Laser hair removal of any kind requires before and after care on the part of the patient undergoing the procedure. If you’re not ready to do your ‘homework’ in this department, don’t expect amazing results!
Below are some of the crucial steps you’ll need to take if you are serious about removing hair on your body or face:
Do not wax, tweeze or otherwise pull out your hairs from the root
Pulling hairs out will destroy the follicles. Follicles need to be present in order for the laser to do its job.
If you’re a regular waxer or tweezer, ensure you have waited about two months since your last ‘hair pulling’ before starting treatments. This is to bring your hairs back to their natural growth cycle.
You can shave, however. In fact, your hair will need to be shaven (trimmed down), right before treatments. This will not only avoid the smell of burning hair during your sessions, it will also create a shorter path for the light energy to reach down into your hair root. That’s where it can heat up the follicle, to destroy it.
A quality laser hair removal provider should give you adequate instructions on hair maintenance steps, before you begin treatments.
Practice sun protection, and wear sunscreen!
All laser treatments will make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. The sun causes melanocyte activity in your dermal layers, which is what causes hyperpigmentation. This is basically what tanning is.
But, imagine if your tan became a permanent brown spot! You don’t want that. Laser treatments can make that more likely.
On the flip side, if you are tanned, and then go in for laser hair removal, your skin will have more pigment in it. This will make it harder for the laser light to direct its energy to your hair alone. If it sees colour in the skin surrounding your hair follicles, it will target that area too. That can also create a higher likelihood of those ‘burn marks’ we mentioned above.
So please, stay out of the sun before and after undergoing laser hair hair removal. If you have to be outdoors, wear high-SPF, broad spectrum sunscreen, along with protective clothing.
This sunscreen rule also applies to cloudy days, and when you are indoors, receiving beams of daylight through windows. If you care at all about anti-aging and having a clear complexion, sunscreen will be important, regardless of whether you’re opting for laser treatments.
We sell quality sunscreens in our online store, here. They are also available in-person, at our clinic.
Don’t pull out your hairs after laser hair removal sessions
Laser hair removal works by destroying hairs that are in their growth phase. When they are being ‘zapped,’ the many hairs in your body will, naturally, be at different stages of their life cycle. So after treatment, you’ll slowly see hairs regrow. Some will fall out on their own, and others won’t.
It’s important to not pull out the hairs that have undergone treatment. You want them to be destroyed by the laser – not by you!
If you do pull them out, you can lengthen the time it takes for your laser hair removal to work.
This can be treacherous to hold back from doing in an area like your face; it’s visible every time you look in the mirror! We get it. But trust us on this: patience is truly a virtue in this case!
Again, you can shave, but preferably only after a few days, to give your skin time to heal after being lasered.
Stay on schedule with your laser hair removal appointments
Don’t miss a beat! As mentioned above your hair grows in cycles. The cycle lengths may be different on different parts of your body.
The key to the success of laser hair removal will be to ‘zap’ those hairs when they are in the growth phase. If you wait too long, you can miss that window of opportunity. This can set back your progress.
So, follow the instructions of your laser technician. They should recommend a specific interval between treatments. Show up for scheduled appointments.
Follow good aftercare instructions
Laser hair removal will require some good, diligent aftercare to prevent skin irritation.
The sensation of a laser pulse is usually hot. While you may be iced or cooled during the session, the feeling of being slightly burned can remain afterwards. It’s not too bad though; it usually subsides in a few hours. On some people, it can last a few days.
To keep this healing time as short as possible, you’ll be advised to use skin calming, topical solutions on the area that was lasered. These can be as simple as fragrance-free aloe vera from the drug store. Or, you may be advised to use other creams, which a doctor can advise on.
Laser hair removal works best when you do your part
While no laser hair removal method can be guaranteed to work the same way on everyone, the technology has been around long enough for us to know what generally works. Professionals in the industry are all too familiar with issues like redness and acne after skin is lasered. While we can’t always prevent irritation from happening, we know they often heal on their own. Or, they can be prevented with the right care taken before and after treatments.
If you do your part, you can reduce the likelihood of side effects post laser hair removal.