As a defensive end for a Division 1 university, Nana Osafo-Mensah knows football. And he also knows it gets hot and steamy under that helmet, which is why he prefers to be clean-shaven.
But for him, shaving always felt like too much pain and not enough gain. “Being African American, I have curly, coarse hair; I used to get a lot of ingrowns on my beard and my neck, so shaving would be painful,” Osafo-Mensah says. “I didn’t like how often I would have to do it. My hair would grow back so fast. I would be insecure about the [razor] bumps.”
A lightbulb moment
After one of his friends started going to Milan Laser Hair Removal, Osafo-Mensah decided to look into it. “I was skeptical about laser hair removal at first because I couldn’t find pictures of African American people who had been through the process,” he says. “But talking to the experts at Milan Laser, they emphasized their special procedures for people with dark skin.”
Thanks to Nd: Yag laser technology, the treatment is safe on dark skin tones. It’s also effective on most hair colors and types. “There are a few hair colors you can’t treat, including gray and white, and it doesn’t work on peach fuzz,” says Shikhar Saxena, M.D., CEO of Milan Laser. “But as long as there’s some degree of pigment to your hair, the laser can pick up on that treatment.”
Grinning and baring it
Admittedly, Osafo-Mensah didn’t know what to expect during his first treatment. “I have tattoos, so I was thinking it would feel like that—but it was a lot less painful,” he says.
According to Dr. Saxena, most clients describe the sensation as similar to the feeling of being snapped with a rubber band. “With each laser pulse, our laser uses a cooling spray to safely cool the skin and decrease discomfort,” he explains.
Osafo-Mensah was also surprised by the convenience factor, noting the sessions are “usually no longer than five minutes so I could get it over with quickly,” he says. “The providers always asked me if the pain was okay, offering aloe or anything else I’d need. It feels like a happy place to go.”
The results are in
Osafo-Mensah noticed a positive change as quickly as his second or third session. “My hair started growing back very slowly, if at all. Now after the sixth session, there’s barely any hair at all. I love the way my skin feels, and not having to shave feels super good,” he says. “It gives me a lot of time back.”
Typically, most people experience a 95% hair reduction in seven to 10 treatments, Dr. Saxena says. “But because not everyone is the same, if you buy any treatment from Milan Laser, you get all the sessions you need to achieve your hair-free goals,” he says. It’s Milan Laser’s way of guaranteeing each client’s results for life—and monthly payment plans are available for everyone.
Osafo-Mensah also noticed that razor bumps and ingrown hairs became a thing of the past. “Laser hair removal is successful in decreasing those issues because it’s precise enough to target the hair follicle and eliminate hair at the root without damaging your skin,” Dr. Saxena explains.
Tackling the gender divide
Osafo-Mensah hopes to erase any stigma surrounding laser hair removal for men. “Some guys think the manly thing to do is shave with a razor and that only girls do laser hair removal, but that’s false,” he says. “It’s for any gender.”
And it’s an option more guys are embracing. “We treat thousands of men every single month,” Dr. Saxena says. The areas most men treat are their shoulders, back, chest, abdomen, and skin and neck. “Investing in yourself and feeling good about yourself is not just limited to the female population,” he says.
As Osafo-Mensah notes, “I’m not a guy who likes to have a lot of hair or a big beard.” And he’s open about it with his teammates. “I really feel that if anyone has unwanted hair on their body, they should take the opportunity to try laser hair removal,” he says. “I want to show other males there’s nothing wrong with it, and if you deal with stuff like I did, it’s definitely going to help you.”
This athlete’s bottom line? “If I had to choose between shaving the rest of my life and laser hair removal,” he says, “I would choose laser hair removal, for sure.”