Let me just start off this blog post by saying if body hair, buttholes, or reading about getting one’s labia zapped offends you, this is your best opportunity to exit stage left and not read what I am about to share. I’m going to assume you found this blog because you are also interested in getting laser hair removal and in order to make an informed decision, you need to know it ALL – and that’s what I’ve got for you.
Alright – let’s do this. Welcome!
I have spent my whole life managing my body hair. With light (*read: pale) skin and dark coarse hair, it began in the 5th grade when shaving for gym class was a necessity to avoid the “wooly mammoth” comments, and continued into high school in the early 2000’s when obsessively plucking one’s eyebrows into upside down sperm was the norm. I’ve spent thousands upon thousands of hours in my life shaving, plucking, tweezing, and threading my body hair away. In 2019, I began getting my undercarriage (Brazilian) sugared (because I hate the ingrown hairs from shaving). Unlike waxing which can damage the skin, sugaring is quite a bit gentler. The price is reasonable and it’s effective at body hair removal. The downside? THE PAIN. You know that scene in 40 Year Old Virgin, when Steve Carrell is getting waxed? You remember how he began inventing swear words because it hurt so forking bad? That was me getting sugared. It wasn’t always that way – but having babies and nursing babies and weaning babies did a number on my hormones and I wasn’t able to handle an hour of body sugaring anymore. Now, not everyone experiences that level of discomfort but I sure did, and it was exponentially worse if I went during certain times of my menstrual cycle. Trying to schedule in sugaring for the proper 5ish week intervals without landing on a guaranteed pain day due to my cycle was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
I had toyed with the idea of laser hair removal forever, but the cost ($$$), efficacy (may not work well enough), and the pain (thousands of rubber bands snapping my skin? NO THANKS) deterred me, despite hating having to spend a few hours every week shaving.
I connected with the ladies at Flirt Cosmetics Studio in March 2021 about being a guinea pig for their hot new laser hair removal system, the Diolaze XL by InMode. They would laser my whole body, and I would share my honest thoughts and opinions about process, pain (if any), efficacy, regrowth, etc. I was skeptical, but after researching their system, I decided to go for it (*note: as of August 2021, they have brought in an even more powerful machine which I will touch on in this blog as well).
I learned that the Diolaze XL system uses diode lasers, which are basically the gold standard in laser hair removal. Many other laser hair removal services use IPL (intense pulsed light) lasers. The diode laser in the case of Flirt Cosmetics Studio and their Diolaze XL system has a few distinct advantages, the first of which is that before they even put that laser near your skin, they do a skin type read on you. This technology measures the melanin content of your skin and automatically sends that info back to the diode laser, so your service is tailored to your unique hair colour and skin type. The Diolaze XL system can treat up to a skin type IV (*they have since upgraded to technology to serve ANY skin type, more info coming up). The laser tip is 4-6x larger than the average laser (to treat larger surface areas, faster). It has built-in cooler layer in the sapphire treatment tip so you don’t ever feel the “snap and burn” that became infamous through laser hair removal in the past 15 years or so. The Diolaze XL system uses radio wavelength frequencies to target the hair root for permanent elimination. Most folks getting laser treatment with this system can anticipate 90%-95% hair elimination in 4-6 session (factors such as hair texture, colour, and hormone fluctuations affect efficacy rate). Will you be 100% hairless? NO. But you’ll be about as close as possible. A few stray hairs ain’t nothing to sneeze at!
I went in for my first full-body laser hair removal treatment in early April 2021. Prior to my appointment, the technician advised me to shave every part of my body that we would be lasering (upper lip, chin, underarms, arms, legs, bikini & backside, toes, etc.). This is so the laser can target the follicle below the skin and singe it off, hindering future growth. If the laser catches hair above the skin, you’ll feel the singe (and it is NOT pleasant). Before starting, she measured the melanin levels in my skin to ensure a proper fluence with the laser and adjusted the laser accordingly. Next – the lube. The laser is very similar to an ultrasound probe and the ultrasound gel allows the laser to glide across the surface area with ease. Special glasses on to protect from the laser and we were good to go!
For the technician to laser my ENTIRE body (upper lip and chin, underarms, arms, legs – front and back, bikini & backside) took about 60-70 minutes total – the time I was spending on ONE SUGARING APPOINTMENT prior to starting lasering, so I already felt better about the time spent. I felt NO discomfort or much of anything really for my face, underarms, and arms. There was one tiny patch I didn’t get quite shaved properly in my armpit, and I felt a little zap there, but it was maaaybe a 2 on the pain scale (unlike sugaring which was 7-8 on the pain scale for me, and I couldn’t talk easily through my session). I didn’t even really notice my arms being done at all. The zaps don’t feel like an elastic band snapping your skin like some people had told me to expect. It was more like little needle pinpricks – in rapid succession – like a SUPER fast tattoo.
