I have to admit I am a bit of a luddite. I am not one of those women who finds technology sexy. I singularly fail to get excited about the arrival of a new mobile phone, pad or computer. Even when they ‘shrink it and pink it’ (which is genuinely how the tech industry tries to attract us ladies) my juices barely flow. I don’t like games. Not since playing Pac-Man in a pub in Salcombe in 1987 have I seen the idea of staring blankly at a screen while fumbling with switches as a good use of my time. I can’t work the telly, I can never watch a DVD on my own, even my toothbrush is a manual. You see: luddite.
So when GTG asked me to check out a new permanent hair removing device, Silk’n Glide , £160 (terrible name: sounds like a vaginal pessary) I was more than a little circumspect. A portable light-based gadget, which emits pulsing rays rather like a laser; Silk'n Glide basically zaps unwanted hair into submission. The box was covered in claims: “60 pulses per minute”, “covering the entire body in less than 30 minutes”, “permanent hair removal.” And inside, the thankfully lime green, plastic device about the size of a fat cigarette packet looked uncomplicated enough even for me to have a go.
So I sat down and scrunched up my eyes to read the instructions. Is it me, or is type just really, really small these days? Then, after twenty minutes of listlessly reading about hair removal I decided to do what every bloke would do and just plug the thing in and read the serving suggestions later. After about an hour of watching a set of lights whirring and spinning, I realised that perhaps I didn’t actually need to charge my Silk'n Glide after all. I could just plug it in and start zapping.
But then actually no! The device doesn’t need prepping - but apparently, reading between the blurred 15 pages of instructions, I do.
The skin area to be treated needed to be ‘shaved, clean, dry and free of any powder, antiperspirants or deodorants’ BEFORE you can get to the pulsing light bit. By now I have to admit I was a little bit exhausted. There is only so much time I have in my day to think about underarm hair and I was rapidly about to exceed it. But in the interests of science I persisted. I washed, shaved and resisted powder or antiperspirants and then at last got down to it. There is a dial on the back from 1 to 5 which indicates the strength of the zap – the fairer skin you have, the lower the number. So with the dial firmly set on 2, I started on my legs. The green gadget flashed away painlessly, as I ran it up and down my shins and then down the backs of my legs.
The problem was, having already shaved my legs, it was hard to work out which area had been zapped and which bit had not. And I would only know if I’d missed a bit by the time the new hair started to grow in a couple of weeks.
And therein lies the flaw. In order to get rid of any body hair, the fairer lady can expect to do 10-12 sessions, approximately four weeks apart – which is 48 weeks of zapping – or 11 months of thinking about your armpits. And woe betide you if you miss a bit.
Now, I am sure if I had a bush the size of Britain that crept gently towards my knees and armpit hair I could plait and make into useful ethnic weave baskets I would welcome this green thing with open shaved and antiperspirant-free arms. But I don’t. The only place I would really like to use it is on my increasingly fecund golden tache that glints and sparkles in the sun whenever I laugh, but it says that it is not recommend for lips.
So as our Shirley Conran once said: ‘Life’s too short to stuff a mushroom.” And to that I’d add. “Or Silk‘n Glide.” But then again, what do I know. I can barely brush my teeth.