So, you’ve finally decided to give up the razor in favor of laser hair removal. Some parts of your body you never knew were so velvety smooth until now. Although this method of hair removal is easy and needs little work on your part, there are a few guidelines you should follow first when preparing for laser hair removal. We’ll review the important steps to take to prepare for your laser hair removal treatments.
First, let’s take a look at how hair removal with a laser works. Lasers send out wavelengths that target the pigment at the base of every hair follicle. Lasers can kill hair follicles without hurting the skin’s surface because they absorb light. Since every hair has its own growth cycle, it takes several laser treatments spaced 8 to 10 weeks apart to get rid of hair for good.
Before Laser Hair Removal
There are a few things you should remember before your laser treatments to make sure you are ready for your appointment:
- Stop plucking and waxing – Since laser hair removal works by targeting the roots of the hair, you should not pluck or wax the area that will be treated for at least 4 to 6 weeks before your first appointment. But shaving is fine as long as the root stays in place. In fact, you should shave the area where the lasers will be used before your scheduled laser appointment
- Shave the area – Even though you should stop plucking and waxing the area that will be treated, you must shave it 24 to 48 hours before your appointment. Even though you can’t see your hair with the naked eye, the laser can still target the pigment in the root of the hair. The area needs to be shaved because it lowers the chances of burns, since the hair is below the surface of the skin
- Avoid sun exposure – Before your laser hair removal, it’s important to keep the skin that will be treated out of the sun for two weeks. This includes both self-tanners and tanning beds. Not only can they change the color of your skin, but they can also make your skin blister and cause pain. Most laser professionals won’t even treat a client with a minor sunburn; they’ll have them reschedule their appointment. So, make sure to use sunscreen every day if you are unable to cover the treated area while you’re outside
- Do not use bleach – As mentioned above, laser hair removal works by targeting the roots of hairs. Your hair’s color, or pigment, is at the root, which is where the laser light is absorbed by and kills the hair for good. When you bleach your hair, you change the color of the hair, which makes it harder to target. Stop bleaching your hair 6 weeks before your laser hair removal appointment; this will give your hair roots enough time to grow back in their natural color
- Check your medications – When you talk to your laser professional, it’s important to tell them about all the medications you’re taking, both those you take by mouth and those you put on your skin. Your laser treatments may not work as well if you are taking certain medications. Other medications can make the skin more sensitive and more likely to burn or blister. You should tell your laser technician if you are taking antibiotics, birth control, acne, or medications that make your skin sensitive to light. You won’t have to stop taking your medicine, but your laser specialist will be able to adjust your treatment and proceed with caution. Also, you should let them know before your next appointment if you start taking any new medications
- Remove makeup or creams – Sometimes, the ingredients in beauty products can change how well laser hair removal works, so you should take them off before each treatment. This includes things like deodorant, makeup, lotions, ointments, and anything else that is put on the skin. To clean the skin that will be treated, just use soap and water. Make sure to rinse the area with water after using makeup remover
- Do not participate in other aesthetic treatments – Before laser hair removal, don’t get Botox, dermal filler, chemical peels, or microdermabrasion in the treatment area for at least 14 days
During Your Treatment
At each treatment, you’ll wear special glasses to protect your eyes from the laser beam. The doctor will touch your skin with a hand-held laser device, and depending on the type of laser, your skin may be protected and the risk of side effects lessened by a cooling device on the tip of the instrument or a cooling gel.
When the doctor turns on the laser, the beam will go through your skin to the hair follicles. The laser beam’s intense heat damages the hair follicles, which stops hair from growing. You might feel discomfort, like a warm pinprick, and the cooling device or gel will most likely make you feel cold. A small area like the upper lip might only take a few minutes to treat, whereas a larger area, like the back, might take longer than an hour.
After Laser Hair Removal
During the first few hours after laser hair removal, your skin might be red and swell up. Put ice on the area to make it more comfortable. If you have a reaction to your skin right after laser hair removal, the doctor may put a steroid cream on the treated area.
After laser hair removal, stay out of the sun and don’t use a tanning bed for six weeks or for as long as your doctor tells you to. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF30 every day.
Are you ready for your laser hair removal treatment? Here at LIFE Medi Spa, our specialists are ready to help you achieve smooth, hairless skin for good. Click here to contact us today to schedule your first appointment, or give us a call at (603) 232-9008.