05 April 2008

Lasers are hot...literally

Our foray into cosmetic procedures continues...

Heng told us about a laser hair clinic in Kangnam that charges 100,00 won (approx $100) for 5 sessions. $100 and I may never have to shave my underarms ever again? I'm in!

After a very superficial search through Google, I learned that under arm hair removal can range from $250-$350 for just ONE treatment.

(Cyndi says that they use a Soprano XL laser)

Today, Cyndi and I went for our first session at Kangnam Won in Seollung (exit 7, Apex Tower, Fourth Floor). Don't be put off by the fact that it's a plastic surgery office. (I'm not judging anyone who's gone under the knife, but I am not at all interested in cosmetic surgery. My cosmetic enhancements stop with braces and "scalings.")

As I mentioned, each under arm treatment is 20,000 won, and you are to pay up front for 5 sessions. Other areas such as legs or arms will cost significantly more.

I knew going in that lasers are hot, but dang, the laser was searing! The entire treatment only took about ten minutes, but it was some of the most painful ten minutes of my life. I always thought that I had a high threshold for pain, so when I looked over at Cyndi's pained expressions, I naively told myself that it wouldn't be as bad.

I am an idiot.

I was yelping like a little girl. It was as if someone was rolling a very hot curling iron against my arm pits. At that moment, I wanted to yell, "Forget it! I'll just move to Europe and stop shaving my under arms. The pain's not worth it."

The physical pain lingers for a few minutes after the procedure, but the memory of your agony will probably haunt you for awhile.

They say that the pain will lessen with each session, but I'm skeptical. They also noted, almost accusingly, that it was more painful for Cyndi and me because our hair follicles were particularly thick. The staffs' repeated assertions that our hair was particularly thick made me feel like they were judging my overly hairy American under arms. I'm sorry, lady. In America, our milk comes with an extra dose of hormones. I can't help it if I'm Harry in comparison to the average Korean woman.

I have no idea if the treatment will actually rid me of all my under arm hair. Frankly, I'm doubtful. My under arms still have a lot of stubble, but I do have four more torture sessions to go. We will go in once a month, so I hope to have baby smooth under arms by the time I head back to the Homeland. I'll report back with an update next month.

Besides the searing pain, my only gripe about the clinic was the service. I hate it when people treat me like an imbecile just because I can't speak Korean very well. My slow response to her instructions probably furthered her low opinion of me. When your armpits are burning, you'll find that your ability to respond properly may slow for a bit.

On the other hand, if I had to remove hair all morning, I'd probably be a little disgruntled as well.

Tips for under arm laser hair removal:
1) Be sure to wear a sleeveless top.
2) Shave the hair before your treatment.
3) If you get the hair removal treatment on any part of your body that may see the sun (i.e., legs or arms) be sure to apply sunscreen daily (even if your limbs are covered).
4) If the lady tells you to flip over, respond promptly or she'll think you're an idiot.


BJ said...

Changing lives by shooting lasers at armpits almost makes me wish I would have gone into dermatology or plastic surgery instead=).

hyungwlee said...

Dear Anna

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I looked at your blog the other day and have been wondering if there would be any chance that we could publish some of your interesting articles on the paper.
We think some of your blog articles should be very helpful to the Westners who are interested in Asian Culture.
The East cannot afford to pay for your articles right now (as we are non-profitable organisation). However, if you wish, we can still offer you:
1. Advertising space
2. Link to THE EAST web site blog section

We look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Hyung Wook Lee

THE EAST, The East Asian Monthly Business Newspaper,
Elephant Consulting Limited, 37 Charter Court, Linden Grove,
New Malden, Surrey, KT3 3BN, UK
Tel : + 44 (0) 7912 608 321 / Web site: www.theeast.org / E mail : publisher@theeast.org
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