Once upon a time, there was a girl. And this girl had a blog, like everybody else.
And when the time came for her to turn 30 years old, she made a list of 30 things she would do before reaching that momentous age (did I mention that she had a blog?). One of those things was “have a professional waxing treatment”, because she had never had such a thing before. She found a place offering a “Glaswegian wax”, and decided it was perfect. Shenanigans ensued.
It makes me laugh to look back at the things I scribbled down on the eve of my 29th birthday
because I still haven’t done half of them and think about all the ways in which I have changed. Case in point: I don’t think twice about paying somebody else to take care of my body hair. It’s quicker and more efficient – and so, for those reasons, hurts a lot less – than dealing with it myself at home. I mean, when you hit what is practically your mid 30s you care less about getting it done in the first place (case in point: I dropped my guard and am now apparently rocking some sort of were-brow) but myself and bikini waxes are no longer strangers. We’re not, like, hanging out on the regular or anything but we’re certainly not strangers.
At least, until Therapie Clinic came to town.
An Irish chain, with clinics throughout the Republic and Northern Ireland, Therapie arrived in Scotland last month with new clinics in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Opening just a few doors down from my work, I watched with interest as the distinctive lilac branding took shape throughout October – it’s rare we get something that isn’t yet another bloody burger restaurant on St Vincent Street. When I spotted the buzz about a launch party on social media I immediately waded in and blagged an invite. When it comes to finding a salon, convenience is key – so I wasn’t letting this opportunity pass me by.
Except, in my enthusiasm, I didn’t do my research. I had assumed Therapie was just another beautician, with the laser aspect completely passing me by. The bikini treatment I was offered in exchange for a review? I’d assumed that was a wax. Until I popped into one of the treatment rooms for a patch test, only to discover that as I had taken one of my anti-histamines that day I’d have to come back another time.
The idea of laser hair removal doesn’t make me nervous. It was something that had never appealed until a couple of weeks ago, but that’s only because I assumed that a) it hurt; and b) it was super-expensive. Still, in my flippancy I’d managed to forget that the procedure involved a medical-grade laser – but that’s what Therapie’s friendly and approachable team are there for. To answer any and every question – no matter how daft – and to make sure that you stay safe.
Therapie’s Scottish clinics use the latest in laser hair removal technology: the Soprano ICE, above. Billed as a completely pain-free hair removal solution, the machine uses both a laser and a chilling effect with the idea being that you don’t even feel the heat of the laser as it does its thing. It’s not 100% effective – I mean, you’re still blasting three different wavelengths of medical-grade laser at your fanny – but your therapist can easily switch off the laser for an extra bit of cooling the second you feel something. Heiman, my therapist, and I quickly established that my tolerance threshold was until the very last second of laser use on a particular area.
But we’re skipping ahead. Because, after the brief mortification of having to reschedule my patch test due to not knowing to avoid anti-histamines, we also had to reschedule my actual treatment session. When I arrived on my lunchbreak in the obligatory loose-fitting trousers, a little bit nervous but ready to go, I once again turned away due to insufficient preparation. This wasn’t Heiman’s fault, but rather mine – guys, when your therapist tells you to shave before a laser treatment she really, really means it. You know that burning smell that sometimes comes out the back of your hairdryer? I imagine what we’re talking about here is something like that…
Therapie’s Glasgow space is deceptively huge: the company has done an amazing job transforming one of St Vincent Street’s grand old buildings into a clean, modern clinic with an airy reception area and multiple well-proportioned treatment rooms. Everything is spotless, the towels you are provided with for modesty are as fluffy as blankets and there is even an on-brand stress ball provided if you find yourself getting a little nervous.
Heiman began by dividing the treatment area into easy-to-work with sections using a highlighter pencil (“don’t worry,” she said, “I’ll take this off when I’m done so your husband doesn’t wonder why you’ve got boxes drawn all over you!”). She then softly drew the laser gun over each of those areas, pausing any time there was as much as a suggestion that I might be uncomfortable. The whole thing was over in 10 minutes – and, with the exception of a solitary twinge when I wondered whether I’d managed to get quite close enough with my preparatory shaving, completely painless.
(Oh, did I mention you get these really cool shades to wear for the duration, too?)
On average, you need around six treatments in any given area for optimum hair removal. This is because, like Hydra, for every follicle you destroy another two pop up in its place or something. You can also expect some slight regrowth, with most therapists recommending an annual visit to keep on top of that. The human body is a marvel and, as that solitary dark hair that insists on popping out of my chin no matter how many times I pluck it out can attest, it’s tough to truly win the battle against body hair. Assuming your personal preference is to remove some of it in the first place, anyway – other options are of course available.
With my review session now two weeks ago, I can see some results: the hair is mostly growing back in, with a couple of sparse patches showing where the laser has been. It doesn’t look so daft that I won’t get away with it – and yet, with Therapie offering up to 70% off any course of treatment provided that you pay in advance before the end of November, the prospect of being done with that pre-summer holiday waxing session forever (or never having to shave my armpits again) is a tempting one.
What do you think: would you give laser hair removal a go? Therapie offers free consultations and patch testing, so you can go along and get all your questions answered (as well as find out for yourself just how painless that laser really is). Let me know if you do – in fact, let them know you read it here first: they offer a very generous referral scheme…
I was offered one laser session for review purposes, but all opinions are my own and unbiased.