Throughout history, people have used many tools and methods to remove body hair – all of which have been temporary. The hair just grows back, you remove it again, and it grows back. It’s an endless cycle.
Laser hair removal, however, offers promising results compared to other hair removal methods. A permanently smooth body.
This idea of a seamless way to get a hairless body for good sounds incredible to many people, but fantastic results like these require at least some effort. There are some crucial preparations you have to make before getting the laser treatment to guarantee the best results possible.
If you’re fed up with traditional hair removal methods, such as shaving, waxing and plucking, then you might want to try laser hair removal. It’s the only thing humans discovered that removes body hair almost permanently. Keep on reading if you want to find out what to do before you get the smooth, hairless body you’ve always dreamt of!
1. Prepare Yourself Mentally
Before you start your laser hair removal journey, you should know that it’s not completely painless. For most people, it doesn’t hurt much, but if you’re overly sensitive to pain, sorry to tell you, but it won’t be very pleasant.
Don’t start your laser hair removal procedure unless you feel mentally ready to get almost permanent hair removal. If you don’t, give yourself some time to think about it!
If you’ve heard great stories from your friends about laser hair removal, don’t expect to have the same experience they had. Laser results vary depending on several factors, such as your skin and hair colors (darker hair and lighter skin are typically the best combination).
Also, when it comes to laser treatment, being patient will always pay off. And never ditch an appointment!
Consistency is key to get a great final result. The reason behind that is that each of your hair follicles is at a different stage of its growth, so it’s important that the laser affects them all.
Lucy Dawe, a Senior Consultant at Pulse Light Clinic, says: “The laser will target the hair that is in its active growth stage. Clients may find hair to appear finer and less noticeable after one treatment but a course of treatments is essential to see optimal results.”
2. Flood Your Specialist With Questions!
Don’t feel shy to ask as many questions as you want to make sure you know what to expect from the procedure and that it meets your expectations. Here are some questions you might want to ask your hair removal specialist before starting:
- Will the procedure be done by a board-certified dermatologist?
- How many times has the doctor performed this treatment on people with the same skin color as me?
- How many laser hair removal sessions will I need?
- What type of laser will be used on my skin? IPL or real laser?
- Will it work on dark skin types? Or lighter skin types?
- What results should I expect?
- What should I do before starting my laser treatment?
- What is the cost of the treatment?
- Are there any potential side effects? And if yes, what are they?
- Could you show me some before-and-after pictures of previous patients? Or could I personally speak to them?
3. Tone Down the Tan with Hair Removal
As laser hair removal can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight—which puts your skin at the risk of laser burning and makes it more difficult to get the desired results—it’s critical for you to avoid exposing yourself to the sun and sunbeds before, and during your laser sessions.
No cheating! Any tanning products should be banned a week prior to your next session, and make sure all product residue is completely scrubbed off before doing the laser treatment.
However, if you HAVE to be exposed to sunlight, make sure to apply any SPF every 2 hours (or less in higher heats). Also, be open with your laser technician. If you’ve got any plans that might expose your skin to the sun or if you already have got a suntan, let them know!
4. No Waxing, No Plucking!
Laser hair removal will not be effective unless there is hair underneath your skin, as the laser’s heat targets your hair follicles and tries to damage them so your hair won’t grow anymore.
So, whether a couple of days before your laser treatment or even during the whole treatment, you can’t use any type of hair removal method that gets the hair out from its roots.
Before you start canceling your laser appointments, though, because you don’t want to show up with hairy legs, it’s perfectly fine to shave before your sessions. In fact, it’s what your laser technician will ask you to do before your appointment, but make sure you don’t hurt the skin while shaving. Otherwise, don’t worry, you’ll get to enjoy having a soft body throughout the whole laser treatment process!
5. Let Go of The Bleach
Now that you’ve read up to this point, you already know that laser works by targeting the deep roots of your hair, and the darker the hair the more effective laser will work to destroy the hair follicles.
When your hair is bleached, it’s obvious that you make it difficult for the laser to reach the deep roots of your hair. Instead, you should put down the bleach for at least 6 weeks before going to your laser session, or until your hair grows back to its original color.
6. Consider Using A Numbing Cream
It’s not that easy for everyone to tolerate stinging pain. If you think you might have trouble with pain, a numbing cream should do the trick! Because not all clinics provide these creams, play it safe and call your clinic in advance to ask about it, and if they don’t have one, buy it yourself.
The perfect numbing cream should mainly contain lidocaine, benzocaine, or tetracaine, so that the cream is completely absorbed into your skin and numbs the area immediately.
TAC is a popular numbing cream which is often used before laser hair removal. This type of cream can help to endure more pain during the laser session, allowing your specialist to use higher levels of laser, which leads to faster results!
7. Keep Your Skin as Clean as Possible
Avoid putting anything on your skin before or right after your laser session (unless advised to do so), so no moisturizers, body lotions, makeup, or any sort of product that could make laser less effective. Certainly not on sensitive armpits, or the bikini line.
On the day you’re getting the laser hair removal treatment, you should cleanse your skin at the clinic or at home so that it’s free of any cosmetics, even deodorant should be completely removed!
8. Cut Some Skincare Products
Check if you’re using some kinds of anti-aging products that contain ingredients like alphahydroxy acid, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, which can cause skin irritation from the laser treatment, so if your hair removal specialist advises you to stop using certain types of skin products, just listen to them.
9. Make Sure Your Medications are Safe
It’s crucial to inform your laser professional about the medications you’re on (if any), as some medications can hinder the effectiveness of the laser and leave you with disappointing results.
Common medications like flu medications are usually safe to consume, but others might have a negative effect on your laser treatments, such as birth control pills, acne medicines, antihistamines, and antidepressants. So keep in mind that you might need to stop using certain medications to get the stubble-free body you’re looking for!
10. The Right Clothes for Laser Treatments
The best clothes for receiving laser hair removal treatment should be comfortable and expose the area that will be treated. Tight clothes may cause irritation after getting the treatment.
Once you’ve made all of these preparations, sit back and relax, and let the dermatologist do their job!