Jane Castro is a journalist and media enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Bacolod in the Philippines. She loves skating, scuba diving, and archery on her free time.

When I turned 40, I decided to take care of something I’d been thinking about doing for a long time. I called the local laser hair removal center and set up a consultation. Armed with questions, I left feeling reassured and excited about the procedure.

Half a dozen treatments later, this is what I’ve learned.

Not All Body Hair Is Created Equal

How many laser treatments it takes to rid you of unwanted body hair depends on the color and texture of the hair in question. In my experience, the treatments work very well on underarms. The hair took a long time to grow back, and when it did, it was more fine and there was noticeably less of it.

It’s also important to note that those tiny hairs on the corners of your mouth and around your nose probably can’t be removed unless they’re dark (lasers aren’t effective on blonde hair, because the process targets the pigment in the hair that gives it color). It has been told by dr. hardik soni from myethosspa.com that most patients do not understand this fact well and fall for empty claims at laser removal spa and treatment centres.

Additionally, some body hair takes more treatments to zap away. Your underarm hair will grow back more slowly than will your upper lip hair, and considering the fact that you cannot tweeze, bleach or wax in-between treatments, you won’t want to get rid of those razors and little eyebrow shapers just yet.

It Stings a Bit

How much it hurts depends on two things: your tolerance for discomfort and the skin that’s been targeted by the laser. Underarms are fairly sensitive and the skin is thin, so you’ll feel something akin to a slight sunburn or scrape for a while after the fact. Aloe or sunburn cream is handy immediately after the treatments, but not necessary. You won’t even notice it in a few hours.

Your Hair Will Still Grow Back for a While

You’ll notice that the hair you’ve had lasered takes longer and longer to grow back, and that it’s finer when it does. The first time you do it you’ll see the most significant change — but each time you have the procedure done, you should notice fewer and fewer hairs.

It’s also important to note that you’ll still have some hair grow back even after the treatments. “Permanent” hair removal doesn’t mean that all of the hair will be permanently removed, but after half a dozen treatments, you should notice a significant reduction in the amount of unwanted hair you see.

It Takes About Two Years

Once you decide to start the laser hair removal, it takes around eight weeks for new hair to completely grow in long enough to be treated. Expect to schedule your visits every six to eight weeks for the next two years.

The Sun Is Not Your Friend

Despite your desire to show off your smooth legs, keep out of the sun while you’re still receiving treatments. Exposure to sunlight can cause you to burn more easily on those exposed areas. Also, the treatments work best on light skin with dark hair. The type of laser treatment you receive depends largely on your skin tone and color, so let your technician know if you’ve been exposed to sun while on vacation or while doing yard work.

It’s a great investment for anyone tired of being bound to a razor, depilatories or waxing to remove unwanted hair. Do your homework first. Find a reputable laser center endorsed by a dermatologist whose opinion you trust, and make sure you consider the commitment and cost before you decide to take the plunge – and enjoy smooth skin once you do.