(Original post by snapper1)
I've suffered with excess body hair since I was young, and I was bullied because of it through primary/secondary school and now am unable to wear tshirts etc in public because of how paranoid I am about it. I went to the doctors because of it when I was around 11, and they did a blood test but it came back normal so I assume I don't have PCOS.
I have very hairy arms for a girl, not thick hairs like a males but lots of very noticable, dark and long (I bleach regularly but it only lasts a day or two before the roots are noticable). I have never shaved them because I shave my legs and get terrible ingrown hairs, even though I moisturise/exfoliate etc. I've tried waxing but it only lasted 2 days before the hairs began to grow back, so it's really not worth it.
Anyway I checked out reviews and after shopping around I decided to get the £350 Boots Smooth Skin Plus Intense Pulsed Light permanent hair reduction machine. The reviews were on the whole very good, it comes with 20,000 flashes (it takes between 70-100 flashes to do my arms each time I think) and you need applicator gel which is £3. It appears to do exactly the same thing as you would get in a laser clinic, but cheaper and means I will be able to target any missed hairs you might get going to a clinic and it's obviously private/convenient.
The sales assistant in Boots was very helpful, and assured me I could get a no-quibble refund if I find it doesn't work but she assured me it will.
I'm going to use it on my arms first of all, because this is the area that affects me the most confidence wise, but will gradually move on to other areas. For permanent hair reduction I will need to use the machine once a week for between 6-12 weeks (although I will probably need 12 weeks!) and will start using it tonight.
I'm quite sceptical over whether it will work but because I'm confident I can return it, I think it was worth the risk.
I know other girls on here have the same issue with excess body hair, so will monitor the hair reduction over the 12 weeks course to let you know how it goes incase anyone else is thinking of buying one
Week 1: Shaved my arms and zapped them today, did it in two separate goes (took around 30 mins to do each arm) and my sister did them for me just because certain angles are tricky to get to. On a pain scale I'd give it 2/10 (just feels like a hot, tingling sensation for about 1 second then fades). Will update what the regrowth is like next Saturday.
Week 2: Had to shave my arms again last night all over, hair regrowth not as course or fast as expected but still widespread. Just finished zapping them again but this time did it myself, found it to be much quicker.
Week 3 & 4: Still experiencing regrowth but now I've finished uni for Easter will leave the hair to grow out for the week rather than shaving every other day so I can see just how widespread it is. Is becoming quite a pain to do every Saturday as it takes a good hour to do properly and found out through another user they had no success so all feels a little disappointing at the moment but will carry on with the 12 weeks. From 4 weeks I have used 2 tubes of applicator gel.
Week 5: It's now Thursday and I haven't shaved my arms since Saturday when I zapped them, I am starting to slowly notice very small patches where there appears to be no regrowth, but there's still lots of stubble although its VERY fine and tbh isn't terribly noticable unlike my leg stubble which you could spot from space after a day. Another poster mentioned how she used her machine for months and months, noticed slight improvements but after a while it all grew back again...tbh I'm thinking this is gonna be pretty accurate.
I also zapped my bikini line (this is now week 2 of that) and hair on stomach (Week 3 for that), thinking if I take it back after week 12 I may as well attempt to use it in other areas! It's worked really well on the bikini line actually, it's probably worked for about 70% of the hair zapped. The regrowth of the hair on my stomach has been very slow and I'm quite pleased with the progress of it.
Weel 10: The regrowth is definitely much lighter after using the machine, however there is still regrowth virtually all over but it's manageable and not as noticable as it would be if I were to have shaved them without using it. The reason I can tell is because I have a large freckle on my right arm and try not to zap over it and as a result the hairs directly around that seem to grow far darker and courser than anywhere else. I'm debating whether or not to take it back after week 12 as I finally feel comfortable enough to wear t-shirts but you can't use it after exposure to sun, and considering summer is coming, it seems a bit pointless owning it. Also, I discovered that once you use 20,000 flashes, the replacement part is £179.99 which is VERY steep. All in all I would say don't get it, as for £349 (it's now £399) you don't get the permanent reduction that was promised. Having said that I've done my bikini line also for 5 weeks now and the results there are impressive I'm assuming because the hair is black and course...but again, not sure it's worth £349 to achieve results in just one area. Also I have to buy activation gel weekly which is £3 and the process itself is VERY tedious and boring...I would hold on and wait for something better to come onto the market. SIDENOTE: THE PAIN LEVELS ON THE BIKINI LINE ARE AROUND 9/10 IF USING ON THE CORRECT INTENSITY LEVELS (1 or 2 for most people)...MY GOD IT HURTS!