I felt a lot more “zaps” on my legs. Despite shaving the night before my 9am appointment, I still felt a teeny bit prickly the next morning and it showed. The laser left these small bumps on my legs, but those disappeared within a half hour post treatment. My leg laser was the “most” uncomfortable (due to the dark, coarse hair and the sheer surface area combined with the tight skin on my shins, ankles, etc) but I was still able to chat and laugh throughout the appointment, maxing out at maybe a 4 or 5 on the pain scale (right on my ankle bone, for instance).
Now – what you really want to know. How did I feel getting the undercarriage and backside lasered? Well, first I want to point out that these are super trained technicians – all who do not give a rat’s behind what things look like down there. There is nothing to be embarrassed about, they have seen it all, and their only goal is to achieve hairlessness. Pain and discomfort depends on how well you shaved – DO A GOOD JOB. I promise you this is the most important step. My bikini line, public mound, thighs? Not bad at all! I was aware of the laser, but not bothered by it. I won’t sugarcoat it though – the labia and butthole felt SPICY. Those zaps are *zaps*. You will feel them. The good news is that my entire south of the equator zone took 5 mins flat, so the spicy is shortlived. When you’re all done, you get a nice warm cloth to tidy up with, and you’re good to go! My biggest takeaway was that I needed to learn to shave better…
I have had 3 laser hair removal sessions at Flirt now (you need to wait a minimum of 6 weeks between appointments), and I estimate I have seen at least 50% hair elimination in every area. In addition, my hair growth is exponentially slower as well. Prior to starting laser, If I shaved before bedtime I would go to bed and wake up prickly in every area. Now the prickles don’t come for about a week, and it is usually into the third week where I start to feel like it’s time to shave (if it’s even needed – my underarms barely see any hair growth now after 3 sessions). The technicians measure your skin’s melanin every session to ensure they have it calibrated properly for your skin (example: if your arms have tanned in the sun since your last appointment, they will turn the fluence down so they don’t singe your skin, and conversely, if you are heading into session 4, 5, 6 – they can turn the fluence up to really target the stubborn hair hanging around).
I’m super happy with the results I have seen so far, despite being initially skeptical. Instead of spending an hour every 3 days shaving my body, I am spending 15-20 minutes shaving once every 3 weeks (with a proper full shave prior to my lasering appointments). Now it’s approaching the end of August 2021 and I am heading into Flirt Cosmetics Studio this week for my 4th laser treatment. I mentioned they have new technology now that I will get to experience so let’s chat about that!!
The Triton system is also made by InMode (same as the Diolaze XL) but is actually the world’s first multi-wavelength laser hair removal system, and the Triton is the only hair removal option that combines the three most popular wavelengths in one platform, using Fusion Technology, to address *every skin tone* and *every hair colour*. YES. Dark skin, light hair – things that would have historically eliminated someone as a candidate for laser hair removal. The Triton has all the same amazing features as the Diolaze XL system (large sapphire cooling tip that is 4-6x larger than the average laser, minimal discomfort) but due to the multi-wavelength system, the Triton can treat skin even faster (increasing efficacy and reducing the number of sessions required). Dark skin, dark hair, light skin, light hair, coarse hair, fine hair – the Triton can target it ALL! I am looking forward to testing this new system out and will report back here with an update on how my experience goes with the Triton System (and future laser hair sessions as well).
(note: the laser cannot work overtop tattooed skin, and is not recommended for pregnant people. Breastfeeding parents are perfectly safe to partake in the Diolaze XL or Triton laser hair removal system as long as their breast tissue and areolas aren’t lasered directly).
UPDATE (August 25, 2021): I had my 4th laser hair removal session today, and my first on the new Triton system. It works very similarly to the Diolaze XL machine (to be expected as they were designed by the same company), and prep was the same too. Shave the whole body, lube up with the ultrasound jelly, put your space googles on to protect your eyes, and get to it! I don’t know if it’s because I am already experiencing 50% less hair growth than normal, or if it was the new Triton machine, but I experienced less discomfort than normal (and it’s already low as it is). I didn’t feel my face/underarm/upper arms/upper legs at all with the laser, and the most uncomfortable “spicy” bits were right on my labia (but still maxed out at about a 4 on the pain scale – super manageable). I will be back with an update on my hair growth with photos in about 3 weeks from now so stay tuned!
In the meantime, I have a wicked hot deal to share with you! I call it the Bits and Pits promo – book in for a Brazilian laser hair treatment (your technician will help guide you as to which technology is best for your skin/hair), and get your underarms lasered for free!
Flirt Cosmetics Studio is located at 123 4 Ave W # 1, Cochrane, AB T4C 0A4
(Disclosure: As mentioned, these laser hair removal services were provided to me as a gifted service in exchange for an honest review of my experience and I do not earn compensation from any promotions or bookings my reviews garner).