Tired of shaving or waxing? Then you need laser hair removal. It’s the only way to achieve permanent hair reduction in just a few treatments. Best of all, laser hair removal is noninvasive and quick, and it leaves your skin softer and smoother. Here you’ll get the low-down. You’ll learn how laser hair removal works, how to prepare for your first treatment, and what a session’s like.
Laser Hair Removal Science
As technical as laser hair removal seems, the science behind it is simple. Laser light pulses selectively destroy hair follicles by targeting the pigment (melanin) in them. The pigment absorbs the pulse and the follicle becomes damaged enough to slow hair regrowth. Because the lasers target melanin, coarse, dark hair and light skin combinations tend to respond best to treatment.
Yet clients with other hair–skin combos can still get desirable results. A Nd:YAG laser has a longer wavelength and better pigment selectivity than other lasers used for hair removal. Thus it can penetrate hair follicles with greater precision, leaving the surrounding skin tissue undamaged.
Laser Hair Removal Session Prep
If you’re interested in laser hair removal, make sure to choose a board-certified doctor who specializes in dermatology or cosmetic surgery and has experience with laser hair removal. If a physician’s assistant or licensed nurse will be doing the procedure, make sure a doctor supervises and is available onsite during the treatments. Treat with caution spas, salons, or other facilities that allow non-medical personnel to do laser hair removal.
Before you make a laser hair removal appointment, schedule a consultation with the doctor. She’ll review your medical history, discuss risks and benefits, and take photos for before-and-after assessments. You’ll also want to do the following prior to your first session:
- Stay out of the sun
A tan increases the risk of skin lightening and other side effects. If you have a tan, either from sun exposure or sunless tanning products, wait until the tan fades completely before scheduling your first laser hair removal session. Six weeks of sun avoidance is what may doctors recommend.
- Avoid plucking, waxing, and electrolysis
These hair removal methods can disturb the hair follicle and interfere with laser hair removal. Shaving is okay, however, because it preserves the hair shaft and follicle.
Some doctors may ask that on the day before your treatment, you shave with a clean, new razor. By shaving, the lasers will be able to reach the follicles. Using a clean, new razor ensures that no bacteria that could cause contact dermatitis lingers after your laser treatment.
- Check your skincare regimen
If you are using certain anti-aging products on your skin, your hair removal specialist might ask you to stop for a few days before and after your appointment. Some ingredients that might cause irritation include alphahydroxy acid, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and others. If you are advised to stop using these products, be sure to do so!
- Cleanse your skin
On the day of your laser hair removal session, make sure to cleanse the skin at the treatment site and leave it free of cosmetics, lotions, and creams. If you’ve applied deodorant, it will be removed prior to treatment.
- Wear appropriate clothing
Be sure to wear clothing that will leave the treated area exposed or is loose fitting. The treated area may have a soothing topical cream applied that you don’t want to get on clothing. Tight or abrasive clothing will feel uncomfortable if your skin is sensitive after treatment.
The Laser Hair Removal Session Experience
The length of a laser hair removal procedure depends on the size of the area treated. A session can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Before the actual laser hair removal session, you’ll be given protective eye gear and an elective topical anesthetic. Once the session begins, you’ll feel a stinging sensation, indicating that the laser has been activated. The actual session involves a series of laser pulses that results in a prickling and burning sensation. But don’t worry. The pain isn’t too bad. In fact, it’s similar to that of a rubber band snap against your skin.
After the laser hair removal session is over, you may experience temporary swelling and redness. Most clients can resume their normal activities. It’s important, however, that you avoid direct sun exposure. You should also wear sunblock with a high SPF for several weeks afterward.
FOR ALL YOUR LASER HAIR REMOVAL NEEDS
LaserAway is proud to offer the most medspa service options of any national skincare provider. We hire only the most highly trained staff experienced and certified in administering laser and other dermatological procedures. What’s more, we use only innovative techniques and cutting-edge laser technology. We aim to make your medical spa experience comfortable, enjoyable and satisfying. Want to learn more about laser hair removal? Then schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today by emailing LaserAway.com or calling the staff at LaserAway at (888) 965-2737. LaserAway looks forward to making sure you never have to shave or wax again.