lasersurgery.jpg By SHELIKA BAEZ

Going Au naturale is a thing of the past thanks to the second most popular non-invasive procedure of Laser Hair Removal. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 1.5 million women in the U.S are permanently reducing their fuzzy upper lips and shadowed underarms in a matter of minutes.

The laser hair removal technology is an almost painless procedure that involves a laser beam zapping the hair follicles beneath the skin to shrink and prevent from re-growth. The procedure involves no down time, and can be done without anyone noticing.

With the procedure being offered at the new breed of spas, medical spas are becoming the new social hotspot. Spas like Blue Medi in Sherman Oaks, California and Sutera Spa in Miami are performing the procedures every half hour to both women and men alike. Fabien Azoulay, owner of Broadway Spas in New York City has cashed in on the craze.

What is the most popular body part? "Brazilian bikini or underarms," says Azoulay. The Brazilian bikini is the most popular body part in most of the big markets nationwide. Broadway Spa has been featured in beauty magazines nationwide and on various television programs. Fabien and the Broadway Spa team recommend three top tips to consider before tossing out your razors and shaving creams for good:

1. It does not happen in one shot. "You are able to see results right after the first treatment, usually 50% of the hair is immediately destroyed, but you need four to six treatments to complete the process," adds Azoulay. Treatments should be done from six to 10 weeks between each session. "We want to target the hair follicles while they are weak. The best time to get treatment is in winter," advises Azoulay. Treatments can run from $300 to $500 per session and some places offer packages per body part.

hairyarmpit.png hairyarmpit2.png (Images by SuteraSkin)

2. It’s not for everyone’s hair. "Best results work for Italians or Irish women with fair skin and dark hair," adds Azoulay. “There has to be contrast between the skin and the hair because the laser beam picks up color." Unfortunately blonde bombshells and silver streaked ladies cannot get laser hair removal. "The only choice as of now is electrolysis, but, it is very 1980s and it takes a long time because it zaps hair by hair. Laser hair removal zaps a section at a time."

3. Technology has made it possible for dark skinned beauties to join in on the fun with the Candela Yag laser, which targets darker skin tones and spider veins. "Hormonal changes affect treatments a lot. If you are trying to get pregnant or are currently pregnant, I would hold off," warns Azoulay.

Finally, the procedure is painless. After getting a treatment done myself, I could affirm that the procedure is as painful as a rubber band snap on your skin. The skin remains tender and red for about 20 minutes after the treatments, which is nothing out of the ordinary for women who are accustomed to waxing. There are topical anesthetics that can be used but aren’t usually recommended.

With summer less than six months away, now is the time to begin the journey to smooth skin. When the warm months arrive, all that will be missing will be a new bikini. To get superstar treatments make sure to visit the following spas in a location near you. *sb

NEW YORK Broadway Spa 7 West 25th Street, Manhattan 212.229.0636

CALIFORNIA Blue Medi Beauty Spa 14622 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 888.955.BLUE

FLORIDA Sutera Medical Spa 8099 S. Dixie Hwy Unit 4 Miami, FL 305.667.7888