When I was growing up, I was EXTREMELYYYY self conscious about my body hair. Like to the point where I shaved my toes (I think I had like 3 tiny toe hairs on each toe) and my knuckles.
I waxed, bleached, shaved, Nair’ed, epilated and tweezed my hairs away.
I’ll never forget the time my mother awkwardly tried to tell me that it was time to do something about hair above my upper lip. YOU MEAN MY 13 YEAR OLD MUSTACHE, MOM??
Ahh, good memories you guys.
I made the decision when I was 17 to get laser hair removal on my bikini area, and electrolysis on my upper lip. (Electrolysis is a whole different story, but todays post is all about how to choose the right laser hair removal clinic).
I ended up finishing about 5 sessions before I had to leave for University, but got really amazing results. When I moved to Toronto I wanted to get a touch up so ended up booking in 5 sessions at Bellair Laser Clinic. Long story short? Biggest waste of $600 in my life.
Which brings me to my CURRENT clinic that I am at (I love you Clarity Med Spa), and the reason for this whole blog post. Because I want YOU to be informed when you decide to drop a bunch of money on something that is important to you. That you don’t leave thinking, wow, that was not worth the pain, money or time. Because that is your hard earned money, and that is your hard earned time. I’ve had both really GREAT experiences, and really USELESS experiences and it gives me the opportunity to compare one from the other.
How to Choose The Right Laser Hair Removal Clinic
1. WHO ARE THE DOCTORS & STAFF?
You want your technician to be experienced, educated, 100% confident and professional in their interaction with you.
When I got my hair removal done in Calgary, the owner/technician was an older woman named Janet who had clearly been doing this for years and years. She had literally every degree in the book when it came to hair removal.
Clarity MedSPA is owned by two sisters who have 20+ years experience in this field. Chantal is a registered nurse and worked as a consultant to Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Nurses and Alternative Practitioners. They have one staff member who also has years of experience working in this industry and continues to learn about new technologies
Compare this to my Bellair experience where 1) I had a new technician every single time I visited (5 times, guys) 2) the technicians were young (younger than me!) 3) were professional, but did not have that same confidence built from years of education and experience.
When looking for a clinic, search for a smaller practice. One where you will see the same people every time you walk in the door – where they know your NAME, your medical history, your skin type, and are truly vested in your progress.
2. TYPES OF LASERS THAT ARE USED
There are many different types of lasers, and one may be a better fit for you than another.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) | Common Names: Alma, Quantu, Epilight
Not a true laser, rather a light system that delivers a wide range of light in any single pulse. Good results can be achieved but may require up to 10 treatments for permanent hair reduction.
Diode Laser | Common Names: Coolglide, Epistar, Apex
This laser is good on most skin colors, but performs best on light to medium skin tones. Minimal side effects, but you may need several sessions. Average 6-8 treatments
Nd: Yag | Common Names: GentleMax Pro, Candela
Brilliant for hair removal – the longer wavelength allows deeper penetration into the skin without discolouration. Good for ALL skin types, including dark skin. Average 4-6 treatments.
Alexandrite laser | Common Names: GentleLase, Candela
These lasers are the fastest lasers out there, which means you can cover more area in less time. Great for treating thick as well as fine hairs. Great option for those wanting to cover larger body parts. Average 4-6 treatments
At both the clinic in Calgary and Clarity MedSPA, they used the Nd: Yag laser. This was super effective for me, and I saw almost no hair growth after my 5 sessions. When I went for my touch ups at Bellair, they used a completely different laser that was neither effective for my skin and hair type (a Diode laser).
Do your research on what laser your clinic uses – they should have it on their website. Ask them to give you context on what skin type it works best on and why it is the BEST device for you.
3. UPSELLING VS. YOUR BEST INTERESTS
When choosing a clinic, it should be clear from the beginning that YOU are in their best interests – not how much they can SELL you over your customer lifetime.
One of my favorite things about Clarity MedSPA was they didn’t crush me to buy a big package (i.e. 10 laser sessions for $1,000 at 50% off). Instead they talk to me about the number of visits I would most likely need to achieve the desired result, and from there gave me a single visit pricing that was extremely fair. The message here is: don’t be fooled by crazy deals, as often they are created to sell you a pile of stuff you don’t need.
Compare that to my time at Bellair – every time I made a new appointment, the receptionist would ask me if I wanted to book an appointment for something else. Upper lip, arms, whatever? How can the RECEPTIONIST ask that? She has no idea what my hair removal history is, and if I even have hair that needs to be removed from that area. It honestly cheapened the experience so much more, knowing they were just looking to upsell EVERY single time.
SOME FINAL NOTES…
Be wary of clinics that have taken over every single Google ad when you search ‘laser hair removal’ in your area. Honestly – the best clinics are the ones that come from word of mouth.
One of my favourite things about Clarity Med Spa was that they had NO store front. They are in an older building, on the second floor, with a small sign on their door. Yet, they are constantly busy, have an incredible and loyal customer base, and their clients clearly adore them.
As soon as you set foot in the door, you should feel welcomed and at home. I felt out of place and slightly uncomfortable in Bellairs too white lobby, and that should have been a sign that maybe it was not the right place for me.
I hope this helped you to make a decision on where you decide to zap the hair off your body. Let me know in the comments if you have any additional tips yourself!