How to Prepare For Your Laser Hair Removal Treatment
You ditched the painful waxing. What you want is permanent hair removal. It may seem like a huge decision, however, you will not regret it. So how do you need to prepare then? Laser hair removal is actually quite straightforward. As well as quick and painless. Of course, each laser session is different. It can take as little as ten minutes, or up to an hour, it all depends on the area you are having lasered.
Here's advice from our Certified Laser Technician:
1) Stay out of the sun or tanning beds Sunlight and laser hair removal aren't really good friends. Yes, you can still enjoy the outdoors. What matters is that you reduce direct exposer to sunlight, especially during the weeks prior and after your laser session. You should also avoid tanning beds, lotions and airbrush tan. Why? Reason number 1. Artificial tanning puts the skin into an excited state. This can interfere with the treatment. The laser is set by the technician to skin color and 'tanned' skin can alter the laser. Reason number 2. Long exposure to direct sunlight without adequate protection can lead to sun damage. The skin is more vulnerable to the treatment. Sun damage before or after a session can lead to pigmentation change amongst others. That is why we advice patients to start laser hair removal in the fall. That way, they are done with their treatment before summer starts!
Sun protection is important all year long, so it's strongly suggested you apply a physical sunblock with a strong SPF. Especially if you treat your face, which is more often exposed to UV rays.
2) Shave before your appointment You must shave before your treatment because unshaven hair will reduce the procedure's efficiency. It's recommended to shave the night before your appointment with a clean and sharp blade.
Why do you actually need to shave? Because the laser does not target the hair itself. Its goal is to damage the hair follicle. The hair is just a conduit for the light energy to reach its destination. However, if the hair is long, some energy may get lost along the way, resulting in the laser being able to do its job.
3) Do not wax, pluck, tweeze or sugar 2 weeks prior to your treatment! A laser hair removal treatment needs one main thing to work. Unwanted body hair connected to the hair follicle. The problem with waxing and similar hair removal methods is that they remove the root along with the hair. Thus, there is no hair left to target. Shaving is different, it only cuts the hair at the surface of the skin. That conduit to the follicle is still there. If you wax or tweeze before your laser hair removal session, you interfere with the efficiency of the treatment. Especially because growing a new hair will take up to six weeks.
Laser hair removal is a safe FDA approved hair removal option. However, it still bombards the skin with beams of light. After a laser session, the skin can be quite sensitive. It is also more vulnerable to exterior elements. As a result, it is safer to avoid using makeup, chemicals or fragrances on the treated areas. Your skin should also be free of lotions and creams.
4) Plan ahead for your session Laser hair removal sessions can be very quick. Small areas may only take up to ten minutes. A larger area will need up to forty-five minutes. Many clients book a session over their lunch break. Large areas or multi-area packages take longer. Thus, you may have to plan your session ahead. Only then can you find a slot that work for you.
You'll want to keep your treatments on track, so at Ideally You, we recommend looking at your calendar and scheduling your treatments in advance.
5) Sun-Sensative Medications Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure. It is a safe treatment, but some medications can cause issues with laser hair removal.
Look to see if any meds you are taking are not sun-sensative. Ask or chat with the Certified Laser Technician when making your first appointment about any questionable medications.
Hormonal treatments such as the contraceptive pill or hormone therapy may interfere with the treatment, or may take more treatments because hair growth is triggered by hormones.