Let’s be honest about our body hair hygiene habits. Does anyone enjoy tweezing or waxing? Even shaving isn’t a walk in the park with the risk of razor burn, skin irritation, and ingrown hairs. But if you want to enjoy hairless skin, then what options are left to you? At Premiere Center for Health and Wellness in Cinncinati, OH we know that laser hair removal is a treatment that can simplify your life and make it easier to enjoy the way you look.
How Should You Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
Since this treatment utilizes laser energy to reduce body hair growth, there are actually a few things you will need to do to prepare for your treatment. Most of these preparation recommendations are made to ensure that your treatment is successful and that your skin is protected during the treatment. The tips to keep in mind for your laser treatment preparation include:
Tip 1: Don’t Tweeze or Wax
Both tweezing and waxing are hair removal techniques that involve ripping hair out at the root, which has the advantage of preventing hair growth for a bit longer than shaving. The downside, of course, is that improper tweezing and waxing techniques can injure your skin, create ingrown hairs, and prevent you from using laser treatments for hair removal.
Because this hair removal treatment works by using the shaft of the hair to transmit heat to the root of the hair follicle, ripping hair from the root will make this treatment unsuccessful. Your hair can be short, but it must be intact for this treatment to work correctly. You should stop tweeting and waxing at least four to six weeks before your appointment.
Tip 2: Remember to Shave
About 24 to 48 hours before your treatment, you must shave any intended treatment areas. Again, this tip has to do with the efficacy of the treatment. Body hair that is too long will not conduct the right amount of heat to the root of the hair follicle, which will make the treatment ineffective. Shaving a day or two before your treatment appointment will allow enough hair to be detected by the laser technology and also enough hair to conduct the heat of the treatment.
Tip 3: Avoid Direct Sunlight
This tip is all about your skin. Laser treatments expose your skin to light and thermal energy that run a small chance of triggering the melanin in your skin and darkening your skin tone. If you want to avoid pigmentation issues, it’s best if you avoid direct sunlight before your treatment so that your skin isn’t exposed to any unnecessary light that may make it easier to darken the skin during treatment. You should wear SPF 40 or higher for at least two weeks before your treatment.
Tip 4: Double-Check Your Medications
While most medications don’t pose any interactions with laser treatments, it’s still important to be upfront about your current medications when you schedule a laser treatment. Medications such as birth control, antibiotics, acne medications, and others can make your skin more sensitive to light exposure or even make laser treatments less effective.
While you don’t have to stop taking these medications, your laser treatment specialist should be aware of your medications so they can customize your treatment accordingly.
Tip 5: Stop Using Certain Products
Similar to the previous point, you may also want to stop using certain skincare products for a week or so before your appointment. Some products, like retinoids, encourage more rapid cellular turnover that can make your skin more vulnerable to pigmentation concerns when exposed to laser energy. You may also want to stop using any acids or treatments that can potentially cause irritation or skin purging, especially if you have sensitive skin.
Tip 6: Be Bare-Skinned for Treatment
You need to arrive at your appointment with bare, freshly-cleansed skin. If there is a barrier between your skin and the laser treatment, then the treatment will not work as effectively. This means that you should not use powders, body oils, lotions, body butter, make-up, or other products immediately before your appointment. You should also avoid wearing perfume.
What Should You Do After Laser Hair Removal?
If there are that many tips to follow before your appointment, then what about after? Savvy patients will know that every aesthetic treatment comes with a series of aftercare tips that need to be followed. In the case of laser treatments for hair removal, each of these tips is suggested to keep your skin healthy and supple between appointments.
Tip 1: Keep Avoiding Sunlight
Right after being exposed to laser energy, your skin cells will be vulnerable to taking on more pigment or even sustaining damage from unprotected sunlight exposure. In fact, the UV rays in sunlight will have an easier time causing sun damage after a laser treatment unless you wear proper suncare.
For most people, using a basic SPF 40 or higher is enough; for those who have skin that burns more easily, SPF 50 or higher is best. You should continue to avoid sunlight for at least two weeks after your treatment, even if you have a medium to dark complexion.
