Permanent hair loss doesn't have to hurt

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      When I visited South Granville Laser and Skin Care Centre, I intended to interview one of the technicians, Hark Dhinsa, about various esthetic services. But she surprised me with a question I never expected to hear: “Would you ever want to get laser hair removal done?”

      I stammered for a moment, and didn’t give a direct answer. To be frank, I had never considered it before.

      Dhinsa didn’t give up. “Sometimes, guys don’t realize how much easier it would make their life with hair removal,” she explained.

      Then she pointed to her neck area, noting that some male clients receive laser treatments there so they never have to shave again. “How many times do you get razor burn?” Dhinsa asked with a smile.

      Since 2004, she has been applying laser treatments to remove unwanted hair. She said it’s the only permanent hair-removal method, and about 15 percent of her clients are male. Whereas women usually go under the laser for their bikini lines and underarms, Dhinsa stated that men are more likely to get treatments on their back and shoulders. “We all know that men trim and shave, so why not just laser it?” she said with a laugh. “Women do it.”

      Most men don’t publicly admit to receiving laser treatments, but one exception is actor Christopher Knight, best known for playing Peter on The Brady Bunch. Knight chose to have hair eliminated from inside his ears and nose and between his eyes.

      Lasers work best on dark and coarse hair, according to Dhinsa, and 90 percent can be removed in six treatments. “There are some lasers that are safe to use on dark skin, and there are some that aren’t,” she added. “Different lasers cater to different clientele.”

      Treatments take 15 minutes to a half-hour. Prices vary depending on where the hair is being removed—it’s $115 for the underarms, $190 for the bikini area—and there’s now a two-for-one promotion at the clinic.

      In most cases, Dhinsa explained, it takes a minimum of three treatments to get hair permanently removed from a part of the body, and sometimes it takes up to six treatments. They must occur six weeks apart, and that’s based on the body’s natural cycle of hair growth.

      With that knowledge, I was ready to enter the room with the laser. Dhinsa began by giving me goggles to wear before asking me to shut the door. Then I sat down on the bench and held out my right hand, so I could discover what it was like to have some hair removed by the machine.

      She shaved the hair on the back of my hand, and then applied some ultrasound gel to protect the skin. Then I felt the first zap—it was sort of like a pinprick. Then another, and another, and another. Each was accompanied by a short burst of heat, but that was immediately offset by a blast of cool air from a “chilling machine” attached to the laser. “It makes it a lot more comfortable than even a couple of years ago,” Dhinsa said.

      I couldn’t help but ask if men have a lower pain threshold than women. “They’re such babies,” she responded. “They complain a little more.”

      I held out my other hand for more zaps, heat bursts, and blasts of cool air. Then it was over. In 10 days, she explained, the hairs would fall out. At that point, I would have the option of returning in six weeks to eliminate the next cycle of hair.

      Before I left the clinic, Dhinsa applied some aloe vera to keep my hands cool. I didn’t experience any of the side effects, which can include itching, redness, and swelling around the treated area. I thought to myself, “Not all men are babies.”

      Comments

      1 Comments

      Tamara

      May 22, 2012 at 7:44pm

      Laser isn't permanent. If anyone tells you that it is, have them back it up with a WRITTEN GUARANTEE. If it's true they should have no problem doing this. My experience at South Granville was that my hair came back with a-vengeance. Awful - unfortunately there isn't a lot of information available to people... I'd suggest looking into laser side effects as it hasn't been around for very long... and check out electrolysis side effects because it's been around since the 1800's. Ask for a guarantee!