My last name is Gay, so I've definitely had my share of name calling. But, one of the names that stuck with me the most was when some little dwebe in high school called me the 'Bearded Lady.'
All my life I'd struggled with my Three Muskateers style 'beard.'
I've bleached it, waxed it, plucked it. Done everything except shave it--I didn't want my face lookin' like my legs. For christmas one crucial teenage year, my mom gave me a gift certificate for laser hair removal. It changed my life forever. Since then, I've been a client to Dorenda Stilwell.
She's lasered all the hair off my face and in my armpits. Our next endevour is my bikini area. Today I'm sitting down with her to get the skinny on Laser Hair Removal.
Sam Gay: What is your official title?
Dorenda Stilwell: A licensed electrologist and a licensed laser hair practitioner.
SG: You're on the board for North Carolina?
DS: Past board member… twice. It is the North Carolina Board of Electrolysis Examiners. My term was up August 31, 2014. I was the treasurer and the vice chair at different times. Right now I'm not on the board.
SG: Gotcha. So, how does laser hair removal actually work?
DS: The laser light is absorbed by the pigment of the hair, which damages the follicle or destroys the hair root enough to retard future growth.
SG: Why doesn't the laser doesn't burn my skin?
DS: Laser will not burn the skin because the intense light is targeting the pigment in the hair. On certain lasers, particularly mine, there is a coolant called cryogen that is a fired a millisecond before the laser light is fired on the skin.
SG: Okay, cool. What is the difference between laser and electrolysis?
DS: Electrolysis is when a probe is used to go into the hair follicle and electricity, with a pedal, is disbursed into the hair follicle. The electricity forms with the chemicals in your body to form a lye substance and the lye substance destroys the papilla. With the laser is done with light. The only difference is that the electrolysis is done with a probe and the laser is done with light. Laser is very noninvasive since it's just a light. Electrolysis does cause more reaction to the skin because I go into a follicle.
SG: I know many women who have gone to these franchised laser centers and have paid for expensive packages but have seen little to no results. Why is that?
DS: A lot of the places don't understand hair growth. You have 3 stages of hair growth. And you've got to get the hair in the growing stage, which is the anagen stage. That's when you have energy in the hair follicle. When you have energy in the hair follicle that's when you'll have a better reaction and more of a lye substance will form. When you have more of that lye substance in the follicle, there is a better chance it will destroy that hair papilla. And if you don't destroy the papilla, a lot of the times you can destroy enough of the follicle that hair won't grow either. So, a lot of these places out there are getting the clients back too soon. They say 'come back in two or three weeks.' But they aren't getting the clients in the right hair stage. There is hair there, but it's dead hair. There just killing dead hair.
SG: Are the lasers that remove hair the same as the laser that remove tattoos and the fat busting lasers?
DS: No. They can be made so, but there a lot more effective lasers for those procedures.
SG: Are you currently taking on new clients and what is the best way to contact you?
DS: Yes I am. I have a website. www.hairawaync.com. It's got a fillable form and then I will contact you back by either phone or email.