Taken the plunge!

So after 3 consultations and frantically searching the web, I have finally started laser treatment on my underarms!

I’m being treated with a YAG (HP Synchro Laser) and have type IV skin. On my patch test she tested at 45J and today I think I saw 40J on the sheet but can’t confirm.

First treatment went well, it was painful - more so on my left side for some reason but it was over so fast I was in complete shock she managed to do the whole area. The machine is quite good because it blasts cold air (or water I don’t know) so it doesn’t hurt TOO much but still enough for my muscles to tighten!

I am not too sure what to expect now though, I have booked my next treatment for about 5 weeks and at the moment I still have all the hair there that she treated today - is that correct or should it have been zapped off? She said that the hair would shed in around 2-3 weeks. Afterwards I had a burning sensation but that has calmed down now and it’s been 3 hours since the treatment.

Is there anything I should be looking out for?


Was the area shaved before treatment? It should have been.

In the next few weeks it will continue to grow as normally expected after shaving (although perhaps at a slower rate). At about week 2-3, the hairs will start to ‘shed’ (fall out). Exfoliating aids this process. I find myself pulling them out with my fingers.

The thing you should be looking out for is that this shedding happens and happens more or less completely. If there is any left, that just seems to be growing further, it was missed patches.

After shedding is complete, you should have a few weeks of being hair free until the hair starts to come back. The clinics usually tell you to come back as soon as new hair emerges. It’s better to have your next treatment when as much hair as possible has come through, so it can all be treated.

She is correct. You need to wait for this hair to shed, which takes 2-3 weeks. Then you’ll go for another treatment once enough new hair grows in. It shouldn’t be for 8 weeks. 5 weeks is usually too early.

I forgot to mention what LAgirl has mentioned.

My second underarm treatment was at 8 weeks. Later on in the process, it became 10-12 weeks. I achieved about 80-90% permanent underarm reduction with 6 YAG treatments. For the remainder I started with electrolysis, which is almost complete.

Thanks for the information both.

Yep the area was shaved beforehand. Can I just pick the hairs out with my fingers? I thought I wasn’t supposed to touch it now until it falls out naturally.

Sorry I got my dates wrong, the next appointment is booked for 6 weeks time. My hair tends to grow really fast, I shave one day and the next day I have stubble so I don’t know if that means 6 weeks is ok for the next appointment?

We booked the next appointment right after treatment - in future should I wait a while before booking in?

While some of the new hair cycle will have begun to grow in by then, if you wait until 8 weeks there will be even more hair, so more hair will be destroyed. :slight_smile:

And yeah, I always tell my laser place that my schedule is way too hectic for me to be able to book an appointment even a month in advance - it’s true, but it also means I can wait until I know there is enough hair growth to justify going in for another treatment.

You can pick out the hairs if you want. The important part is not pulling out any hairs that don’t come out without any resistance.

Yes, I wouldn’t prebook appointments. Also, they’re not set in stone. You can always call and change the date. You shoudl generally wait until you have enough hair to go in for another treatment. It doesn’t really matter if your hair grows fast. It’ll still be around 8 weeks until you have plenty of hair to treat. There is no advantage to treating too early. As mentioned, that just means you won’t get some of the hair that’s still not out or too fine because it just came out.

So I thought I would provide an update on my progress, it’s now 4 weeks since I had my first laser session on my underarms and I have to say I am really happy with what I’m seeing so far!

I experienced shedding and found myself pulling the hairs out myself but they all came out easily. Since then I have found that hair growth is significantly slower and in some cases I can barely see any hair growth.

Comparing from having to shave everyday, I haven’t shaved in about a week and a half and there is still barely anything there. There are a couple of spots that she missed so hoping she gets them next time, but so far so good!

Now definitely considering more treatments, has anyone had their stomach done? specifically the line that goes down? Was wondering if laser is effective or electrolysis is better?

I had a few treatments on the happy trail before switching to electrolysis for the rest. Laser will only impact the coarse hair there, so you’ll probably need electrolysis after.

Btw, do share where you’re being treated. Others here have been looking for a place in London with a Yag.

I’ve had one and a half (very narrow) treatment so far. I’ll probably get more down the line. I thik, like LAgirl said, it’s worth doing until you no longer have coarse hair growing. That might be 2 treatments, or it might be more. For me, since the strip s so wide and my eletrologist is so expensive, it seems easier to do laser first.

The hair I have is really coarse there and is a lot more noticable than all the other hair around the area. Do you think it would be ok to go ahead with laser? I wasn’t sure if the laser would encourage the other hair around it to grow thicker? Reactive hair? I can’t remember the term for it.

I think, if the hair is “stubbly” after you shave it, that it will in all likelihood be ok to laser. With induced growth, if you make sure that you only treat those areas (try to make it clear to the practitioner - even if you have to get a highlighter texta or something yourself and draw a line around the area) and I’ve also heard that icing the surrounding area can have some effect on minimising risk of induced growth.

If you just treat that strip, you’ll be fine. I didn’t experience any induced growth and I had 3 treatments there. This area is not very prone to it.

Thanks for the info guys, the hair I have is stubbly/spiky when it grows back after shaving so I am hoping this makes me a good candidate for laser there?

On a separate note, I’ve now pushed my 2nd underarms appointment back by two weeks (making it 8 weeks after my first treatment) as there is still barely any hair there - it’s great!

6 weeks would have been too early if everything is going well. The typical time frame for this area is 8-12 weeks, so don’t be worried if you have to wait even longer.

Thanks LAgirl. My one concern is that the hair that is now starting to grow back is fine and soft - what does this mean and is it wrong? Because now I’m starting to think the laser won’t be effective if the hair is soft and fine.

Is this normal to see after only one treatment??

It’s normal for new hair to be finer. That’s another reason that waiting into later anagen is recommended.

ah phew that’s reassuring, thank you. I may see what the hair is like next week and see if I should push the appointment back again.

The clinic I go to are doing a half price offer again so I’m thinking of just doing the happy trail but maybe only one treatment? I’m not bothered about all the hair going as it would look inconsistent with the rest of my stomach, I would just like the hair to be a lot finer. Is this a good or bad idea?

That’s perfectly fine. You’d probably need 3 treatments either way due to hair cycles.

Hair is also finer first after waxing.

I have waxed the area before but the hair still grows back very thick, I guess I should have continued for a while but I’m now thinking laser might be a quicker option.

Is laser effective on fingers? I have black hair, and a lot of it but it is generally soft, not coarse. Would laser be beneficial?