Are you getting excited about the summer? Perhaps you should consider a laser hair removal treatment to make your summer less hectic. Think about it – no more running around to wax appointments every week – you’ll have so much time on your hands. Unlike other skin treatments, hair removal needs preparation before the treatment, and it doesn’t stop there. There are things you still have to do after the treatment.
Before we go into the details, let’s first discuss how laser hair removal works. Laser hair reduction provides long-lasting benefits and effective hair removal without feeling like you need to buy additional skin care supplies. How does laser hair removal work? Lasers produce wavelengths, targeting the pigment in the root of your hair follicles. By absorbing the light, they destroy the hair follicles without damaging the skin’s surface. And because each hair strand has its growth cycle, multiple laser treatment sessions are necessary to obtain the desired results.
Expectations in getting a laser hair removal treatment
- Laser is less effective on blonde, gray, or red hair, so you must consult a professional before getting the treatment.
- You may experience slight discomfort during the treatment, and that’s normal.
- You may also experience bumps, slight redness, or swelling in the treated area for 48 to 72 hours. Apply necessary topical creams on the affected areas to alleviate discomfort.
- It may take up to 2 weeks after the treatment for hair to shed or fall out from the skin.
- You may need to customize your treatment based on your needs to achieve the best results.
Things to do before the laser hair removal treatment
Laser hair removal treatment requires up to six months of preparation. If you want to achieve the best experience, make sure to follow these tips.
- Six months before the treatment
- Stop using Accutane for six months before the treatment.
- Stay away from natural fillers 4 to 6 weeks before the session. Professionals will reject treatment in the area receiving synthetic fillers.
- Three weeks before the treatment
- Stop plucking, tweezing, chemical epilation, threading, and waxing. Avoid microneedling, too, as it may disrupt the hair follicle, which is the target for the laser.
- Two weeks before the treatment
- Avoid Botox, Kybella, and Dysport injections in the treatment area.
- Do not use sunless tanning products and tanning beds for safety purposes.
- Stop bleaching. Also, avoid chemical peels and other laser treatments in the targeted area.
- One week before the treatment
- As your session draws closer, avoid sun exposure for more than 30 minutes, even if you have sunscreen on. UV rays cause melanocyte activation in the skin, which will lead to competing targets for the laser. In the end, you may not get your desired outcome.
- If you take any medications, you must disclose this to your laser expert. Some medications can increase sensitivity to laser treatments, so you may need to reschedule the session.
- Discontinue using Alpha and beta hydroxy products, retinol/retinoids, hydroquinone, and salicylic acid washes seven days before the treatment.
- One day before the treatment
- Make sure to clean-shave the treatment area at least 12 to 24 hours before the treatment. Failure to shave will result in rescheduling the session.
- Hours before the treatment
- Clean your skin and avoid using makeup. Do not use lotions, deodorants, oil, tanning products, or other skin products. These products can increase the risks of adverse effects to the laser.
- Stay away from activities that can cause your body temperature to increase at least two hours before the treatment.
Things you must do after the laser hair removal treatment
- Hours after the treatment
- Apply restorative gel daily after the treatment to soothe the skin.
- You may also apply a zinc oxide sunscreen and use it daily after the treatment.
- Do not use tight clothing, boots, and heated seats to prevent complications. Your body needs ample time to cool down after the treatment.
- Stay away from activities that can increase your body temperature at least two hours after the treatment.
- You may apply makeup and deodorant as long as your skin is not irritable.
- You may notice mild redness and swelling, which is normal and should lessen over time. Do not scratch your skin.
- Avoid unprotected sun exposure for two days, as it can negatively affect the results. It may even cause hyperpigmentation.
- One day after the treatment
- If you still experience swelling, redness, or itching, use cortisone cream and an oral antihistamine. You may apply restorative gel and use cool clothes. Avoid using ice.
- If you experience broken skin, apply an antibiotic ointment to the affected area. Never puncture your blisters.
- One week after the treatment
- You no longer have to avoid sun exposure, given that you continue your daily zinc oxide sunscreen use. Although, it may be best to wait until the second week to resume sun exposure.
- Exfoliate the treatment areas at least twice or thrice a week. Doing this encourages the shedding of treated hair and reduces the risk of ingrown hair.
- Two weeks after the treatment
- You may continue to experience shedding of treated hair. Do not mistake this for new hair growth.
- You may now resume using chemical peels and other laser procedures in the treatment area.
- You may also resume artificial tanning, although it is not the best idea.
- Four weeks after the treatment
- You will notice new hair growth for about four to six weeks after the treatment (for the upper body) and two to three months (for the lower body). Hair regrowth rates vary in different areas of the body.
- Carefully observe when your hair grows again to optimize your treatments.
Unwanted hair in different parts of your body is a top source of cosmetic anguish, especially in the United States. If you’re tired of having to shave them to smoothen your skin temporarily, it may be time to opt for a laser hair removal treatment. A few sessions will eliminate or soften your body hair to the point that it becomes invisible. You no longer need to worry about wearing certain outfits. You can finally enjoy a day at the pool or beach.