Ready to toss the razor and say goodbye to unwanted body hair with laser hair removal? You’ll be so glad you did! But, before your appointment, you may be wondering how to prep for your procedure. We’ve gathered all the information you need about what to do before and after your procedure to maximize your results.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a non-invasive treatment that uses light energy to target and destroy unwanted hair. Laser hair removal is popular because it can remove hair from virtually any area of the body including the face, underarms, bikini line, legs, back, chest, arms, hands, feet and more. It’s also safe and effective.
Another benefit is that it is low maintenance compared to other hair-removal methods.
Who Can Get Laser Hair Removal?
Anyone who wants to get rid of their unwanted hair can benefit from laser hair removal. However, some people are better candidates than others.
Is It True That Laser Hair-Removal Treatment Only Works on Certain Skin Types?
No. Dr. Peterson uses an advanced laser suitable for all skin tones to remove unwanted hair.
Laser Hair-Removal Prep
Are you ready to remove unwanted hair? Before your procedure, we recommend:
Exfoliate. Exfoliating helps remove dead cells that can clog pores and prevent the absorption of laser energy. This will help ensure optimal results. Use a gentle exfoliator such as Clarisonic or a scrub brush with a mild soap like Dove Body Wash.
Shower before your procedure. The laser works best when there are no oils in the skin. So wash your face and body thoroughly with a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Gel. If you have sensitive skin, try using a moisturizer afterward.
Avoid sun exposure. Sunlight increases blood flow and makes the skin more vulnerable to damage. When possible, avoid direct sunlight at least 24 hours prior to your procedure.
Shave. Shaving removes excess oil and debris from your skin. This will make your skin more receptive to the laser. We recommend that you shave at least 24 hours before your laser session.
What? You have to shave before laser hair removal? Yes. Here’s why. Your skin needs to be smooth and free of oils in order for the laser to work effectively. Shaving removes this extra layer of skin, which allows the laser to penetrate deeper into the follicle. Plus, shaving reduces the risk of post-procedure ingrown hairs.
Can You Wax Before Laser Hair Removal?
No! Waxing removes the entire hair from the follicle, which means the laser won’t be able to see the hair’s pigment as a target. Waxing before laser hair removal will result in hair not being treated and poor results. You should not wax or pluck hair for at least four weeks before your laser hair treatment.
We also recommend that you avoid depilatory creams, such as Nair, before laser hair removal treatment. These products contain chemicals that can irritate your skin and cause redness and swelling.
How Long Does Laser Hair Removal Take?
In most cases, laser hair removal takes just a few minutes. The length of time required to treat each area depends on several factors:
Size of the area: Larger areas require longer treatments.
Thickness of hair: Thicker hair requires more passes.
What to Expect After Laser Hair Removal
Now that you know how to prepare for your procedure, here’s what to expect after laser hair removal:
After laser hair removal, your skin may feel slightly sunburned. This is normal and will go away within a day or two.
You may experience slight redness and swelling around the area where the laser was applied. This usually goes away within a couple days. We recommend using pure aloe vera gel on the treatment area after the procedure.
You may also notice small red bumps that look similar to razor burn. These are known as “post-treatment erythema” and typically disappear within a week.
Your skin may become itchy. This is due to the irritation caused by the laser. It’s temporary and will subside in a week or so.
We recommend that you exfoliate gently after your procedure — but wait at least 48 hours. We recommend using a soft washcloth to avoid further irritating your skin.
You should avoid direct sunlight and also sunless tanning products on the treated area for at least 24 hours after your procedure.
We also recommend that you avoid exercise or other activities that can make you sweat for at least 24 hours after your treatment. Sweating can further irritate your skin.
Avoid retinol and skin products that contain salicylic acid or other potential skin irritants for at least 48 hours after treatment.
I See Hair Growing After My Treatment; I Thought It Wouldn’t Grow Back
Right after your treatment, you may notice hair coming back. This hair isn’t hair that’s growing back in, it’s dead hair pushing its way out of the hair follicle.
After these dead/damaged hairs fall out, new hair could grow, however. This is because hair grows in different cycles. This is why we suggest at least four to six treatments to ensure every hair is treated.
Will I Need Follow-Up Treatments for Laser Hair Removal?
You may. Some patients see complete hair loss after their treatment, while others need maintenance. If you have questions about whether laser hair removal is right for you, call us now to schedule your consultation and laser hair removal appointment.