Metro Man & Metro Home

By John Genua

“Zaaaaaap!” and you’re on your way to a smoother you. Laser hair and tattoo removal are very much an upcoming trend amongst men of all types as they try to “zap” away unwanted body hair and/or tattoos of lost loves. Men are suddenly realizing that thickets of back hair, and “MOM” tattooed on their arm doesn’t necessarily make them more desirable to women. In fact, quite the opposite, many men are now trying to take an active role in cleaning up their appearance through the extraordinary power of lasers!

Now before all you guys go running off to get your unwanted body hair removed, there are a few key factors you need to keep in mind. Firstly, the FDA defines “permanent hair removal” as a period of time lasting at least six months. In reality, you and I both know that this is not necessarily what permanent means! There are some Pros and Cons to laser work. However, in my opinion, if you have the money and a strong threshold for pain, every guy should get it done.

Before you consider having laser hair and/or tattoo removal done it is important to be informed about which company you choose. Unfortunately, there are some not-so-honest people out there that can take advantage of the overzealous metro-sexual, by using poor quality lasers and charging outrageous prices. I have done a great deal of the work myself in this area, and can confidently recommend an honest and great quality establishment. The aptly named Smooth, is a laser hair/tattoo removal business that also treats blemishes and spider veins.

Owned and operated by Carol O’Brien, and located on 133 east 58th street/at Lexington, suite 507, NYC; this is truly a diamond in the rough! After discussing with my publisher the idea of having some laser work done, I soon realized the amount of work involved in finding a company that is well established, honest, and of reasonable pricing. Smooth, was at the top of my list and my experience proved to be productive and educational.

I arrived at the “Smooth” one Friday evening, and was greeted by a super friendly receptionist, who promptly led me to the treatment room for my consultation. The environment was very similar to that of a doctor’s office combined with a relaxing day spa. I was introduced to Carol O’Brien, a VERY knowledgeable woman who has been in this business for a long time. Carol informed me that she started in this business as a cosmetologist, and opened up her own laser hair removal company in 1997. Back then this technology was new, and she knew that there were a few unscrupulous salons out there taking advantage of clients by using low quality lasers (that can burn and generally do not remove hair permanently) and charging extraordinarily high prices. She decided to open her own business and operate under her own ethics and high standards. She has worked successfully at it ever since, and her dedication to great service and professionalism resounds throughout the salon.

Carol continually purchases better quality lasers as new technology is developed, and upgrades her equipment to better serve her clients. She explained to me that her biggest business at this time is for tattoo removal. This is a process requiring one or more sessions to completely eliminate the ink in one’s skin. This can be painful, however she offers topical anesthetic for her clients. She then described what I really wanted to know about: laser hair removal.

Laser hair removal can be accomplished at Smooth, through two means: one being through multiple sessions of a (somewhat painful) laser burning through the hair into the follicle in order to burn it out permanently. This would require a topical Vaseline-like substance to dull the pain, and can be time consuming. However, it does result in “permanent” hair reduction and removal over a several sessions. The second alternative is a machine that is quick, efficient, inexpensive and most importantly NOT PAINFUL! This method will effectively reduce/remove hair from any area like the permanent laser hair device, and without all the Vaseline jelly all over your body (No Messy cleanup, yea!). The only drawback is that this method is not permanent and will last only about four months.

After listening to her descriptions of both devices and looking at her pictures of client results, I decided to try out the quicker, more efficient and “painless” alternative (not too surprising consider my low threshold for pain). This machine resembled a large soldering iron attached with a long wire. Carol was able to do my chest, hands and neck in about an hour, and even let me try to work the machine on myself. It was quite an experience. As I examined the results, I saw that there was a significant reduction of hair on my chest and neck area (which would help with difficult shaving spots).

Overall, the procedure was very quick, and painless. I am still curious to experience the “permanent” laser removal process, and plan to contact Carol to arrange for another session. At the conclusion of the session, Carol explained to me that she offers a variety of creams and ointments for the skin to reduce any red areas or even treat stretch marks.

My experience was simple and professional. I would rate this establishment as one of the best NYC has to offer in regards to laser services. Personally I recommend that any laser work being done should be by an informed consumer. It has been my experience through tireless research that the Long Island companies are higher priced, and often offer lower quality services than their NYC competitors. Insider hint for getting more bang for your buck: stay within the NYC area, as the competition forces establishments to provide better quality of service.

So now you are ready to go out there and “Zaaaaaap” your way to a smoother and more attractive you. Whether you want to clean up those hard to shave facial areas and eliminate your five O’clock shadow, get rid of your back hair, or show off those muscles by eliminating your chest hair and tattoos, lasers are definitely the way to go. Do the research and find a reputable place to have the work done, and most importantly make sure you are getting the results you want. In no time you will be on your way to achieving that cutting edge clean and smooth look we all crave.

*For appointments with Carol O’Brien at “Smooth” you can call 212-759-6997 *

Originally published January 2005
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