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What to expect after your hair removal session

Laser hair removal is an aesthetic procedure that helps patients remove unwanted hair forever. Laser treatments for hair removal are fairly recent and it may be intimidating to take the plunge. However, it is worth it. Indeed, even after your first laser hair removal session, you will see results. Unwanted body hair will start shedding after your first session and you will see the difference.

Laser hair removal is superior to other hair removal methods in many ways. In the long-term, it is more sustainable and cheaper than waxing or shaving. Not only that plus it provides close to permanent hair removal. Patients will never have to shave or wax again. Laser hair removal is also great to reduce ingrown hair outbreaks and is not as painful as waxing.

So really, what are you waiting for? It is time to book your first laser hair removal session at Infinity Laser Spa. And what next? Well, you prepare for your laser session, you come in, get your laser treatment and go home. While there are a few aftercare recommendations to follow, patients should know what to expect after their first laser hair removal session.

What is laser hair removal?

How does it work?

Laser hair removal uses a concept called selective photothermolysis. The matching of a wavelength and a pulse duration allows the laser to target a specific object at the surface of the skin without damaging surrounding tissues. In the context of laser hair removal, the target is the pigment in the hair.

During a laser hair removal session, the laser emits light energy. This light will target the pigment in the hair. Once the melanin has absorbed the energy, the latter travels down to the hair follicle. There, it turns into thermal energy and anchors itself to the follicle. The heat damages the follicle, preventing further hair growth.

Is it permanent?

Laser hair removal is a long-term hair growth reduction method. It can reduce hair growth by up to 90%. The results of a laser hair removal treatment will depend on each person as well as the area of the body treated. While laser hair removal is not considered a permanent hair removal method as per the FDA standards, a lot of patients do experience permanent hair removal.

Skin tone, hair type, hair color, genetics, hormone levels, etc will impact the results of a laser hair removal treatment. Hormonal areas such as the bikini or the face will require more sessions than non-hormonal areas like the legs. Some patients may need touch-up sessions after their initial laser treatment.

Hair growth may happen again in case of intense hormonal change, like the one produced by a pregnancy for example.

How long is a laser session?

The duration of a laser session will depend on the size of the area treated. Treating a small area like the underarms will only take ten minutes. On the other hand, an extra large area like the full legs will require a thirty minute session. A full body laser hair removal session will take up to two hours. 

Does the procedure hurt?

Pain is a subject concept. Each individual has a different tolerance to pain. However, laser hair removal is not painful in the stricter sense of the term. Compared to waxing, laser hair removal does not hurt. 

The sensation is somehow unpleasant and can be uncomfortable. However, it is very tolerable. Laser hair removal feels like rubber band snapping against the skin. It is also akin to pinching. Most patients compare it to pinching or mosquito bites.

What to do after a laser session?

Can I shave after laser hair removal?

Patients can shave as often as they wish between laser hair removal sessions, should they want to not have any hair. There is indeed no need to grow body hair between sessions. However, we advise patients to wait about ten days after their treatment.

Can I wax or tweeze after a laser session?

Waxing, tweezing and plucking all remove the hair roots, which the laser needs to target. Body hair needs up to six weeks to completely grow after a wax. Thus, waxing between sessions can interfere with the treatment, reducing its efficiency and increasing its duration. If you want to remove unwanted body hair before our next session, it is better to shave.

Can I exercise?

We do not recommend patients to do any activities that would cause sweating. Indeed, tight fitness gear and sweat contribute to creating an ideal environment for bacteria development. Chafing may also irritate the skin. Patients must give their skin time to calm down and keep their body cooler to reduce irritation and pain.

Can I take a hot shower after a session?

Laser hair removal leaves the skin on the treated area more sensitive. Patients should avoid hot showers as they can irritate or even burn the skin. Instead, it is better to take lukewarm showers, especially the first week.

Can I tan or stay in the sun?

Staying in the sun, tanning or using sunbeds is not recommended after laser hair removal. They can indeed cause pigmentation change on the treat area. Laser hair removal leaves the skin sensitive and more vulnerable to sun damage. Patients should use physical sunblocks with SPF 50 to protect their skin.

Can I wear makeup after laser hair removal?

Hair follicles are sensitive to irritants after laser hair removal. Clogging the pores with foundation or concealer can cause reactions or breakouts on the skin. Patients should wait 24 hours after their laser hair removal session before applying makeup. Makeup should be removed each evening before bed so the skin can breathe.

Can I use deodorant?

Using any kind of scented product after your laser treatment should not be done for 24-48 hours.

Can I use body lotion after laser hair removal?

It is better to not use any kind of lotion on the treated area for 24 to 48 hours after laser hair removal. However, patients can apply aloe vera gel on the treated area to soothe and moisturize the skin.

What to expect after your first laser hair removal session?

Up to 24 to 48 hours after

A laser hair removal treatment leaves the skin sensitive and a bit irritated. Patients may experience redness. Thus, it is better to avoid any activity that may incur more skin irritation. Hot showers, saunas and exercising should be avoided for at least 24 hours after your first laser hair removal session. Patients should avoid deodorant, body lotion and fragrances. Applying aloe vera gel will help soothe the skin.

A week after

The week after a laser hair removal appointment, patients will notice some hair shedding. This is completely normal and shouldn’t be mistaken for regrowth. Patients must not wax, pluck or tweeze.

3 to 4 weeks after

The treated area will be smooth for about four to six weeks following the first laser hair removal session. After this timeframe, patients should notice little fine hairs growing again. Tweezing or waxing these hairs must be avoided. Indeed, they will be targeted during the next treatment, which should be done around this time.

Within 3 months

At this point patients should have already undergone two treatments. The legs, bikini area, chest, facial area, underarms and arms will see at least 50 per cent of the hair gone. The results will vary depending on the patient’s skin type but it’s safe to assume that they will see a great reduction in hair at this time.

Within 6 months

Patients should have completed their visits to the laser hair removal clinic after a year, or eight months depending on the area being treated. Now, their hair will be permanently gone.

Hormonal areas such as the face and bikini require more treatment time. This is because hair growth is triggered by hormones. Female patients can undergo bikini or Brazilian laser hair removal while on their period as long as they wear a tampon.

Pre and post-treatment care remains the same before and after every single session. Patients should also shave prior to their session and wash their skin off of lotions, creams and moisturizers. They should wear sunscreen at all times if exposed to the sun, both before and after their session.

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