While laser hair removal never ranks at the top of someone’s favorite self-care treatments, the procedure can make an enormous difference over the long term.
Sure, we’d all rather receive a deep tissue massage or enjoy the dewy glow that comes from a post-facial, but laser hair removal can offer a different kind of benefit that still leaves you looking and feeling your best.
Not only can you slash shower times no longer needing to shave, you also get to say “goodbye” to waxing appointments as you lift your arms in the air with confidence.
For those who enjoy a more natural and ungroomed look, we say that’s great. But for those who want to say goodbye to unwanted hair and the razor burn, nicks, and ingrown hairs that commonly follow shaving, here’s what you need to know about receiving laser hair removal treatments.
Shave Before Your Appointment
Laser hair removal requires feeling comfortable with a technician getting very up close and personal with your private business. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll want them shaving for you in advance of your treatment.
During the removal process, a laser emits a light that the pigment in the hair absorbs. The light energy is then converted into heat, which in turn damages the follicles that produce hair.
So, laser hair removal isn’t like getting a shave from Superman. The laser light used the procedure won’t cause hair to fall out, it makes so the body doesn’t produce future hair. In order for the light to properly penetrate, it’s important that patients shave before the procedure.
While a shaving could occur in office, right before your treatment, we’ve found patients are far more comfortable when shaving in advance in the comfort of their own home.
Don’t Wax or Tweeze Between Treatments
While we do ask that patients shave before treatment, it’s important that you don’t wax or tweeze before an appointment.
Treatment works when the hair follicle absorbs the light from the laser and transforms it into heat, permanently preventing the follicle from producing more hair. For this to work, some hair must still remain.
Plucking hair out by the root or having hairs removed through waxing will removal any trace of hair from the follicle, making your laser removal treatment ineffective.
Remove All, and We Do Mean All, Makeup
In addition to not tweezing, we also ask that you come to the office fresh faced for your laser hair removal appointment.
Again, the treatment works by transforming light into heat. Makeup works as a conduit for heat, so having a high intensity light shined on skin with makeup can cause pigment discoloration and even skin to burn.
While not wearing makeup out in public may make you feel somewhat uncomfortable, it’s important to realize your safety is at stake when we ask that you don’t wear any to your appointment.
Only Receive Treatment from a Board-Certified Dermatologist
While laser hair removal technology has come a long way since first introduced in the late 90s, the procedure is still quite complicated and requires an experienced hand to safely complete.
This may come as a surprise considering that you can commonly find the procedure offered at salons and spas, but experience matters. Our team of dermatologists have seen changes to skin pigmentation and burns that occurred as the results of inexperienced technicians performing laser hair removal.
Not only will going to see a dermatologist help to lower any risk of injury, you’re also far more likely to enjoy better results.
Truth Time: This is Going to Hurt (Just a Bit)
Things get fairly hot during a laser hair removal session. Most patients report feeling a hot, sharp zap, similar to snapping a rubber band against your arm.
Fortunately, it doesn’t feel like that everywhere. Mostly, just in area where the hair is dense and thick, such as the lower legs, underarm, and Brazilian.
That being said, upper lip treatments can also cause some noticeable discomfort. (Sorry, we’ll be quick.)
Check back later this month as month as we continue our look at what you can expect during laser treatment.