Everyone has *feelings* about body hair. Whether you choose to embrace it or ditch it completely, it’s totally up to you. But if you’re the type who’d rather keep things smooth without the effort (because, hello, stubble, ingrowns, and razor burn can require major upkeep), laser hair removal is a literal godsend.
Unlike other popular hair removal process on the planet (we’re looking at you, shaving, depilatories, and waxing), lasers get rid of unwanted hair forever. “Laser hair removal targets the hair follicle and eliminates hair at the root without damaging your skin,” says Shikhar Saxena, MD, the CEO of Milan Laser Hair Removal.
If you’re thinking about trying it for the first time, chances are you have ~all~ the questions rn. To get the deets, we talked to Cameron Cartwright, a California-based influencer who went through the full process on her bikini area before she moved to the sun-drenched state, and is ready to spill.
Here’s exactly what to expect before, during, and after your laser hair removal treatments.
What to know before you go
After dealing with ingrown hairs and razor burn—not to mention the time-consuming act of shaving itself—Cartwright chose the Brazilian Bikini service at Milan Laser Hair Removal. At Milan Laser’s clinics—there are more than 200 locations across the US where they conduct 50,000 treatments each month—highly trained medical professionals use FDA-cleared lasers, so you can trust that you’re in good hands.
Taking Milan up on their free consultation beforehand is a great way to get comfortable, says Cartwright. As she discovered, they go over the area(s) you want to treat, answer questions, and assess your hair color to make sure you’re a good candidate. But don’t worry, just about everyone is eligible—with the exception of those with gray or white hair (the laser also won’t remove peach fuzz). “Our laser has the ability to treat all skin tones,” Dr. Saxena says. “As long as there’s some degree of pigment to your hair, the laser can pick up on it.”
You can also chat about the cost. And good news on that front: Milan Laser won’t break the bank. There’s an exclusive unlimited package included with every purchase and affordable payment plans are offered to everyone. “You pay us one price, and we’re going to treat you until you’re happy with the results,” Dr. Saxena says.
How to prep for perfection
Priming for the procedure doesn’t take much effort. “You have to shave the area and exfoliate 24 hours before, so your skin isn’t super fresh and irritated,” Cartwright says.
Because your skin needs to be its natural tone in order to be safely and efficiently lasered, nix any sun exposure or sunless tanner ahead of (or right after) treatment. “If you do have a tan, Milan providers will start on areas that haven’t been exposed to the sun, and as your tan fades, they’ll do the rest,” she says. Because your skin needs to be its natural base tone in order to be safely lasered, nix any sun exposure or sunless tanner ahead of and right after treatment. On average, Milan Laser clients are 95%+ hair-free in seven to 10 treatments.
What goes down during the session
If you’ve ever gone for a wax (particularly on the bikini area), you know the dread that being on a waxing table can induce—no fist clench can minimize the discomfort of hair being ripped from your nether regions.
Thankfully, laser hair removal is nothing like that. “I originally went in thinking it would hurt, but Milan’s laser has cryogen built into it, and a cold blast of air comes out right when it hits you so you barely feel anything,” Cartwright says.
As Dr. Saxena notes, “Most clients describe the sensation similar to the feeling of being snapped with a rubber band, with the sting fading away quickly.”
It’s also super quick. “I would say it takes no more than 10 to 15 minutes. It’s very in and out,” Cartwright says.
When to expect the super smooth results
Cartwright started seeing results almost immediately. “After the first session, I shed the most hair and noticed the more I exfoliated, the more hair follicles came out. After every session the amount of hair to remove started getting less and less,” she says, noting that the hair itself also became much finer.
A few sessions make a big difference: The average customer experiences a 95% hair reduction in seven to ten treatments, Dr. Saxena says.
And for Cartwright, that means permanent freedom from the hassles of shaving and waxing. “Living in California, I’m a block from the beach, so now it’s easy for me to throw on a swimsuit and go,” she says. Oh, the joys of never having to shave again.
Click here to learn more about Milan Laser Hair Removal