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10 Good-to-Know Facts About Laser Hair Removal

Posted by on September 2, 2020 in Skin & Hair Care with 0 Comments

Considering laser hair removal for unwanted facial or body hair? Before you schedule your appointment, read these ten quick facts so you’re prepared for your first session.

1. It Works Best on Thick, Dark Hair

People with thick, coarse, and dark hair are the best candidates for laser hair removal.

This is because the laser works by targeting the melanin in hair, and dark hair contains more melanin than light hair does. People who have lighter hair that is blonde, gray, or white might not get good results. In order to be sure laser hair removal is a suitable option for you, it’s best to have a consultation with a trained professional before having any procedures done.

2. You’ll Need More Than One Treatment

Laser hair removal is a gradual process. The number of treatment sessions required to achieve good results will vary from person to person, but in general you can see results after about six to eight treatment sessions at an aesthetic laser center. The frequent, consistent treatments are necessary because of hair’s natural growth cycle. It usually takes several treatments before you can begin to see a significant reduction in hair.

It’s very important that you don’t skip scheduled sessions – consistency is key. Even if you start to see a reduction in the amount of hair, you should continue to faithfully follow the plan your technician set up for you in order to achieve the best results. This includes not skipping a session due to your period. It’s perfectly fine to get laser hair removal on your bikini area while on your period. Your technician will likely just kindly ask that you wear a tampon.

3. There is Minimal Pain and No Downtime

Some people report mild discomfort during laser hair removal treatment, but with the use of numbing cream, it should be a fairly comfortable process. You should feel no pain afterwards, and require no downtime. Most people describe the feeling of the laser to be like a rubber band snapping on the skin, or a warm, light pinch.

4. You Can Use it on Virtually Any Area of the Body

Lasers that are non-invasive can be used on pretty much any area of the body, from the underarms to the back, to the face and chest, and even the bikini area.

As an aside, you can also stimulate hair growth using laser therapy for hair.

5. You’ll Need to Shave Beforehand

Surprisingly, laser hair removal works best if you shave the treatment area before your session. It’s recommended that you shave the day before treatment, because it removes any hair that is above the skin. Doing this prevents surface skin damage caused by burnt hairs, while leaving the hair shaft intact below the surface, which is the part the laser is looking to zap.

 6. You Have to Avoid Other Hair Removal Methods

Throughout the laser hair removal processes you cannot pluck, dye, or wax the hair in your treatment area. Things like plucking, electrolysis, and waxing disturb the hair follicle, and should be avoided for at least four weeks prior to treatment. Additionally, you should not bleach any hair in the treatment area before your scheduled session, because bleach will essentially destroy the hair and root, and your roots need to be intact in order for the laser to work correctly.

 7. You Can’t Workout Afterward

In order to achieve the best results, it is strongly recommended that you do not exercise after a laser hair removal session. If you don’t keep your skin cool post treatment, your skin can get irritated and uncomfortable. Sweating can result in a rash, or worse, a skin infection. This is because sweat contains bacteria that aggravates your sensitive hair follicles. You should also avoid very hot baths, showers, and saunas. It’s recommended that you don’t swim in strongly chlorinated water, and that you refrain from applying perfume or using bleaching creams for 24 to 48 hours.

 8. You’ll Need to Be Extra Mindful of the Sun

It’s important that you avoid sun exposure as much as possible before and after each laser session. If exposure cannot be avoided, make sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunblock of at least SPF30 when going outside. You should also be mindful to avoid sunless skin tanning creams that darken your skin.

 9. It Works on All Skin Tones

Laser hair removal is now an option for all skin tones, as long as the right type of laser is being used. Previously, laser hair removal only worked well on people with dark hair and light skin because the lasers worked by targeting the dark pigment. This was a problem for people with naturally darker complexions because it caused burns and pigmentation issues. This problem is now solved thanks to new laser wavelength technology that bypasses the epidermis to get rid of the hair at the root.

 10. It’s Important to Check with Your Doctor Beforehand

Be sure to check in with your doctor before having any kind of procedure done since some skincare treatment is incompatible with certain medications. They will likely advise you to avoid certain things before the procedure like blood-thinning medications, antibiotics, aspirin, medications that are photosensitive, or anti-inflammatory drugs.

You shouldn’t use skincare that contains retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids, as these ingredients can increase skin cell turnover and make it more vulnerable to the sun and irritation. If you're not sure whether your medication could negatively affect your laser hair removal treatment, play it safe and consult with your doctor beforehand.

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