Bristles, stubble, razor cuts, harsh hair removal creams or repeated waxing – surely there’s a better way to get rid of unwanted body hair? Laser hair removal offers a long-term solution, but what do you need to know before you take the plunge?
Preparing for Laser Hair Removal
You’ll understand why you need to prepare for laser hair removal once you understand how the laser works. Hair removal lasers don’t damage the skin because they target the pigment in the hair. That means you must have something for the laser to work on. Don’t pluck or wax before laser treatment and let a little stubble grow back before you go.
Because lasers target pigment, they’ll be more effective if your skin is light. Stay out of the sun and let your tan fade before scheduling your appointments. That doesn’t mean you can’t have laser hair removal if you have a dark complexion, but it does mean you might need special laser equipment and more treatments to get the results you want.
What gives the fastest results? Light, thin skin and dark hair.
You should see laser hair removal as a medical procedure – we certainly do! Skilled personnel will protect your skin from harm, but in the wrong hands, laser hair removal side effects can be unpleasant.
Having said that, you’ll find that the treatment itself isn’t painful. Most people compare it to having a rubber band snapped on their skin. Most of our patients agree that waxing is more painful than a laser treatment! It’s also not very time consuming – unless you’re having hair removed over a very large area such as the back.
You’ll Have to Take a Little Care Afterwards
If your treatment is correctly applied, you shouldn’t need recovery time – but you should avoid heat for the first 24 hours. That means skipping gym and avoiding very hot baths or showers.
For the first day, you might notice redness and tenderness. But this usually fades quite rapidly. Avoid exfoliating the treated area for a couple of days to give your skin a chance to bounce back.
Your therapist will also tell you to avoid sun exposure and will say for how long you should do so. If you must be in the sun, use a total sunblock. In general, we’d advise our patients to undertake laser hair removal in the winter. That way, when summer comes around, they’re ready to hit the beach looking great!
You Will Need Repeat Treatments
Most people experience permanent hair loss after three to six treatments. However, some types of hair are more prone to regrowth, and some people never achieve permanent hair removal.
How successful will laser hair removal be for you? An assessment appointment will help us to give you the lowdown. Even if laser hair removal isn’t permanent for you, it should at least make the regrowth finer and lighter in colour. We’ll be able to give you more exact answers once we’ve checked out your skin and hair tone and the area you want treated.