I am currently experiencing underarm laser hair removal, using the Boots iPulse Smooth Skin IPL home hair removal device. Here is what I've learned from my experience of underarm laser hair removal.
Underarm laser hair removal #1: How many sessions?
It's not an area that is quick to see results. It took me about 6 sessions to start to see results, and there are (12 sessions in) still stubborn hair patches that don't seem to be wanting to move. I imagine it will be another 6 or so sessions before I'm permanently hair free. That will be 3 months of weekly treatment. You have to be committed.
I'd estimate that it takes around 5 sessions until the hair growth cycle seems to slow down and you can start to shave less frequently.
Salon treatments should take around 20% less sessions, depending on the strength of laser used.
Underarm laser hair removal #2: Does it hurt?
It's not especially painful. I am also treating my bikini line and upper legs, and I'd say that the underarms are one of the less painful places to get treated. It's a minor sting when the light flashes, but it's not bad, by any means. I certainly don't need pain relief.
Underarm laser hair removal #3: Ick â€“ Chicken skin:
You have to live through the 'chicken skin' phase. When the hair growth slows down after a few laser hair removal sessions, you are left with black dots under your skin. It's like pre-stubble. It's not an especially attractive look, it must be said. But persist with the treatment and these dots do go away and the skin starts to smooth over.
Underarm laser hair removal #4 â€“ Moving stubborn patches?
Stubborn patches seem to be quite normal. So keep going and don't give up. I've been told that if you are doing home laser hair removal, you should try to push down the device firmly onto the skin to help shift them.
Underarm laser hair removal #5 â€“ Save your device:
When you just have a few stubborn patches left, and the rest of the skin is smoothing over, you can focus on just those patches. I'd treat the whole area once a month and the rest, just focus on zapping those stubborn ones.
Underarm laser hair removal #6 â€“ Year round hair removal:
Unless you tan your armpits, you can start the treatment any time of year. Unlike other areas that are affected by suntans, with your underarms, you can start your IPL in the summer. For all other areas where you have sun exposure, IPL or laser hair removal is not suggested, until you have been sun-free in that area for at least a month.
Underarm laser hair removal #7 â€“ Ingrown hair relief:
Underarm laser hair removal is a good idea for people who suffer ingrown hairs. I started to see a significant reduction in mine after about 4 sessions. Now, I only have one or two at the very most, very occasionally.
Underarm laser hair removal #8 â€“ Pre-treatment can't be neglected:
Don't forget to shave the area before treatment. Hair responds best to treatment when it's super-short, so don't forget to shave the area 12-24 hours before treatment.
Underarm laser hair removal #9 â€“ Don't sweat it:
You cannot apply anti-perspirant for 12 hours after underarm laser hair removal. So if you are visiting a salon and it's summer, book an evening appointment, and don't make plans to go party afterwards.
Underarm laser hair removal #10 â€“ Cost effective:
The underarms are a relatively small treatment area, so this is one of the least expensive areas to get treated. And, in my opinion it's one of the most beneficial regions to have hair free.