Sorry for the groan-inducing pun but I couldn't resist!
I had a laser appointment yesterday which reminded me that I was going to write an update on the process. Verdict: LOVE IT. Wish I'd done it sooner! As someone who has dark course hair that I needed to shave daily, its seriously life-changing.
I started this summer with my underarms. You can't have it done on sun-exposed/tanned skin, so that was the only area I could do, plus it was the most urgent since I wear tanks to work out in year-round and even shaving daily was barely enough, since I'd get regrowth by the end of the day that was visible.
It hurts a little during the treatment, but way less than threading my eyebrows, as a comparison. The whole thing took <10 minutes. I felt completely 100% normal immediately afterwards (I've heard some people have residual stinging/pain). And after just ONE treatment, I went from shaving daily, to being able to go 1-2 weeks. I went back for the second treatment 6 weeks later and maybe shaved once before my next treatment, and never again after the 3rd, which was in October.
Once my tan faded, I've done my bikini line (2 treatments so far, and probably do need a couple more, I still see stubble and growth) and my legs (one treatment only and may not do another for a while because it was $$$). The bikini was similar to underarms in terms of pain and the legs were NBD which is good because that took more like 20-25 minutes. Its hard to say exactly how well the legs worked, because I wouldn't be shaving them much anyways in the winter, and I did the upper and lower legs at different sessions.
Overall I estimate that I've paid about $600 (6 session packages for underarms and bikini and single treatments for upper and lower legs; I used a group-on for the initial treatment and waited for sales that they have every so often for the others). I'm refraining from any clothes shopping for a while to offset the cost, and its definitely way WAY more than worth it in my book. I've heard that after a few years you may need to touch up, so its more "semi-permanent".
I'm so excited about summer beach and pool outings, not to mention sleeveless dresses, without having to give it a thought!
And...on a completely different hair-related note, while I try to reduce my body hair, I am also taking efforts to thicken my scalp hair. After many years of ridiculously thick (to the point of not being able to use regular clips and stretching out rubber-bands), I've been slowly thinning overall. Its actually been much easier to control and style and I haven't cared much until the past couple of years when I noticed a much more sudden and visibly noticeable thinning in the front of my scalp.
Since my mother is practically bald in that area, I was almost sure it was age/genetics, but since hers didn't happen until her 60s, I did see a dermatologist who confirmed androgenic alopecia and prescribed an oral anti-androgen (spironolactone) and 5% minoxidil which I've been faithfully using for a month. Apparently you need to give it a few months to see a difference, and if nothing changes for 6 months, you can stop and just...deal with it. So its too soon to say, but I am hopeful, since it does work for most people. The up/down side to the med is that its a weak diuretic so I've been SUPER thirsty and drinking much more water.
Feel free to ask me any questions about either!