Once upon a time there was a hooker named kadinsky, who was tired of shaving her armpits. She could never get a close enough shave without shearing off a few layers of skin, and the ingrown hairs that would take hold were harder to evict than cockroaches from Joe’s apartment. One day, she heard about the latest in self indulgent beauty rituals, lasers used to zap the hair from the places that annoyed her. So, she researched and waited, researched and waited but never did reach the point of action. It seemed as though laser hair removal had become a common enough thing, there were “centres” for it popping up all over the place. Flyers with coupon discounts arrived in the mail, online banners touted the ‘silky smooth sensation’ that could be hers. And yet, there were far too many accounts of consumers being ripped off, ‘burned’ in more ways than one. Tales of under qualified technicians operating the equipment scared her, the accompanying stories of high pressure sales of laser packages pissed her off. So, she waited some more.
And one day, she found what she had been waiting for. A medical spa, a place focused on all the self indulgent beauty liturgy that pervades, which also observes strict medical procedure guidelines. Being located next door to a hospital was nice as well. All in all, she just felt safer knowing a registered nurse would be the one wielding a laser on her, and so she made an appointment.
She met with a nurse who explained the procedure thoroughly and answered any questions she had relating to rate of success, after care and method. She arrived for her appointment, excited and ever so slightly nervous. The nurse had recommended applying something to numb the skin beforehand, so kadinsky received a few small injections of lidocaine in each armpit to start. She was given a terry cloth wrap around to put on over her bra, so she only had to take her shirt off and recline in the chair with her arms behind her head. The injections themselves were not excruciating, but they were a bit painful given the sensitivity of the area. The nurse applied a super chilled spray which pre-pre numbed the skin and made the injections almost painless. A rolled up hand towel then went under each arm and the arms brought down to her sides for a few minutes to let the lidocaine do its thing.
When she was ready, the nurse handed her a pair of safety glasses to wear and set about prepping for the first pass with the laser. She started with the right armpit, bringing the arm back behind kadinsky’s head and applying cold aloe vera gel to the area as a conductor. The laser itself resembled a handheld barcode scanner/gun shape; a handle, barrel and trigger on the end of a thick cable which was attached to a rectangular unit about the size of an office chair. It had a square shaped tip which was flat and about the size of a postage stamp. The nurse would move the laser at a measured pace across the entire armpit area, firing the laser with each trigger pull. The total number of trigger pulls would be 182 when they were finished, which the nurse assured her was well within normal ranges.
Even with the pre numbing spray and the numbing injections, our hooker was able to ‘feel’ the laser. It felt to her exactly like being pricked with a sewing needle, but it lasted no more than 1 second each time so she considered it a very minor discomfort. Besides, “beauty is pain!” was the sentiment she observed painted over the mirror in the treatment room, and with a chuckle, she had to agree. Hell, there were days spent getting her roots done at the salon that were more painful than this.
She soon noticed the slight smell of burnt hair in the room, which the nurse had told her to expect but there was also a small popping noise that accompanied almost every trigger pull of the laser. She asked the nurse what the sound was and the nurse told her it was the result of the laser heating up the hair follicles enough that the hairs explode out onto the skin surface. It certainly didn’t hurt, but for the rest of the day she kept picturing little exploding hair heads in her pit, like mini hair suicides or something.
Approximately 20 mins after they started, the procedure was finished and kadinsky was given a couple of cool compresses to hold under her arms for 10 minutes before she left. The nurse gave her a couple of small gel packs for cooling, some bacitracine ointment as a just-in-case and her after care instructions and she was on her way. All in all it had taken just under an hour. For the rest of the day, her pits were red and felt sunburned but nothing that 10 mins with the gel packs didn’t relieve. The next day the sunburned feeling was barely there and by Day 3 the redness had faded and the area felt only slightly irritated. kadinsky was very pleased with her decision and looking forward to her first summer spent free from angry, razor burned armpits.
(if you’re brave and/or stalker-y enough to want to see pics, here you go ~ Ed.)