Laser hair removal can be a godsend for the busy and those who don’t want to have to worry about shaving all the time. It can help you reduce unwanted facial and body hair without the redness, nicks, and burns you can get from waxing and shaving. Before you start with your treatments (because you will need follow-up treatments, sometimes several), it’s important to understand that though it’s popularly referred to as ‘hair removal’, it’s a permanent hair reduction process.
So how do you prepare for hair removal? We have 10 tips here for you to prepare for your hair removal treatment:
1 – Confirm your skin type and sensitivity
Because of the way laser hair removal works, it may not work well or at all when it comes to certain types of hair, or on people with certain disorders or medications.
For example, if you have white, gray, blond, or red hair, you may not see an improvement or as much improvement as you would like when you undergo hair removal treatment. Although with newer technologies like the Palomar Icon physicians are able to treat a wider range of colors and follicle thicknesses.
Also, if you suffer from polycystic ovaries disease or any other hormonal problems, this may not be the way to go. In addition, if you’re on any medications, including antibiotics or any new prescriptions, you’ll have to talk to your doctor before undergoing hair removal treatments.
2 – Don’t skip a consultation
When you go to a consultation, a hair removal technician will assess your health. They will also perform a patch test. This helps determine if hair removal treatment is a viable option for you, and which hair removal process would be best for your skin and hair types.
For example, you may be a better candidate for palomar vectus, or vectus laser removal, which is known to be more effective on a wider range of skin and hair types.
3 – Avoid going tanning before treatment
While it may be tempting to go all-out on a hot new look, once you’re approved for hair removal treatments, it’s time to avoid both tanning beds and the sun. This means that for the 6 weeks before your first treatment, you should stay out of the sun as much as possible. If you do go in with tanned skin, you can expect some blistering and burning!
4 – Don’t pull your hair out by the roots
6 weeks prior to your first treatment, don’t use electrolysis or bleaching treatments, waxing, or plucking. If you do, there won’t be any hair for the laser to minimize. It’s still okay to shave or use other methods that only remove hair above the skin.
5 – The day before treatment, you should shave.
In fact, you should shave the day before you go in for your vectus laser removal treatment. Of course, when you go in for your consultation, your technician will tell you when you should shave, but it’s usually 1-2 days before your appointment.
6 – Clean skin counts.
You’ll want to show up for your treatment with clean skin. Before you leave your home, wash your skin, preferably with a gentle cleanser. Make sure that you’ve removed any dirt, oil, and makeup from your skin. Also, you should avoid moisturizing.
Now, part of preparedness is knowing what to expect after you’ve had your first treatment. While it’s true that you’ll be prepped by your technician for what to expect, it never hurts to have a little advice from people who have been there before.
7 – You’ll still have to avoid the sun.
Just like with beforehand, you’ll have to avoid the sun and tanning beds for an additional 6 weeks. Your skin is going to be pretty sensitive to such things, which should be enough to make you avoid it. But it can also mess up the hair removal process, and could even complicate follow-up treatments.
8 – Your hair isn’t growing, it’s falling out.
Something most newbies don’t expect is the seeming hair growth they will experience after their treatment. The targeted hair will appear to grow, but within 10 – 14 days, you will begin “shedding”, where it falls out. At this point, you can use a washcloth in the bath or shower to gently remove it.
9 – No plucking or waxing.
When you start the shedding process, it can be easy to want to just pluck or wax them out. But the fact is, if there’s any resistance from your hair, it means that the root is still alive and that it will be targeted at your next visit. You can still shave, but avoid anything that will pull hair out by the roots.
10 – There will be multiple treatments.
Permanent hair removal treatments target hair while it is actively growing, typically you’ll need somewhere between 4 and 10 sessions to get the best results. These treatments occur every 1 – 2 months, and you will notice less hair after each session.