When Jennifer Kandemir got into the hair removal business, she didn't do it for money or ambition. She did it because of her own experience as a hirsute woman.
"I myself am a dark skinned woman and I was concerned about the effects of laser hair removal. I've been practicing since 1999, and I personally was a very hairy girl. Even when I shaved, I used to look like I had goosebumps. I had like 3 hairs in one root," she explained in a phone interview from Advanced Derma Laser Tech, her center on Madison Avenue in New York City.
Kandemir's own difficulties with excessive body hair led to self esteem issues, and high costs to achieve the hairlessness she desired.
"Even when I shaved, it didn't have a smooth, soft feel to it. The area was so dense; it'd be already growing back. I started to wax every two weeks, and I wound up with polka dot legs with little black marks. I looked into electrolysis. I was looking at 300 hours at $150 an hour!"
Jennifer got to the point where she decided to purchase her own machine to take care of the situation herself. While looking into an electrolysis machine, she was introduced to the next level of hair removal technology by a forward thinking sales person.
"I decided to go have the procedure done in the end of 1998, beginning of 1999. I paid $3000 to do a package. I got treated, and after the procedure I went home in pain. I had been burned. And my husband told me, Look – you can't do this to yourself. My husband recommended I get the laser and do it on myself, so I would know how not to burn myself, and be able to stop when it got too bad. The machines were 85 grand in those days."
At the time, Jennifer didn't see that as feasible. But then – in a sure fire husband-of-the-year move – Jennifer's husband purchased the machine for her, and surprised her with it. That forced her to put her best foot forward and learn this new technology first hand.
"It's been 6 years since I haven't waxed or shaved, and my legs are just beautiful. It took about a year and 5 months for all my hairs to go away. You should see my legs. I allow everyone to touch my legs," she says.
At Advanced Derma Laser, individual treatments range from $100 to $350. On customers of color, they use the Nd:YAG laser, which is specifically made for darker skin tones. And Jennifer has specific recommendations for a first timer.
"For a first visit, I recommend underarms, bikini or lower legs. Coarser hair works best. This is NOT for facial hair. If a girl has peach fuzz, I wouldn't allow her to get the treatment. I really think it's great with armpits. When you start treating that area, your underarms become lighter, and if you've got discoloration there from shaving, it will begin to match the rest of your skin tone," she says.
Jennifer wants to share the joy of laser hair removal with every woman who's had similar experiences to her own. "If every single girl who is as hairy as I am could feel the way I feel now, that would be amazing. I think it makes you feel feminine and better about yourself."
To learn more or make an appointment, visit www.advanceddermalaser.com.