Are you looking to finally ditch the razors, messy creams, and painful plucking and waxing? Consider laser hair removal! But before you take the first step toward a fuzz-free life, here are 6 things you should know before you start.
Tanning right before your laser hair removal treatments can lead to less effective results and potential skin discoloration. Put a pause on your glow well before your first session. This includes tanning sprays, creams, and beds. You’ll want to follow the same advice following each treatment to minimize risk of irritation.
Laser hair removal works by delivering energy to the hair follicle under the skin’s surface. The hair’s pigment absorbs this energy, destroying the follicle and preventing future growth. To ensure the process works, the hair follicle needs to be intact. That’s why it’s always a good idea to lay off waxing, tweezing, and hair removal creams six weeks before your first treatment to ensure hair follicles are unaffected. However, shaving one to two days prior to your appointments is no problem, because it doesn’t affect the underlying follicle. Plus, it will prevent excess pain.
While some devices offer cooling technology for minimal discomfort, others can feel like the snap of several elastics. Be sure to do your research to find a treatment that will be most comfortable. If you’re having sensitive areas treated like the bikini zone or underarms, ask your treatment provider about using a numbing cream to make it more comfortable.
Not all laser hair removal devices are effective on all skin tones and hair colors. If you have pale skin and dark, coarse hair, you don’t have much to worry about here. However, if you have a darker complexion, you’ll want to seek treatment from a provider who uses a diode laser treatment device that’s safe for all skin tones.
Avoid perfumed products, including deodorants if you’re having your underarms treated. Avoid topical creams and acne treatments on facial areas treated by laser hair removal. Nurture your skin with soothing moisturizers and calming creams following sessions. Apply sunscreens or lotions with an SPF of 30 or higher (this is always a good practice, laser hair removal or not) to prevent sun damage. Finally, avoid hot showers, saunas, and hot tubs for at least 24 hours after your last treatment.
It takes more than one laser hair removal treatment to see results. Your hair grows in a cycle of three stages: anagen (growth), catagen (transitional), and telogen (resting). Laser hair removal is most effective on follicles that are in the anagen (growth) phase. This is why multiple treatments will be required, spaced four to six weeks apart, for permanent hair reduction.
It’s also important to stick to your treatment schedule for best results. Of course, everyone is different. Your treatment plan will depend on the area being targeted, your skin tone, and the color and coarseness of your hair. The best way to get a sense of how laser hair removal will work for you is to book a consultation with a certified treatment provider, who will be able to put together a customized treatment plan for you.
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