Laser hair removal treatment eliminates unwanted hair growth all over the body. This includes the arms, legs, face, underarms, and pubic region.
This hair removal treatment focuses on the pigment found in hair, which, upon absorbing the laser’s energy, is severely damaged by the heat produced by the laser.
Epilation, waxing, plucking and shaving all become unnecessary after completing laser hair removal treatment. That said, there are some caveats to its effectiveness. For example, if you have dark skin, laser hair removal may cause hyperpigmentation and burns.
It’s also important to know that laser hair removal is a lengthy process. More than one session will likely be needed to halt unwanted hair growth for months or years at a time.
Before setting an appointment, you must learn the five things to do before and after your first laser hair removal treatment session:
Say No To Waxing and Tweezing
Hair in the target area should not be plucked or waxed at least six weeks prior to laser treatment. This is because the laser strikes at the hair shaft on the roots. If the hairs were recently plucked or waxed, the laser treatment would not be effective.
Stray hairs may emerge between sessions, and you must continue to avoid all other removal methods for as long as you are scheduled for laser treatments. Interfering with the roots of the hair in any way will cancel out the work of previous sessions.
Shave The Area Before Laser Treatment
Shave the treatment area 12 to 24 hours before your first laser treatment session. This will prevent thermal damage to the skin’s surface since no hair will be present to absorb the laser’s energy.
This will allow the laser to reach the hair follicle and damage it thoroughly.
Don’t Use Cosmetics And Creams
Cosmetics and other products applied to the skin can increase the risk of allergic reactions during laser hair removal treatment.
Avoid using products containing harsh chemicals on the day of treatment and for several days afterwards.
After the session, you can apply a thin layer of aloe vera ointment to the target area to retain moisture.
Prepare For The Session
Laser hair removal can be completed quickly, without discomfort, and with very little risk. However, there are some things to do to prepare for each appointment:
- Determine which part of the body will be treated
- Have the area cleaned and sanitized
- Dress comfortably
- Inform the aesthetician about allergies or sensitivities that must be addressed before the treatment
Stay Away From Medication
After a laser hair removal session, you should not take light-sensitive or photosensitive drugs. Photosensitive drugs are medications that, when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, may lead to damage to the dermis of the skin.
Some examples of drugs that must be avoided before and after the laser hair removal treatment are:
Most creams that treat acne can hurt the skin if worn out in the sun. Throughout your laser recovery period, do not use products that contain Retin-A, especially if the target area is on your face.
Antidepressants contain photosensitive chemicals. Zoloft, Prozac, Adapin, Vivactil, and Paxil have contraindications to the technology used for laser treatment. This is why you must tell your technician about your medications.
Antihistamines also contain photosensitive chemicals and should not be taken before or after the procedure. Benadryl, Claritin, and Periactin are some of the antihistamine medications you must avoid.
Paracetamol can be used after the treatment, and only if there is severe discomfort or stinging on the target area.
Laser Hair Removal vs. Other Methods
According to New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. (2017), “Tweezing may cause some inflammation in the hair follicle, but it’s not considered permanent hair removal,” he explains. It can traumatize or scar the skin, causing irreversible damage, so be careful.
Thus, among waxing, plucking, threading, hair creams, and shaving, laser hair removal treatment is undoubtedly the best option for removing unwanted hair. And if the patient follows the pre-treatment recommendations, the recovery period after laser removal is relatively short.
The Bottom Line
Laser hair removal is one of the most effective ways to reduce or eliminate unwanted body or facial hair. It’s also one of the most popular beauty treatments, with over 4 million people undergoing it each year.
If you’re planning on going in for laser hair removal, follow these five tips before and after your treatment to ensure it turns out well. Consult with your technician before your first session to know as much as possible about the procedure, how to prepare for it, and note all the things you need to do for aftercare.
Follow professional advice to the letter, and soon you’ll be rid of all unwanted hair forever!