Laser hair removal has been a popular treatment for many years. If you’re considering going through this process so you don’t have to shave, pluck, or wax a certain area anymore, you probably have a good idea of the primary benefit of laser hair removal. What you may still be wondering about is what you might expect as you go through your series of laser treatment sessions. We’ll discuss that here.
Before Laser Hair Removal
To achieve lasting results from laser hair removal, you will need to have several treatments. Each looks the same and, before each appointment, you will need to do just a couple of things to make sure your process goes as smoothly as it can.
For laser hair removal to work well, there needs to be contrast between the hair and the skin. To maximize this, patients are advised not to tan before their appointments. It is best to avoid tanning for several weeks before the first laser treatment and throughout the entire program, which typically lasts several months because appointments are scheduled about every 8 weeks. During this time, you should avoid excess sun exposure and should not use a tanning bed.
Just before laser hair removal appointments, you should shave the treatment area. What this does is limit the length of each hair that will absorb laser energy. When the laser comes into contact with strands of hair, they vaporize. It happens in a moment but when hair is longer, the amount of heat within the follicles increases. This can create discomfort.
On the day of your laser hair removal appointments, we suggest wearing loose clothing. This can help prevent unnecessary sensitivity or irritation.
Your Laser Hair Removal Appointment
Laser hair removal appointments may take 30 minutes to an hour depending on the area being treated. Before your treatment begins, you will be given special goggles to wear to protect your eyes. Your provider will deliver treatment via a small handpiece. This is placed against the skin and picked up again, like stamping. Each time the handpiece touches the skin, it delivers a burst of laser light that gets absorbed into hair follicles. You may feel a snapping sensation and warmth. If you’ve shaved the area, this shouldn’t be painful.
After Laser Hair Removal
Laser energy heats the hair follicles. This is what stops future hair growth. For a short time after each session, though, the heat from the laser light may make your skin look red and puffy. You can expect to feel like you have a sunburn. These common side effects may last only a few hours or up to a day. If you feel uncomfortable, you may apply cold compresses to the skin for a few minutes.