Review: IPL hair removal at Legs 11 in Sea Point, Cape Town

So let’s talk about permanent hair removal! I had the pleasure of being invited to Legs 11 in Sea Point the other day to get some of my hair zapped off with their IPL (intense pulsed light) machine. They’re pretty unique in that they offer one low rate per area – R380 per treatment!

Legs 11 in Sea Point's  reception area.
Legs 11 in Sea Point’s pretty reception area.

I was told I could pick any area I wanted and opted for my underarms as it seemed like a quick, easy area to ‘test drive’ as opposed to my legs. My bikini area could’ve done with a treatment too but I didn’t feel like writing a very public blog post about my crotch. Also, my dad probably wouldn’t have been thrilled with any before and after piccies.

But ja, getting back to my armpits… My therapist, Tiana, was the kiffness. A super friendly, uber knowledgable chica, she made me feel like I was in very good hands. She’s not your typical salon poppie with orange foundation and drawn on eye brows haphazardly wielding a light sabre; no sireee, biets knows her shizz. She also made me feel really comfortable. If I ever did decide to zap my netherbits I’d be happy to have her get up close and personal with my vag. (God, is that a horrible sentence? I’m tempted to backspace, backspace, backspace but that’s exactly how I feel so I’m just going to leave it there. Sorry Tiana! Love you Tiana!)

Tiana ready to rumble.
The treatment room; Tiana ready to rumble and the IPL machine head looking a bit like a Star War’s bot.

My first session involved simply zapping one teensy area to see how my skin reacted to the light. For this – and all other treatments – you can’t be on any painkillers or anti-inflammatories as this could mask a bad reaction. Fok, I thought. There goes my cunning plan of sucking up a rail of Grandpa headache powder an hour beforehand so as not to feel the zing. My friend Karisa had told me it stings like a bitch. Thing is, I really shouldn’t have worried. As it turned out, she’d had a laser hair removal yonks back which is totally different to IPL. The latter is way more advanced and much, much less painful. In fact, it really doesn’t hurt at all.

Ready for my close up...
Ready for my close up! And no I’m not whoring out a new pair of sunnies; those are the standard issue Legs 11 glasses to protect your eyes from the light.

After my test session, I went in for the real deal and had both armpits zapped within five minutes. You’re to go in hairy and unshaven so your therapist knows which area to treat. She’ll draw around it with a white pencil and then shave off the hair and hit you up with the light. It works by cauterising the hair in its follicle which stops it from growing back. You’d then think that was that, but your hair grows in cycles with each little follicle being active at a different time. So, while your first treatment will zap all the ‘active’ hairs, the dormant ones won’t get cauterised. This is why you must have a few treatments, between 6 and 8, to blitz every little hair. You also can’t just schedule your next treatment a week afterwards; the growth cycles are a few weeks apart, which is why Legs 11 will give you an appointment schedule that’s a few weeks apart. For more on that, clicky clicky over here.

It’s now been about two or three weeks since my first appointment and I can already see that my underarm regrowth is half of what it usually is. Exciting stuff! And I can’t get over how quick and relatively painless it was. As a result, I’ve now decided that – bugger my underarms – I’m going to one day get my legs done! Each leg is considered an ‘area’, so you’re looking at R760 (R380 x 2) to get both done. (If you do it in six sessions, you’ll pay R4 560.) This is something I’d never have considered in the past. I’m fair and don’t have much hair to shave off. But now that I know how easy and affordable it is it just makes sense. I also like that, as the appointments are staggered, you aren’t parting with a fat chunk of cash straight off the bat.

As for what’s motivated me to do my legs, it might seem a bit random, but it makes sense to me: I use a shizz load of self-tan but never get the full run of it on my legs as I’m always shaving them which scrapes it off. I mean, you know that dilemma, right? You’ve paid for an awesome spray tan and it looks great. But then your leg hair starts growing three days in and suddenly you’re faced with the choice of shaving it off and ruining your tan or rocking a golden glow with hairy pins. Now, once I’m hair free, I can get more bang for my buck in the Caribbean Tan department!

R380 per area darlings!
R380 per area darlings!

Anyway, if you’ve been considering IPL hair removal but have been umming and ahing about it, I’d suggest you get your ass to Legs 11. Their studio is gorgeous, the people who work there are lovely and their machines are state of the art. Also, your initial consultation during which you’ll get test-zapped is free. Oh! And did I mention it’s next to a Steers? Once you’ve been zapped, you can go ‘reward’ yourself for being such a ‘brave’ girl with a fat packet of chips smothered in chili salt and BBQ sauce. Oh yeah!

In all, Legs 11 gets a very satisfied two lipglossy thumbs up.

Love, love

Leigh

P.S. Got any questions? Legs 11’s FAQ page is a wealth of info and chances are that anything you’re dying to know will be covered over there.

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Editor of South African beauty blog Lipgloss is my Life.

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