Quick and Painful

Over a month ago, I bought an Eversave deal for 6 laser hair removal treatments for $89. (It was $99 and I had a $10 off coupon.)

My first treatment was Saturday and it was totally not what I was expecting. I want both my underarms and bikini line done, but I went with my underarms first since I’m not sure I’m ready for strangers to point lasers at my lady parts.

You have to shave before you arrive to the relief of my husband and anyone I wear a tank top in front of. Once I arrived, I filled out 6 sheets of paperwork, one of which stated if you were using some sort of coupon (Groupon, Living Social, Eversave), that gratuities were accepted since the price was so cheap. You know what I think is cheap? Actually asking for gratuities.

On a side note, the lady doing the treatment told me I smelled good. I get compliments all the time on my perfume, but I hate when people ask what I’m wearing because then I have to tell them.

Once I got into the treatment room, I had to take my deodorant off. There were 2 laser machines, one for light skin and one for dark skin. The light skin machine wasn’t “calibrating” so the lady had to use the dark skin machine on me. (Light-skinned people can use the dark-skinned machine but not the other way around.)

I don’t know why, but I was expecting some type of Total Recall red laser retina scan except on my armpits. It looked more like this but with protective glasses and a horrified look on my face.

It felt like 15-20 quick blasts of evil. Think of it as a bunch of bees stinging you at once in a concentrated area really fast. After the first blast, I’m pretty sure I yelled “holy shit.” Each underarm lasted about 20 seconds and I was done. It hurt and it was hard to sit still for and now I have 5 more painful sessions left. Each session is done 6 weeks apart. The lady told me my underarms are supposed to turn red after the treatment and they didn’t, so she’s going to have to up the strength of the laser next time. Awesome. At least I know I have really resilient armpits now. And you know I smell like a hooker.

When I was leaving, the girl at the counter asked if I wanted to leave a gratuity. (I didn’t because I didn’t have any cash with me. I’m also annoyed that they even asked in addition to have a whole sheet of paperwork dedicated to it.) Has anyone else left a gratuity for laser hair removal? How much do you leave?

38 Comments

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38 Responses to Quick and Painful

  1. I don’t leave tips when they’re asked for. I wouldn’t have even thought to leave a tip for laser hair removal. But I leave a 20% tip for eyebrow waxes and stuff.

  2. Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups

    The gratuity thing sounds really tacky to me. And maybe I don’t understand, but I thought laser hair removal was more of a medical procedure…which I wouldn’t normally tip for as opposed to a manicure. Maybe I have that wrong? So jealous you don’t have to shave your armpits!!

  3. I hate the whole tipping process. I never know who to tip and how much. Shouldn’t there be some set of standard rules in place? But I’m a former waitress, so I tend to be an overtipping. That’s probably why the threading girls who keep butchering my eyebrows keep calling me to come back. Even when I hate a service, I still usually leave 20 percent. Lame. I just don’t know why they want me to have no eyebrows. I don’t have very thick ones anyway, so why are they trying to thread away my itty bitty brows? Rude!

  4. Cyndie

    It’s weird but my husband wants to get laser hair removal way more than I do. Every time he sees a groupon for something like this he talks about wanting to laser off all the hair on his body. I, on the other hand, am totally cool with just shaving everywhere every day.

    Anyways, super awkward tipping situation. I generally wouldn’t think you had to tip in that situation, but if they’re considering it as a beauty treatment, it makes sense. When I got a tattoo recently there was a sign that said “tip your artist well” and it totally threw me off because I didn’t even THINK about tipping. It kind of sucked because those tats were way more expensive than I thought they were going to be…and then I felt bad because I only tipped like 5%…I still feel bad.

    • I guess if they did an awesome job on the tattoo, I can see maybe tipping. But still, I hate when it’s asked for. And 5% is better than no percent, so don’t feel bad!

  5. OK, first, I got the same underarm removal done. It took about 10 treatments, I think and I still have a little growth. Painful, yes, but to have the hair mostly gone it’s totally worth it.

