Last Updated: Sun Jul 17, 2011 23:18 pm (KSA) 20:18 pm (GMT)

Basra Haider/Arabian Beauty: Forever Silky Smooth!

Laser hair removal has served the Arabian woman well. We are perhaps more grateful for it than any other women, because the hair is dark, because there’s a lot of it; because most of us are waxed at the tender age of eight or nine, the belief being that if the hair is removed before puberty then it has less of a growth spurt when everything else starts to “grow.”

Growing up in North America, I was spared this ordeal of getting waxed at a tender age. I personally tried waxing for the first time when I was 15, but did not stick to it, it was expensive to afford and the pain unbearable. But I soon realized that shaving was not the answer for me, either, as my blonde sisters suggested; unlike their hair, my hair would grow back not only within a few days but sharp as needles, each leg hurting the other as I got under the covers, and horror if you accidently rubbed arms with your date when you left the shaving a few days too long!

I had no choice but to try and find another solution and until then to endure waxing.

Laser hair removal really works! In my case, I did it for the first time in 2000. To my joy I read that a new laser machine had come out for brown skin tones! At that time, I didn’t have much of a choice as to where to go. Dubai had the option of two clinics that had this latest laser machine I was after, a Diode.

At the time it was very expensive and I opted to go for the underarms, bikini line and half legs and my first session was horrifically painful and I thought I would be scared for life.

But, the marks went away and so did about 80 percent of the hair in one session! Money well invested! Freedom! I have to admit that to date it is still the best session I have had and it was in a plastic surgery clinic not at a dermatologist or beautician. Today, they have more sophisticated Diode machines and a newer Yag laser, which is safer for almost all dark tones, as long as the hair is darker than the skin tone, the best being a Nd Yag.

The worse experiences I have had in Dubai are in beauty salons. There is something that is called a pulse light system, and this was for a while allowed in beauty salons and was a cheaper option than the laser at a doctor’s clinic. Personally, it did not give the same permanent results, and I was told I would need multiple sessions. My two experiences with the lamp type hair removal system left me scarred for years on my face and my arms.

The one that burnt my facial skin was called a “Spa Touch 2 Photo epilation,” but the technician insisted that the fault was hers and that the machine was excellent and that she had forgotten to pull my skin taut while applying it. The one used on my arms was an IPL ( Intense Pulsed Light ) machine. However, IPL systems have evolved into a far more sophisticated machines today that can treat from almost white to the darkest hair on all skin tones. The best being the AIPL Pulsar

For me, laser hair removal is the real deal. However, the operator is of utmost importance, perhaps more than the machine itself. Many technicians and clinics are afraid of burning dark skin tones, sometimes they play it too safe, they keep the power so low and in some cases, the laser can actually stimulate hair growth! Some clinics may continue the practice because it gets you to come back! Do your research and find a doctor not beautician to work on you and endure the pain during the test path, for better results. Done right, it is worth it.

Do keep in mind that once the hair is gone, it does not come back. For example, the only regret that I have is when I actually had my brow hair done at the suggestion of the technician, yes I too sometimes fall into the trap of giving over my decision making power over to an “expert,” so it has limited me to what I can do with my brows. And I am surprised to hear that most women request a full Brazilian -- I cannot help but think what if that trend changes too!

I say, “Viva Laser Hair Removal! Forever Silky Smooth!”

(Basra Haider covers the beauty industry. She can be reached at: basra@consultant.com)

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