Dreaming of ditching the razor, cancelling all waxing appointments, or leaving those depilatory creams on the store shelf once and for all?
Taking the dive into a smoother, hair-free world is definitely an exciting choice. But before going all in, it’s necessary to know everything you can do to maximize the success of each intense pulsed light (IPL) or laser hair removal treatment plan. Make sure you avoid these five common mistakes in order ensure your best results—and to really achieve the hair removal goals of your dreams.
If you’ve made any tanning appointments, skip them! While a regular appointment to maintain glowing, tanned skin may seem like a necessity, it can be a problem for your hair removal results. Darker skin pigments, as well as topical creams and sprays, can impact the outcome of many hair removal treatments. The reason: many of these devices target the pigment in skin and hair. The greater the contrast between skin and hair pigments (i.e., lighter skin and darker hair), the better the results.
However, there are many laser hair removal treatments that may be better equipped to treat darker skin tones, though discoloration may still be a risk. The best course of action is to put tanning on hold or book appointments for colder seasons, when beach days aren’t on the agenda. As for those with naturally darker skin tones, consult a certified treatment professional—they will be able to assess the best laser hair removal treatment options for you.
While it might be OK (though potentially a little embarrassing) to miss a waxing appointment, the risk of missing a hair removal treatment appointment runs higher. Hair grows in three stages: the anagen (growth) stage, the catagen (transitional) stage, and the telogen (resting) stage. Certified professionals appropriately space out treatment sessions to target hair follicles in the growth (anagen) stage—but not all hair follicles will be in the same stage at the same time.
For this reason, skipping an appointment could lead to increased hair regrowth post-treatment plan due to missed hair follicles or a longer treatment period. For best success, treat each appointment as a priority, and know that it’s only for now. Once the treatment plan is done, the odd maintenance appointment is all there is to worry about.
Are you a wax type of girl, through and through? Unfortunately, you’ll need to pick up a razor between appointments. We know, it’s not ideal, but shaving regrowth in the treatment area between appointments is the top method for best results for both IPL and laser hair removal treatments. Waxing, plucking, or depilatory creams can damage the hair root or remove it altogether, meaning there is nothing left for the device to target.
Cut out these hair removal methods for at least three weeks prior to the first IPL or laser hair removal appointment, have some razors on hand to treat hair regrowth in between, and take comfort in knowing that, while shaving may not be the favorite option, it’s only temporary.
Applying the usual lotions, sunscreens, perfumes, and more to the treatment area on the day of an appointment is a major mistake. Chemicals and natural ingredients have the potential to react with the laser or IPL device, increasing the risk for discoloration or preventing the device from properly targeting the hair follicle. As well, skin care serums and creams containing certain ingredients, like Retin-A or Vitamin C, may react negatively. Likewise, certain medications can increase photosensitivity, again increasing the risk for discoloration.
Bring a list of medications, skin care, and topical products to the consultation appointment to get the treatment provider’s best advice on what may need to be avoided during the treatment plan and ensure the treatment area is clean before each appointment.
We know how hot sales or convenient locations can be enticing, but the person running the device has a big impact on the results, which far outweighs any savings on cost or commute time. Always find an experienced and certified treatment professional who can ensure a successful hair removal treatment plan. Ask plenty of questions during the consultation appointment, including how often the provider performs that particular treatment, the device being used, and why they think it is the best option. Finally, ensure a test patch is completed and a sensible treatment plan is outlined.
Always go with a professional who is able to offer plenty of answers, takes the time to explain the device and process, and has experience performing the treatment, ideally on a daily basis.
To locate an experienced and certified IPL or laser hair removal treatment provider near you, enter your details in the search field below.
Find a certified treatment provider near you.
Search below to find a certified treatment provider in your area.