Are you in search of a more permanent solution for unwanted body hair, just in time for the warm season?
The summer is fast approaching, and smooth, hairless skin can be as effortless as a lazy beach day with laser hair removal.
However, there are quite a few important things to consider if you are interested in this procedure.
Firstly, you should understand how laser hair removal works, as this can impact the areas of your body this is an option.
Essentially, using a special tool, the pigment in each hair’s root is targeted. The follicle absorbs the light and is destroyed without hurting the skin.
Read on to learn the top laser hair removal tips to get the best results if you are considering this great long-term option for pesky body hair.
The Top Nine Laser Hair Removal Tips
The are many misconceptions that people have about laser hair removal, with the first being that it can be done to any hair.
Importantly, hair must be pigmented in order for the tool to work, and therefore light-colored areas are not an option.
Here is what you need to know before undergoing this procedure, what other misconceptions to avoid, and basic laser hair removal tips.
1. Avoid Plucking and Waxing
The very first thing you should do after deciding laser hair treatment is the best option for you, is to stop waxing and shaving the areas you’d like done.
At least four to six weeks before your first session is important, you need to completely cease these methods of hair removal and stick to shaving for those last few weeks.
This is because plucking and waxing can remove more than the hair itself by also taking out the root. Because the root is ultimately what is targeted in laser hair removal, it is vital to leave this be, so that the laser can target it and destroy it properly.
2. Nix Sun and UV Exposure
The two weeks leading up to your appointment, you should avoid sun exposure at all costs.
Any discoloration on the skin can lead to issues with the procedure, and sunburn can lead to extreme pain and discomfort during the laser hair removal treatment.
This also means tanning beds and self-tanners need to be avoided because they can also lead to discoloration that will affect the effectiveness of the procedure.
So, be sure to lather up on sunscreen daily the weeks leading up to your treatment, as this may result in unnecessary trouble.
3. Shave the Region
Roughly 12 to 24 hours before your appointment, shave the area you are getting done. While this may seem counterintuitive, it comes highly recommended from professionals.
This is because the hair is still visible under the skin surface, and it can make the procedure easier for the practitioner. It can also decrease the chances of a burn, as sometimes long hair can get burned in the process.
Most laser hair removal clinics will provide shaving before your session at a fee, but the skin will be less irritated if it’s done a few hours before.
4. Get a Test Patch Done
Always request a test patch be done prior to your first appointment. This can help determine how your skin will respond overall to laser hair removal, and if you are a good candidate for it.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always for everyone. Certain skin types and hair types will simply not tolerate the procedure.
A test patch before going any further will help you and your physician figure out if it is a feasible option for you.
5. Cross-Check Medications
During your consultation with your laser hair professional, be sure to disclose any and all medications you are on, oral and topical.
This is because certain medications can make you more sensitive to light, putting you at a higher risk for complications from the treatment.
Other medications such as acne medication, birth control, and antibiotics can potentially make you more likely to burn or blister, which is why it’s vital to let them know ahead of time.
Taking a medication that puts you at a higher risk for problems will not immediately disqualify you from this hair removal solution, but it will allow the professional to make necessary adjustments to the device and your treatment plan.
6. Budget Appropriately
Before preparing for this treatment, be sure it is within your budget. Each session costs an average of $50 to $500, depending on the area of the body.
Considering most people need between four and six sessions, the cost of laser hair removal can fall outside of some people’s budget.
Luckily, the sessions do need to be spread out of the course of four to six weeks because of the hair regrowth cycle, so you would be able to spread out the payments easily enough.
That said, if laser hair removal is something you are considering, start stashing away some savings for it so you can complete the treatment.
7. Do Not Use Bleach
Again, because the tool will target pigment within the hair follicle, bleaching the hair at all will render the treatment ineffective.
Ultimately, regardless of how you currently deal with body hair, you will have to switch over to shaving for the course of laser hair removal treatment for the best results.
8. Be Ready for Some Irritation
While there shouldn’t be any permanent damage to your skin, there may be a slight amount of irritation that comes with this procedure.
Therefore, a tiny bit of redness and irritation is to be expecting, and it should clear up within a few days after the session.
As well, there may be some mild swelling around the follicles, and this is to be expected. It should stop within a few hours, but if it’s a considerable nuisance, use a hot or cold compress.
9. Go Product-Free
The day of your sessions, you should avoid using any creams, ointments, lotions, makeup, or deodorant.
This is because certain ingredients can impact the effectiveness of the procedure, and unless otherwise approved by your practitioner, you should plan to avoid them and simply show up with clean skin.