Tried and tested: Laser hair removal

Life&style Laser hair removal at the Silkor Laser Medical Centre in Dubai.

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WHAT I TRIED Laser hair removal at the Silkor Laser Medical Centre in Dubai. WHAT I WANTED The permanent removal of my underarm hair. After years of shaving my underarm hair (men, stop reading now if you believe that women are naturally hair-free), I decided that I'd had enough - especially of nasty ingrowing hairs. HOW IT WORKS To permanently remove the hair, Silkor use a powerful diode laser. This differs from the more commonly used IPL laser, which cannot produce permanent results, and to electrolysis, which treats only one hair at a time so takes much longer. During the treatment, the pigment in the hair follicle absorbs the laser light and converts it to heat, which damages the follicle and destroys its ability to regrow without damaging the skin. Only thick black hair can be removed permanently, but any part of the body, including the face, can be treated. The laser damages the hair follicle only when it is in the "growth phase" so you may need more than one treatment for hairs that subsequently enter that phase. In their 12 years of practice, Silkor have found that most people need four treatments.

WHAT HAPPENED A young, friendly woman called Rihaam showed me into a room resembling a dental surgery. She told me to pull up the sleeve of my T-shirt and marked the area of the underarm to be lasered with a red crayon. Then, a gel was applied to ensure that the laser would not directly hit my skin. I was also given a pair of protective glasses to wear, and a small cold-air blower with which I was to follow the path of the laser "gun" (my word, not hers) to cool and soothe the skin after it had been lasered. Then, the "gun" was held against my skin and glided slowly over the marked area. The hot, sharp sensation of the laser isn't a totally comfortable experience, but it is certainly no more painful than waxing, and after just 10 minutes it was all over. I was advised not to put deodorant on for two days (in this heat?) and not to shave my underarms before my "touch-up appointment", which would be in 10-14 days' time. This is so that the hairs that were not removed would be visible.

After five days, almost all of the hair had fallen out, and not even roots under the skin were visible. After 10 days, I went for my "touch-up appointment" (this time at the Abu Dhabi clinic) and there were barely any hairs to be re-lasered. It has now been six weeks since my first appointment and I have shaved my armpits just once. No hair has regrown. I am told that within the next four weeks up to 60 per cent could grow back, but with the recommended two or three further treatments this regrowth would be totally eliminated.

WHAT HAPPENED If I'm honest, I didn't believe it was possible for my hair to be removed for good - but I was wrong. After only one treatment, the results are so fantastic that I will be going back for more. If you spend money on waxing or threading on a regular basis, spend the money instead on laser treatment, and you'll never have to think about unsightly hair growth again.

The Silkor laser hair removal starts from Dh400 (for a top lip) and is available at the Silkor Laser Medical Centres at 708 Jumeirah Beach Road, Umm Suqeim 2, Dubai (04 348 0500), and Khalidiya, Sheikh Zayed 1st Street (next to The One), Abu Dhabi (02 681 6070). A free consultation beforehand is advised. If a client is having several areas treated or needs several appointments, then a price agreement will be reached. See for details.