Tired of irritation, razor bumps and unwanted hair? With so many options for hair removal out there from shaving to waxing, how do you decide if laser hair removal is right for you? If you’re interested in getting rid of hair permanently, then keep reading to learn what you need to know before your treatment.
Laser hair removal works by targeting the root of the hair. During a laser hair removal procedure, a laser gives off a light that is attracted and absorbed by the pigment (or melanin) in the hair. The laser light energy is converted to heat, which damages the hair follicles in the skin that produce hairs. With a quick zap, this laser damages and stops any future hair growth.
1. Shave Before Your Treatment Starts
Shaving before your treatment is required because it leaves the root of the hair, or hair follicle, intact. Unlike waxing where you need to have some hair for the wax to grip, the laser is able to target the pigment located in the hair’s root, even though it seems invisible to the naked eye. Shaving also decreases the chance of burns from the laser, making your treatment a more comfortable experience.
2. Take Care Of Your Hair (No Plucking, Pulling, or Waxing)
No plucking, waxing or bleaching the hair before you go or in between treatments. Laser hair removal works by targeting the roots of the hair, so it’s essential that you don’t pluck, bleach or wax the treated area at least four to six weeks prior to your first appointment. These hair removal processes will impede the effectiveness of your laser hair removal treatment. If you want to be hairless in between sessions, stick to shaving the areas instead.
3. Avoid Tanning in Any Way, Shape, or Form
Avoid the sun, tanning beds, and sunless tanning products before and after your treatment. A tan can lead to skin discoloration after your laser treatment, and a sunburn is the worst-case scenario and may cause excessive pain and blistering. The laser works because it is attracted to dark pigments, like the hair follicle. A tan, or even a spray tan, can cause the laser to confuse your skin pigment as the hair follicle pigment and may result in a burn. Any professional won’t even treat a client with a spray tan or minor sunburn and you will have to reschedule your appointment. And always remember to use sunscreen everyday!
4. Be Aware of the Medications That You Take
During your consultation, it’s important to let your provider know what medications you’re taking, both orally and topically. Some medications can interfere with your laser treatments and make them less effective. You should especially inform your laser technician if you are on antibiotics, birth control, acne, retinol and photosensitizing medications since these can make the skin more sensitive and likely to burn or blister. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to stop taking your medications, just allow your provider to adjust your treatment accordingly. Also important to note, if you start taking a new medication in between treatments to let your provider know at the next appointment.
5. Remove All of Your Makeup & Cream
Certain ingredients in beauty products like deodorant, makeup, lotions or any other topically applied product can interact with the laser hair removal process and should be removed prior to each of your treatments. The simple use of soap and water to cleanse the skin being treated is all you have to do. And when using makeup remover It’s also important to make sure to rinse the area with soap and water afterward to get rid of any makeup remover residue.
6. Changing Your Skincare Regimen
You may need to switch up your skincare routine. Depending on the area being treated, you may have to pause certain skincare products. If you currently use an exfoliating scrub, glycolic acid or retinol cream, we suggest avoiding those products 2 days before and 2 days after treatment. These products tend to make you more sensitive to light and adding a laser procedure to the mix might make your skin react poorly to the treatment.
Now that you are prepared for your first laser hair removal treatment, you may be curious as to how many sessions you will need for complete hair removal.
How many sessions on average do you need to take until your hair is completely removed?
On average you will need 8-10 laser hair removal sessions for complete hair removal. This also depends on the area being treated, since areas like the underarms usually require less sessions than legs or bikini. Each area will also require a different length of time between sessions, ranging from 4-8 weeks. Also, laser hair removal works on all skin tones, but your hair just needs to be dark enough so the laser can be drawn to it.
For this reason, this treatment will not work as well on blonde hair. As always, if you have any questions or are interested in a complimentary consultation, give Revive Med Spa in San Diego a call.