're not supposed to go sunbathing after the laser treatment.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 5:46 AM on February 15, 2008

No, it's not. The laser will fry the hair (assuming it's dark hair, of course), but it will take a couple of days for the remainder of the hair and root to work their way out of your skin. The advantage is, the hair grows back considerably more slowly. So, if you want immediately smooth, you're better off with the wax.
posted by LN at 5:47 AM on February 15, 2008

Response by poster: I actually won't be sunbathing, so that's okay. So if I get it done, say, Monday, I should be smooth-ish by the end of next week?
posted by pipti at 5:58 AM on February 15, 2008

I have had laser hair removal treatments on several areas of my body, including my bikini line and entire legs.
When you go to get "lasered," you have to shave anyway. Laser + hair = burning hair.
You will probably not have any results from the first session. In order to "catch" hair growth during all of its phases, you have to go back several times (like up to 8) with the visits 6-8 weeks apart.
It also depends on the type of laser used and the setting it is on.
I love my results, by the way. But it's noticeable after 2-3 sessions, not immediately. If you want immediate results, go get waxed or use a depilatory that will dissolve the hair below the skin line (like Nair).
posted by FergieBelle at 6:31 AM on February 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

If your goal is smooth for your trip, get a wax.

Laser can take a number of treatments before the area is permanently clear of hair. When you get back, I'd start the laser regime so on your next trip, you never have to worry about that nasty waxing again!
posted by bprater at 7:05 AM on February 15, 2008

Okay, so you're not sunbathing on your trip, but I assume that somebody is going to be seeing your bikini line, otherwise it wouldn't be a concern, right? So you should still get a wax. The laser leaves behind fried hair in the follicle. It's even more noticeable than razor stubble, because the hair is kind of puffed up from the frying, and doesn't come out for several days. Also, because you will have burned hair in your follicles, your bikini line will smell like burned hair--if that's a concern.
posted by Enroute at 9:43 AM on February 15, 2008

After laser treatment your skin will swell up, turn red, and hurt. Plus, not all of the follicles will explode, some will, as mentioned above, just be damaged, and take possibly more than week to work their way out.

Additionally, the hair that is "resting" will become visible in eight-ish weeks and then you'll need a treatment for *that* hair.

But as for immediate effects? Pain and swelling, plus a patchy appearance, unless you're ridiculously lucky and have tough bikini-area skin. I wouldn't gamble on it. I highly suggest you do a little reading, or call the laser place. If they're principled, they'll let you know when to schedule.
posted by tejolote at 9:58 AM on February 15, 2008

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