So you’ve finally decided to go for it, You’re going to achieve forever soft and smooth skin. Before you book that first service, there are a few things you’ll want to be aware of before your first laser hair removal treatment. Here is the rundown on how to prepare beforehand.
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How to prepare for laser hair removal
Laser hair removal uses pulses of light that are emitted from a cosmetic laser in order to destroy hair follicles and leave you with silky skin. And because this isn’t necessarily a quick DIY procedure, you can expect to follow some guidelines to prep you for your visit to the clinic. Here’s what you’ll need to know about preparing for laser hair removal.
Stay out of the sun
For up to two weeks before your laser hair removal session, you’ll want to avoid exposure to the sun—this also includes indoor tanning with both sunbeds and even self-tanners. Exposure to the sun or self-tanners can put you at risk of developing a burn during your laser session, which can cause pain, blistering, and skin discoloration.
Most laser technicians won’t treat a client with sunburn—so if you don’t want to have to reschedule your session for a later date, it’s best to use sunscreen or stay inside before your appointment.
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Avoid waxing, plucking, & electrolysis
If you’re currently using any hair removal methods that target the root of the hair such as waxing, plucking, or electrolysis, you’ll want to ditch these for the time being. During your service, it’s important for the laser to be able to reach the hair follicle.
So for four to six weeks before, stay away from any types of methods that won’t leave the roots intact and may impact the hair growth cycle.
Shaving Prior to a Laser Hair Removal Appointment
Although other hair removal methods get the boot—shaving is A-OK, in fact, it’s essential to do so 24 to 48 hours before. Because shaving doesn’t affect the root of the hair, you can still shave to keep your body smooth before your appointment.
Even though you won’t be able to see the hair beneath the skin following a shave, the laser will still be able to target it. However, make sure to stick within the time frame. Don’t shave on the day of your treatment! This can be dangerous and could cause harm to your skin.
Check your meds
Certain medications can affect the results of your laser hair removal treatment, so it’s important to do a thorough check. Be sure to talk to your doctor or laser technician about any medications you might be taking, as some types can cause the treatment to be less effective and others can make you more prone to skin blistering or burning.
A few days before your appointment, you’ll also want to forgo medications such as pain relievers, NSAIDs, and blood thinners.
For more details about the science of this service, read this post by the Mayo Clinic.
Cleanse the area
On the day of your appointment, give the treatment site a proper wash. Cleansing the skin before your session ensures a clean canvas that’s free of any lotions, fragrances, creams, deodorant, makeup, or other topical products.
Getting your first treatment can feel intimidating, especially when most people’s minds immediately jump to the question “is laser hair removal painful?” The truth is, everyone has a different pain threshold, so what feels painful to one person may only make you slightly wince.
There are also different types of laser hair removal, with some lasers causing notably more discomfort. All in all, this procedure is bearable—because so many of us wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t! So instead of fixating on what it’ll feel like during, focus on how smooth your body will feel afterward.
Laser hair removal–contraindications
- Skin diseases
- Having a tan
- Taking photosensitizing medication
Laser Hair Removal and Tattoos
Do you have a tattoo in the area you’re looking to get laser hair removal? If so, you might want to think twice since the lasers used in the procedure can also remove or scatter your ink. The device cannot distinguish what is your artwork or your hair. This is can leave you with faded or broken art pieces.
For those areas, consider one of these other hair removal options instead.
When is the best time for a laser hair removal treatment?
Both before and after the treatment, your skin shouldn’t be exposed to sunlight. That’s why the best time to start the treatment is in early spring, autumn, or winter. The sun is slightly less intense, making it easier to protect your skin against unwanted reactions.
How many sessions for laser hair removal are recommended?
Laser hair removal is a permanent treatment, but it’s necessary to repeat the entire procedure several times. Usually three to five sessions will be enough, but in most cases, a three-treatment series allows you to reduce the number of hairs by as much as 80%-92%.
How many sessions will be required in your case depends on your natural hair growth cycle. In the case of each person, individual hairs grow at different times. The laser beam used in the treatment destroys only those that are already on the body surface. Hence the necessity for a few sessions.
Laser clinics near me
Haven’t booked your service yet? With Booksy, you can locate laser clinics near you and book an appointment today, from the convenience of your mobile phone or computer.