I have plunked down $660 for six sessions of laser hair removal, for full legs. I did an enormous amount of research as to type of laser, and where I wanted to have it done, eventually picking Emerge Medical Spas, because they were professional and responsive and competitively priced. They use a LightSheer laser, which is pretty much state-of-the-art, so far as I am able to sleuth. I know it's generations ahead of the laser treatment I was given, gratis, thirteen years ago, when writing about hair removal for the LA Times Magazine, two three-hour treatments that, so far as I and my waxer could tell, did nothing to reduce hair. I am hopeful this time, and am doing it not so much because the monthly constitutional of getting waxed is getting boring and expensive (though that, too), but because after 20-plus years of waxing, the hairs are getting weak and having a hard time finding their way to the surface, resulting in so many ingrowns I look as though I've been attacked by a pack of bees.
I'll start the treatments as soon as I quit tanning (the laser working best with contrast, i.e., light skin and dark hair). I'll report back as to the process and its efficacy. Here's hoping!
So, have readers tried laser hair removal? What are your experiences?
Update: So I had my first laser hair removal treatment this week at Emerge (which, if you wind up going there, please tell them I recommended you as I believe I then qualify for a discount, should I have any future treatments). I like the place a lot; it's clean and low-key and none of the employees are walking around with platypus lips and/or humongous boobs. There's also no hard-sell for any other products, though they seem to offer a buffet of skin care options. Anyway, Jennifer took me to a comfy room, and told me how it was going to work: a gel (of the sort you use with a sonogram) would be spread on the area, after which she would move the laser, which does about an inch at a time, but quickly; it's very efficient. I told her, I would probably read during the treatment; she said, I probably wouldn't; that there would be a little more pain than that. And there was, but not bad; I'd put it at about a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1 - 10. It feels like a little pin jab each time the laser hits the hair. An area with little hair, no jabs and no beeps from the laser; area with lots of hair (hello, knees!), lots of jabs and lots of beeps. She said, with dark hair and fair/olive skin, I am a perfect candidate and should, after the 6 treatments, see more than a 90% reduction; that sometimes, you can even see the hairs jump out -- I did!
I was done in 90 minutes, with very little redness or swelling. I liked it so much, I am going to get my bikini line done, as well as a few other areas. For less than $1500 total, I can get every unwanted hair on my body pretty much removed forever, or about what I'd spend in 15 months on waxing. Four days later, I can already tell some of the hair is gone, as the regrowth (you need to shave before treatment) is for sure less stubbly.
I will report back after next treatment, in mid-September.