I have to say that one of the things that I love most about Fashion Week above and beyond the shows is that it's a time when people come together to see people you run past daily or who you only talk to via emails. It's also a time when you have the opportunity to meet others through people that you already know. This can take place at shows, in the tents, parties and so much more. Simply put, it's a great way to relationship build!
Well, the night before Fashion Week, Total Beauty kicked off this week of events by throwing a party and via Sam from Dark PR, I had the pleasure of meeting Andrea and Liza Young, the Brazilian sister duo that is behind New York's prominent, Beam Laser Spa (1841 Broadway Suite 806). The night that I met them, I knew that not only did they look adorable but I was definitely intrigued to learn more about the services that were available at this spa. Fortunately, we were able to meet again and I settled on a date and time to not only have an appointment but to learn about the spa!
Trust me when I say that I was a little nervous to have my appointment. Although the idea of never having to shave under my arms again seemed like a dream, the idea of having a laser on me was a little too Goldfinger for my taste. But my apprehension was calmed by being greeted by Liza who has such a great calm personality, I love that she chatted and explained my forms and one look in the office makes you feel a bit of Zen. Andrea has such an amazing personality and beyond having a bubbly personality, knowing that she is a molecular biologist with an MBA and has worked within the hair removal industry for many years, made me feel that she was knowledgeable about various techniques and had seen the evolution of them.
My initial concern was the obvious - pain, I love how she explained that in areas that had less hair, you wouldn't feel as strong of a sensation as denser areas. In fact, the sensation would be temporary. Seeing her demo the laser and watching the puffs of air that came out that cooled the areas that had received the laser was very calming. But another issue that still remained was that I had always heard that African Americans were not able to have this treatment or that many people felt it simply wasn't for them. Even my mom was shocked that I had received this treatment as she explained that back in the 70's she had had laser treatment in her face and that later her dermatologist had explained that it wasn't for women of color. In fact when Googling on various message boards, I found this response along with warnings of scars and spots appearing on the skin as a huge warning against doing this.
Andrea's knowledge and answer to this question was shocking to hear. In spas that have these laser treatments, those who are olive to darker skinned should find out what kind of wavelength is used in terms of the procedure. Those that are darker need to make sure that their facilities have a dual laser machine which has an Alexandrite and a Yag wave. The YAG wave is for those with darker skin and although it penetrates deeper into the skin layer bypassing the skin color, it has a slightly reduced effect that still removes the hair without lightening our color. I found this amazing and was pleased to know that laser treatments could be an option for all skin tones.
Andrea explained everything, answered questions and continued to make me comfortable. Now for those who are thinking of getting this treatment, they offer a free consultation where they do a patch test. This is where you choose a small area and they do the procedure so that you can have a sample. In many cases, over 90% of those who do the consultation, come back to actually get it done. With all this knowledge and hearing this percentage, I was ready.
Prior to this, I was not able to shave about a day or two before coming in and (to my grossed out dismay) I didn't have deodarent on. Since I was doing my underarms, Andrea, shaved the arms to make sure it was clean, drew the area that would be treated with a white pencil and then used the laser. This procedure probably only took 10 mins total. At first the sensation of feeling the beam and then the cold air on my arms just felt different as you don't usually have this on you; however, when it got to the denser areas, there was slight discomfort. I love that she guaged my reactions and when I needed a slight breather she stopped. She continued to chat with me and you were able to continue. When it was over, aloe was placed under my arms.
I was shocked that it was over so quickly and after she examined my arms, she said that it didn't look aggravated. I felt a slight discomfort but absolutely nothing major. Now when you sign up you know that you will have to do somewhere between 6 - 8 treatments and they are spaced out by 6 weeks. Each time the hairs are growing in less and you can see the difference. In fact, within 3 weeks, both sisters said that I would notice hairs under my arms but that they would literally fall out. Although I am not a fan of stray hairs, the idea that I am one step closer to not having to shave is AMAZING.
When I got home, I checked under my arms and each day (as this took place on Sun) I am amazed that I haven't really seen anything! They offer so many services and I would start with doing your underarms. Because this is such a new thing for me and I have my next treatment in Nov, I will keep you guys up to date on how everything is going. Three weeks from now (actually from this past Sun), I will let you know if I see any hairs. The sisters reminded me that if I have hairs that are growing in by then and have not fallen out, they would take away the stray hairs at no cost.
The care they take from the time they walk in the door to when you leave is amazing and being comfortable is half the battle! Beam Laser Spa is definitely a place that I will refer to my friends and if you guys go there, you have to let me know your thoughts!