Photo pinched from Lena Talks Beauty, with generous permission, because I didn’t take one myself.
Body and facial hair has been long billed as the enemy by women’s magazines, and despite my mother’s warning to ‘take them with a grain of salt’, the magazines I read as a teenager (cf Harriet’s tweet) managed to instill some insidious body hair anxiety within me.
I’ve tried it all: shaving, threading, waxing, and embracing my ‘unwanted’ hair and letting it grow. The one thing I’d never tried was laser or IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal, on one hand because it was expensive and on the other hand because I was never sure I wanted to commit to any hair removal entirely.
Late last year I had the opportunity to try out the Remington i-Light Pro* home IPL device. It was a bit of a saga, so I thought I better tell you about it.
I was the perfect person to try it really: I have some hair I wouldn’t mind getting rid of, I like testing things out and I have dark hair and fair skin (the i-Light Pro works best when there’s a contrast between the hair and skin).
Frankly, I was most curious about trying this out on my pubic hair, and I started with my bikini line. You’re meant to shave the hair before you use the device, so that there’s only the root visible. The longer the hair, the more it heats up, and burns, and hurts, and smells like burning hair. I did this, and started on the lowest setting (there are five degrees of intensity).
You’re meant to use the highest setting you’re comfortable using, but unfortunately for me, I’m a little bitch, and the lowest setting caused me to wince and swear. I persevered but realised that the further in and down I got, the progressively more painful it would become, and I just couldn’t inflict that pain upon myself.
It’s fine when someone else is controlling the pain; I can handle getting tattoos, I can handle other people doing my waxing, and I could probably handle someone else doing IPL on me, too. When it’s in my own hands, though, I’m just not interested. This is why I pay someone to wax my moustache rather than continuing to do it at home. It’s just easier.
There’s also the fact that the Remington i-Light Pro retails for $899 NZD. You have to use it three times in each area, two weeks apart, to see lasting results. If you did this all over your body, it’ll work out cheaper than going to a professional for IPL, and then I guess you could re-sell it? It’s a lot of money to spend, though, for a device which is not as strong as a professional device, and for something that ideally renders itself unnecessary.
This is obviously my own experience and I know that other people, including Lena, have tried the Remington i-Light Pro and really loved it. I recommend reading Lena’s review of it for a different perspective. My friend Greta who I used to work with at Farmers also bought her own one (so there’s no PR influence) and thinks it’s great. So your mileage may vary! But I can say that home IPL is definitely not for me.
Ultimately inflicting pain and misery on myself when trying the i-Light Pro out is another step in re-thinking how I view my body hair—hot on the heels of when I went recently to get my brows waxed and the beauty therapist waxed my nose hair before I had a chance to say otherwise. Honestly, I had never even considered my nose hair before, and now I have yet another thing I’m supposed to feel self-conscious about?
What do you think? Would you be brave and game enough to drop nearly a grand on a home IPL device?