    Second, I NEVER tipped. They didn’t even suggest that I would. I look at this as more like a medical procedure (I mean, there is a laser involved). It’s not like you’re getting a massage (which I think it’s weird to tip for, too) where the person has to labor over you. They point the laser and that’s it. No. No tips for that.

    • OMG, 10 treatments? You’re killing me over here. I hope it doesn’t take more than 6 but with my luck (which is no luck), I’ll need more. I feel the same way about the tips! But then I feel so bad saying no everytime they ask.

  6. Asking for tips=tacky! A tip should be earned and done out of kindness, not obligation.
    Ok, so I feel you on the perfume! I wear this cheap, avon, soap opera endorsed perfume and whenever I do I ALWAYS get compliments and asked what it is. It DOES smell so good, but I cringe at having to say it’s avon and I got it for like $4.99 clearanced out. Oh, and it was bought out of obligation by a coworker who sells avon and I just picked the cheapest thing possible NOT expecting to like the stuff! Now THAT is first-world-problems;-)

  7. Gah, they’re like nazi’s a/b the tips. I would assume you leave some sort of gratuity, but you shouldn’t have to fill out papers and ask a/b it 14 times. I’ve never had a laser anything, so don’t know how much tip to leave.

  8. Michelle

    I wouldn’t have left a tip! What you are doing is more than a comestic medical procedure and it’s not like you tip your Dr!!!

    Ridiculous!!

  9. theAlmostRunner

    That is so stupid. Why would they OFFER a Groupon os any other discount opportunity and then ask for more money? If you don’t want to give the service for cheap, don’t offer it. I’m glad you didn’t tip. BITCHES.

    • That is EXACTLY what I said to my hubs when I got home. If you can’t afford to offer if for that price, then don’t. So happy to hear you think that too!

  10. julie16750

    That is totally tacky for them to even suggest leaving a tip! Even though cosmetic, it’s still a medical procedure. I wouldn’t tip my dentist for whitening my teeth, why would I tip for laser hair removal?!

    I had laser done on my underarms (and bikini) , six sessions and I am not hair-free (although there is a lot less hair so it wasn’t a total waste of time/pain). Don’t buy into the “you only need” so many sessions. I was told it varies depending on the person and something about “hair cycles.” I also had a different technician for each session so sometimes it was done well and others not so well so I think that is a factor. I was also told that every six months to a year you would have to do “maintenance treatments.”

    Why didn’t you mention the lovely smell when the hair is being burned? Ew.

  11. Laurie

    I wouldn’t leave a tip either! I can’t believe they ask you! So uncool! Paula, you’re braver than me, I don’t think I could go through that! Hope it works for you!

  12. Verlin

    I had about 7 or 8 sessions and am still not an armpit baldy, but MUCH less hair, and definitely worth it. You’ll get used to the zapping. And asking for a tip – seriously, if they make you fill out 6 forms, they should give you a tip. I never even thought of tipping at the place I went to (it was at a doctor’s office and they did all kinds of higher-end costmetic “procedures”) – it seemed like tipping at the dentist – anyway, when I used my debit card, the option came up for a tip – for a second I thought I’d forgotten about the wonderful meal I just ate, but then realized they seriously wanted a tip for zapping me with a (very expensive in my case) laser – no can-do for me.

  13. Maggie

    Question: you don’t mention anything about using a numbing cream before the treatment or if they gave you ice packs prior to or if you took ibuprofen before going. Any of these would help and all three would have made it almost painless.

    • Numbing cream and ice packs?! I didn’t get any of that stuff. 🙁 Also, I asked them if there was anything I needed to do beforehand and they only told me to shave. Nothing about taking ibuprofen. What the heck?

