Blinded By the Light: Women’s Lasers 101


My first LHR (Laser Hair Removal) appointment with Harpe Laser & Wellness, was today. I was extremely nervous, not really about the procedure, but more about being “boy mode”. I was going to a spa, right after work, where I would be in a lounge area filled with other women looking at someone they would assume is a man. And it’s in a place in north Asheville that I have never been before. So, nervous and feeling ill-prepared for several reasons, but nothing that had anything to do with the procedure itself. At my consultation appt several weeks ago, I had chosen a cost efficient bundle that needed three areas, so I chose face (beard including upper lip), neck and hands for $165 a session. This is considerably more affordable that I found anywhere else that was credible, I mean you could find cheaper but it would be a guy in a bloody bathrobe in a conversion van smacking you in the face with a flashlight. Harpe L&W isn’t “cheap”, it’s competitively priced for the area.


About an hour before my appointment, I started getting into my head, thinking about what I should expect with no information at all. So, I sent a PM to a friend and asked her what to expect, more about what I do while getting the LHR. I don’t know why I thought it was going to be like a haircut where someone stands around you and slowly trims your hair. But I was worried if they wanted to make small talk, I’m not good at small talk. I am socially inept and I get worse the more time that passes. So I wanted to know if I could listen to an audiobook or something. I now know that even though she answered me in a very nice way, it was a ridiculous question. But, thank you, Allison for trying to answer a silly question.


I went in to my appointment after work, arriving about 40 minutes early because I’m neurotic about being late for appointments and not knowing about my destination. I had plenty of time to scout the place and find the entrance, etc. It’s a bit confusing at first because it is inside the Asheville Racquet club. It wasn’t really that bad, as I found that when you go inside, the door to Harpe L&W was to the right plainly labeled. I was still a little early, but at this particular time no one was even in the lounge, I was all alone and the tech, Lylla was ready to go.


She took me into a room with the laser and gave me some instruction. She was really sweet and being transgender wasn’t an issue at all for her or anyone there. Even presenting in boy mode, they referred to me as Beth and used proper pronouns. I quickly felt comfortable and at ease. She put the eye protection over my eyes and began use the laser, telling me that if it starts to get painful and I need a break to just let her know. I was surprised by the intensity of the bright flashes through even the protection and my eyelids. The laser pulse was quick and efficient and I quickly learned why my question about listening to audiobooks was just a stupid question.


In the areas where there is sparse hair, the pulse is barely a loose rubberband hitting your face, but it is in rapid succession like a little machine gun, still utterly bearable and not a problem for anyone. There was also the smell of burnt hair, but that didn’t concern me at all, I was perfectly comfortable. But, then it came to the chin and upper lip areas… The rubberband was suddenly armored, spikey and angry like a badger. A badger that had a hard day and you just kicked it. Lylla did slow down at this point, not too much, just enough to give me time to recover from each SNAP of the angry rubberband. But, I wasn’t in that much pain and it was fleeting and we soon moved out of the area and onto more sparse areas. She then moved to my hands, and during this time I felt a light burning in my face from the residual energy, but it faded away before she was even finished. I felt no burning at all in my hands, I barely felt the laser, so I was back to comfortable. Afterwards she used aloe vera on the affected areas, and I was perfectly fine and my skin felt really smooth. Overall the procedure only took about 15 minutes and I was in no distress at all. I am in fact, looking forward to the next months session!

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