Sunday, February 6, 2011

Experiences in Korean Laser Hair Removal

One week ago I dipped my toe in the Korean cultural experience of elective cosmetic procedures. The cosmetic medical tourism industry in Seoul is huge, with a massive part of town (Gagnam) saturated with plastic surgery clinics and dermatologists.

I tried the Wynn Clinic ( They had a promotion that allowed me to get half leg and underarm lasered 5 times for a total of W400,000. That's a little over $350 total, or $70 per session, the same price as a waxing appointment back home.

I went with Emilie the first time, as well as with Moon (who speaks Korean) to help avoid any instructions being lost in translation.

We walked into a clinic full of staff with tightened, squeezed, plumped, and reshaped faces of all kinds. A sort of wall art installation made from bottles of botox lined against one wall. A woman with bandages on her face sat in a comfy chair in the corner. This was the real deal.

The doctor explain how the hair follicle would die after being zapped with lasers, and that it wasn't always 100% effective, side effects include itchy skin and possible rash indicating something bad happening.
Pre-Laser Green Tea

Next we were given robes and sent into the laser room.

Before the appointment they ask you to shave the area. Because the laser targets all hair, if it is too long it would burn it up and possibly burn your skin in the process.

The lasering was done in a few simple steps:
1. Put a cooling gel on the area, apply little laser goggles to my eyes to avoid being blinded
2. Laser
3. Wipe of the cooling gel
4. Book appointment for 6 weeks ahead to do it all over again!

The laser feels, to me, exactly like the feeling when you accidentally poke yourself with a sewing needle. Enough to make you wince but not a horrible torturous pain. It also felt hot at times. Total time: 10 minutes.

Only time will tell, but with any luck, in 6 months, I'll be hair free!
I'll keep you posted.

How to get there: Gangnam station exit 5. Walk right down the street and it is in a glass building on your left (across the street from it is a big black building). The clinic is on the top floor.

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