Tip 2: Resist the Urge to Tweeze or Wax
A big part of laser treatments for hair removal is the waiting game between your appointments. Many patients are surprised to learn that they will still experience what appears to be hair growth during the three to six weeks after their appointment, but this is a normal step of the treatment and the hair isn’t truly growing. Instead, any post-treatment hair growth is really just the follicle pushing hair out of the skin so the hair can fall off.
That said, while it’s totally fine to shave between your appointments, you absolutely must not tweeze or wax. Tweezing or waxing after laser treatment can severely damage the skin and the hair follicle – it can even scar the skin.
Tip 3: Say NO to Hot Water and YES to Cool Water
For the first several days to a week after your treatment, you need to avoid all hot water. This includes long bubble baths, hot showers, hot tubs, and saunas – and can even include any activity that causes excessive sweating. Hot water will cause the skin to swell and create skin irritation since your skin will be so vulnerable after your laser treatments.
Cool water, on the other hand, is your friend. Tepid showers, swimming pools, and cold compresses on the skin will all soothe any post-treatment skin irritation and also protect your skin from any swelling or blistering from heat exposure.
Tip 4: Exfoliate the Area
Laser treatments may make your skin feel a bit dry, so if you want your treatment to work as intended, you should be sure to exfoliate the treatment area two to three times a week. Exfoliating your skin may also help remove any hair that is ready to fall out. That said, you should be sure to manually exfoliate with a washcloth, exfoliating sponge, or other exfoliating brush – you should absolutely not use any sugar scrubs or chemical exfoliants, as these can irritate the skin.
Tip 5: Stay Moisturized
It’s also essential to stay moisturized after your treatment. The best moisturizers after laser treatments for hair removal are those that are low in fragrance and high in fatty molecules, which means using products that contain cocoa or share butter. Lotion made with oats or ceramides is also very soothing to the skin. You can also use aloe vera gel a few times a day to maintain skin moisture.
Laser Hair Removal FAQs
1. How Does This Treatment Work?
This treatment works by using a handheld laser device that targets any pigment that is darker than your skin tone, which would be the stubble on any treatment area. The laser energy travels through the hair shaft and shocks the follicle to interrupt the natural hair growth cycle. Over time, you will grow less hair and grow hair more slowly.
2. Who Can Use Laser Hair Removal?
Most people can use this treatment, provided the hair they want to remove is dark in pigment. Hair that is grey, white, blonde, or red may not produce the desired results from this treatment.
3. Where Can You Use This Treatment?
This treatment can be used on virtually every area of the body, including the upper lip, chest, underarms, back, stomach, bikini area, and legs. Many people like to use this treatment to halt hair growth on multiple areas of the body at one time. A single treatment appointment can treat several areas of the body, sometimes as many as three or four.
4. How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Most people require a series of six to eight appointments to achieve their desired results. This estimated number of treatments is usually adequate to treat every hair follicle and to stop hair growth. Some people who have thicker or more dense hair may require more treatments, while those who have thin hair may require fewer.
5. What Happens if You Miss a Treatment?
If you miss a treatment appointment, then you essentially put yourself back at square one in the hair growth department. Missing an appointment means that your hair follicles will have a chance to resume normal function, so if you want your treatment to be effective more quickly, then you need to attend all scheduled appointments. This is also true for any maintenance appointments you may have.
6. How Soon Can You See Results?
You will start to see results within several weeks of your first appointment as your hair begins to fall out. The final results of your treatment will happen about a month after your final treatment appointment, which is when you will notice a full stop of hair growth or a significant reduction in how much hair is growing.
7. Who Are Good Candidates?
Good candidates include any woman or man who has one or more areas of the body where they would like to reduce hair growth. This treatment is usually compatible with most people regardless of age or skin tone. The best candidates have dark body hair.
Enjoy Easy Body Hair Maintenance With Laser Hair Removal
If you loathe tweezing, waxing, and constant shaving, then laser hair removal may be the best treatment for your aesthetic goals. From hormone health for women and men to simplifying your body hair hygiene, contact Premiere Center for Health and Wellness in Cinncinati, OH to schedule your first appointment today. We look forward to helping you achieve all of your health and aesthetic goals.