      • Maggie

        Ok, first call them and DEMAND a script for the numbing cream. Skip your deodorant and generously apply the cream at least 30 minutes before your session. Take a couple of ibuprofen at least 60 minutes prior to the session. Ask if they can supply an ice pack (it is a ziplock with ice, big deal, right?) Ice yourself for at least 10 minutes and until mere seconds before they zap you. The next sessions will be a dream and hell to the no on a tip for these careless, callous people.

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  15. Ro

    That must have been awkard them asking for a tip. I say “No Tip For You!” I also have had laser treatment on my armpits (I feel weird typing that word). They gave me numbing cream beforehand that I applied at home prior to arriving at the office.
    BTW, I watched American Horror Story after your recap b/c it sounded intriguing. Holy crap!! Its scary and good!

    • I really missed out on this numbing cream. Maybe the tip I should give them is to use numbing cream. 🙂   Glad you watched the show and liked it! It’s so weird but you can’t take your eyes away.

  16. While I agree the constant demand for gratuity is outrageous, you may want to reconsider not tippiing if you are gonna let that lady anywhere near your lady parts. She might slip or something.

  17. Hrmm that is a bit tacky if you ask me!

  18. I don’t like it when they ask for gratuity either especially because I usually give gratuity myself without being asked.

    I’ve never had laser treatments but have been wanting to try it. Shaving is a B****!

  19. Marie

    At first I thought it was tacky to leave a tip. I’m thinking… I don’t leave a tip for my OB/GYN after a pap smear (Thanks for that extra dollop of KY doc! I definitely feel less violated now!). Then after several treatments (completed 4 underarm and bikini line so far) I realized that this is more like a cosmetic procedure (think facial) than medical. I leave a tip now. Not sure if this is a good or bad thing because the techs know this and really zap that hell out of me now.

  20. haha i wear Can Can too!! love IT!!

    sounds like a painful experience. ugh!

  21. I’ve had so many friends do this, but this is the first time i’ve “seen it” in action, could be worth investigating.

    I think a tip is completely up to how you felt about the service, too often we’re pressured.

  22. I have always wanted to get laser hair removal but now I am pretty much terrified. haha I have heard that armpits hurt the worst though…

    Can Can is only $27 on Amazon! WOOOOT! I think I might just have to smell like a skanky spoiled bitch now too!

  23. Alecia@tincantreader

    I feel that tips lose all meaning if they are requested. It’s a money hug. You don’t demand hugs.

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  28. Renee Lee

    I am so disappointed about people not tipping for a service. Laser hair removal is a service people. I tip after each session because technicians can differ from session to session. For a bikini and full brazilian I tipped $20 once because she had to trim my crotch. Come on people, she was touching and looking at lady parts of strangers that even you wouldn’t want to do! Even if its five dollars, tips goes a long way. It was tacky for them to continually bring up the tips argument but honestly, people are tacky for not tipping because they assume its included in the price. The reason why its expensive is probably because you have to have certified people and also the machine probably costs over $50,000.
    Laser hair is painful, what did you expect? They are burning your root hairs!
    Tipping amount is up to you, but if you had to touch some persons private junk, wouldn’t a tip be nice?

    • Interesting point of view. Although, no one was touching my junk. I had my underarms done. I guess I just thought of it as a medical procedure instead of a service and we don’t tip doctors. Though, I did end up tipping her in the end because I liked her (and I had the same girl every time). I will tip for the bikini line too because yeah, no one wants that job.

      • Renee Lee

        You are absolutely right though, for some things its iffy about tipping. I’m thinking about getting my underarms but I’m not tipping the full 20%, that could add up to another couple hundred… too much…. I would think a couple of dollars here and there. If its the same tech for all sessions, I would consider giving them a lump sum like $50-$60. For my brazilian, I was considering tipping about $10-$15 per session because they were super nice and just cool… I ended up tipping a bit more because she had to “trim my hairs because it was too long… it was so embarassing for myself but also standing over someone’s parts and snipping.. is pretty demeaning too…

        but i agree, tipping is up to the customer…its a nice gesture