If you’re tired of shaving and waxing, laser hair removal is a great option, as it will permanently reduce future regrowth. Laser hair removal is an investment in your skin and self-confidence. But trying anything new for the first time can be intimidating, and laser hair removal is no exception. You might be a little nervous, or not sure what to expect. What do those lasers feel like anyway? How do they work? And how long do treatments take?
To get you ready and feeling confident for your first treatment, this guide will walk you through how laser hair removal works, the process and steps of laser hair removal, and how to prepare for your treatment.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Knowledge is power, and understanding what to expect can help you feel more prepared and less anxious. Plus, unlike other hair removal processes, laser hair removal requires a bit of preparation. In fact, preparation is the key to maximizing your results and minimizing any side effects or discomfort.
Laser hair removal is perfect for people who want to get rid of unwanted body hair and are sick of the pain and inconvenience that comes with constantly shaving or waxing. That’s because it is proven to permanently reduce hair regrowth. How exactly does that happen?
When you go in for your hair removal treatment, your technician will apply a laser to the targeted area that sends a tiny beam of light into your skin. This light is made up of highly concentrated wavelengths that target the pigment at the root of each hair follicle. The pigments absorb the light and destroy the hair follicles, without damaging your skin. Destroying the follicle prevents the hair from growing back.
Your hair follicles go through periods of growth and rest, and each individual follicle follows its own cycle. Laser treatments are most effective when follicles are in the growing period. Because of this, multiple treatments spaced about five weeks apart are recommended for maximum results.
The Steps of Laser Hair Removal
In preparing for laser hair removal appointments, it is helpful to understand the steps you’ll be going through. Here’s what to expect during your treatment.
Each treatment will begin with a consultation in which you will discuss the areas you would like targeted for laser hair removal. The technician will take a medical history. Make sure to report any medications you are taking, as they may affect how your treatment is carried out. When you are approved, you will either schedule your session or proceed directly to your treatment.
Preparation and Protection
For protection from the laser’s concentrated beams, you and the technician will put on protective eyewear. Every part of your body except the treatment area will be covered up with clothing. You may be offered a topical anesthetic to dull the sensation. Remember that your technician is a laser hair removal professional and has been trained in how to use the equipment. If you have questions during the procedure, feel free to ask.
When the treatment begins, the technician will press a hand-held laser to your skin. Some lasers have a cooling device on the tip, and sometimes a cooling gel is applied to your skin. The technician will activate the laser beam and apply it to your treatment area, and at this point, you may feel some discomfort. The sensation isn’t necessarily painful, but it has been described as a warm pinprick, a pins-and-needles feeling, and compared to a rubber band hitting the skin. The treatment takes between 5 and 15 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the targeted area.
After your session is over, you might see some swelling or redness. These effects are temporary and shouldn’t stop you from going about your normal activities. You should, however, avoid direct sun exposure and wear sunblock for a few weeks after your treatment. We advise to stop working out after a laser session since your skin could heat up. In addition, hot showers are not recommended as well.
Preparing for Laser Hair Removal
Your laser hair removal spa should provide information on how you are expected to prepare for your appointment. Make sure to follow these recommendations. To ensure the best results and the biggest reduction in hair regrowth, follow these steps before each treatment.
Avoid Sun Exposure
Tanned skin looks great, but it reduces the effectiveness of laser hair removal and increases your chances of side effects such as skin lightening. If you are planning a laser hair removal treatment, use sunscreen, limit sun exposure, and stop using sunless tanning products and visiting the tanning salon. Take care of your skin—some technicians will ask you to reschedule your appointment if you have a sunburn. If you currently have a tan, wait until it fades before scheduling your appointment. About six weeks of avoiding the sun are recommended.
Laser hair removal targets the roots of your hair. Waxing and plucking pull hair out by the root, which will make laser treatments less effective. So avoid both for at least four weeks before your first laser hair removal session. Shaving, however, is fine, because it doesn’t affect the root of your hair.
Most laser technicians will ask you to shave before your appointment with a clean, new razor. Shaving makes it easier to apply the laser, and for the beams of light to reach your follicles. And using a clean razor reduces the risk of a bacterial infection or reaction after your treatment.
Check Your Medications
Before heading into your appointment, write down every medication you are taking, especially antibiotics, birth control, and acne medication. Your technician needs to be informed about them because some medications can interfere with laser treatments and make them less effective. Some medications can even make your skin more sensitive and prone to burning during the treatment. You probably won’t need to stop your medications, but your technician may adjust your treatment. If you begin taking any new medicine between treatments, inform your laser professional at the next appointment.
Review Your Skin Care
Are you using any anti-aging products? Common ingredients in these products are known to cause photosensitivity, which means your skin will be extra sensitive to the lasers and may burn, blister, or become irritated. These ingredients include salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and alpha hydroxy acid. Check your cleansers and moisturizers for these ingredients, and stop using them a few days before your treatment. Also, avoid these products for a few days after treatment. If you aren’t sure if a product is safe, check with your hair removal specialist for more guidance.
Come to your appointment showered and clean. Don’t apply any products to the treatment area, including deodorant, cream, makeup, or lotion.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment that makes it easy to expose the treatment area. This area will be sensitive and tender afterward, so you don’t want to wear anything tight, restricting, or rough against it.
Book Your Appointment
Laser hair removal is a game-changer. You deserve to look and feel beautiful, confident, and sexy. Shaving, waxing, and tweezing are uncomfortable and inconvenient. There is a better way: laser hair removal. This amazing technology is quick, mostly painless, and effective at removing unwanted hair anywhere on your body.
Laser hair removal is definitely a medical procedure that requires trained, skilled technicians. Preparing for laser hair removal will help you feel secure walking into your first appointment, and it will make sure that you give your treatments the highest chance of maximum results. This guide for how to prepare for laser hair removal will help you know what you need to know and do before your first appointment. In addition, make sure you follow any recommendations given by your laser spa professional. If you want more tips as you prepare, our blog is full of useful advice.
Ready to say good-bye to shaving for good? Contact us for more information and to schedule your free consultation for laser hair removal at Infinity Laser Spa today.
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