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First off, if you’re easily squicked out, stop reading now. I’m talking about a potentially icky subject…the bane of swimsuit wearing women everywhere…cause of much razor rash and other forms of irritation… The dreaded…Bikini line!

OK, moving on. I’m a girl who suffers an annoying twist of fate and genetics. I have dark hair and fair skin. I also have highly sensitive skin. And I like swimming. So I’ve spent my entire post-pubescent life (let me count, that would be… oh… about 30 years so far) trying to figure out methods of keeping my bikini line looking neat and swimsuit ready. Let’s look at the available methods, shall we?

Depilatory Creams – I’ve yet to find one that doesn’t turn my skin into a red rash from hell. Even the surgical ones and those meant for sensitive skin dissolve my skin before they dissolve the hair. The results? Hairy, red, blistery, ugly skin. Verdict? Unacceptable.

Tweezing/Epilator/Threading – They all essentially yank hair by the root. Great idea. Not very practical for me. My skin apparently has a death grip on my hair. And these methods are slow. And painful. And short of doing it  yourself, uber expensive when calculated over the long haul. The results? Bi-weekly sessions are required to maintain an acceptable level of “neat” and they cost way too much. Add to that the regrowth fact – your hair has to be so long before you can do it again… what am I supposed to do in the meantime? Wear a sarong and forget how to swim? Verdict? Um, not for me thanks.

Waxing/Sugaring – Similar to above but instead of little mechanical devices or threads, you get a hot goopy slop smeared all over then yanked off all at once. Um. Yeah. Except when I did it myself, it got stuck. Literally. We’ve all read that humor piece? Yeah, well, I could have written it, it was that bad. And having someone else do it? Aside from coming with the exact same drawbacks as above (which, by the way, includes having the joy of spreading myself wide open for the Size 0 “aesthetician” who looks like a Barbie Doll) the simple fact is… that shit hurts! A lot! And I bled. And Barbie still had to sit for another 30 minutes “extracting” the hairs that the wax failed to extract. I call BULL SHIT on the “it gets easier each time” myth. It didn’t for me. The result? Oh so not worth the money and by the time I was unirritated enough to wear a bathing suit over my freshly Braziliian’d parts, the damn hair was growing back already. Verdict? Oh hell no.

Shaving – Tried and true, it works. Sort of. That is, if you do it regularly. And if you remember to do it long enough before going out that things like sunscreen, chlorine and sea water don’t cause your freshly shaved skin to turn into a pile of red bumps. It’s not expensive. It’s convenient. And what’s more, it’s the devil I know. I know the pitfalls and how to avoid them. The results? Not the greatest, but reasonable. Verdict? It’s the method I’ve gone back to time and again.

And then someone offered me the gift of laser hair removal. It wasn’t out of the blue. It was in fact in response to some statement I made… something along the lines of, “If I could permanently rid myself of all body hair below the neck, I’d be a happy camper!”

Today was my first session. I was prepared. I knew it would sting. I know the results are unpredictable. I know I’ll be looking at significant hair reduction, not total removal. And I know that it will take time, and in the meantime I’ll be shaving. Yep. I know all that. I also know that due to hair and skin color and other issues, I’m an ideal candidate. I’m cool with it taking several sessions. I’m cool with the potential range of results (barring utter failure, of course). Because to me, if it makes things easier than they currently are, I’m a happy camper.

Now, before I go on, let me say this – after Session 1 was all said and done, I still scheduled Session 2. I still plan to go back and complete the process. Why? Because to me, the potential gain is worth it.

But in the meantime, I just have to bitch!

Holy fucking mother of all things holy, that shit hurts!

I don’t mean like having a baby pain. It’s not even really bikini wax pain. Oh no. This is something different. The little shocker they zap you with to start feels like a puff of hot air and a brief tingle followed by a flash of cold (the “cooling” mechanism) and I can deal with that. But then they start the real deal and it’s magnified by about a thousand. It’s hot. It stings. And the “cooling” whatever? It doesn’t do crap.

To give the tech credit – she was great, warning me, working in small batches, giving me breathers, etc.

And why didn’t anyone warn me of the smell? They warn you of every other possible thing. But nobody ever says, “Hey, the room’s gonna reek of burning hair.” Yeah. Eww.

Fortunately, I was warned about the ugly first day. The tech said I might look like stubbly, grizzly hamburger (her words, not mine) and fortunately, it’s not that bad. But only just.

And I still smell burnt hair.