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Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

Home » Unwanted Hair » Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

Ready to get rid of unwanted hair for good but unsure how to prep for laser hair removal?

While everyone will need to take specific steps according to their unique skin and hair type prior to laser hair removal, preparation is simple. When it comes to laser hair removal, preparing for treatment requires less time, effort, and investment than constantly addressing unwanted hair on your upper lip, underarms, bikini line, legs, and other areas.

Here at Dermacare, we offer a consultation prior to laser hair removal to ensure each patient knows exactly what to expect and how to prepare for their laser hair removal treatment.

What Should You Do to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?

Following your laser technician’s instructions, provided during your free consultation, will help you avoid unwanted side effects and complications.

The most important step to take prior to your laser hair removal appointment is to shave the treatment area just 24-48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment time. By shaving as instructed, you ensure the majority of the hair is beneath the surface of the skin. This allows the laser to target the hair while reducing the risk of burns.

There are other steps you should take to prepare for your treatment.

Avoid Sun Exposure

For at least two weeks prior to each appointment, avoid tanning beds, sunless tanner, and exposure to the sun without effective sunscreen. Proceeding with laser hair removal after sun exposure can lead to blistering, pain, and discoloration. If you arrive for your appointment and have even a minor sunburn, your appointment will be canceled and rescheduled for your safety.

Do Not Bleach Your Hair

Laser hair removal works by targeting pigment in the root of the hair. When you bleach your hair, the pigment in the root is altered and the laser is less effective or rendered ineffective. Avoid bleaching at least six weeks before each treatment to ensure roots are natural during your appointment.

Is Your Medication Compatible with Laser Treatments?

During your consultation appointment, visit your laser professional about your medical history. Be sure to share all of the medications you take, including any medicated creams and lotions you use. Those that may require an adjustment to the settings include antibiotics, acne medications, birth control, and photosensitizing medications. If you realize you forgot to mention a prescription or supplement or started a new medication after your consult, let your laser professional know right away.

No Tweezing or Waxing

While shaving is required, both tweezing and waxing remove the root of the hair, which leaves nothing for the laser to target and treat. You should avoid plucking and waxing for at least six weeks prior to each scheduled treatment.

Remove Makeup and Creams

Wash your face with soap and water prior to your appointment to prevent the ingredients in any beauty product you use from affecting your results.

What Should You Expect During Your First Appointment?

Because each patient has unique skin and hair, we use your first laser hair removal appointment to test the laser in an inconspicuous area. If your skin reacts in any way, we can intervene immediately and decide whether it is safe to continue treatment or not. If there is no reaction and/or we decide together to continue, you will receive the full first treatment in the same appointment.

Your first appointment will take between 15 minutes and an hour and you can expect little to no pain. If you’ve had laser hair removal using other lasers in the past, the Sciton BareHR laser we use at Dermacare of Hampton Roads is less painful with no snapping or stinging pain as we treat. (The Sciton BareHR is also effective on all skin tones, so those with dark skin and dark hair are good candidates for the Sciton BareHR – melanin is welcome here!).

How Long Does Each Laser Hair Removal Session Take?

Laser hair removal sessions are quick and easy! In fact, many of our patients stop in during their lunch break or between meetings for a quick session with their laser technician and then move right on with their day.

The size of the treated area will impact the amount of time you spend at Dermacare of Hampton Roads. You can expect to treat a small area like your upper lip in just 15 minutes or several small areas or one large area in about an hour.

What is the Most Common Side Effect of Laser Hair Removal?

Your skin type, skin color, hair color, and adherence to pre- and post-treatment instructions can play a role in the side effects you experience following laser hair removal treatment. The most common side effects include temporary skin irritation, including minor redness, soreness, swelling, and lightening or darkening of the skin in the treatment area. You can help prevent side effects by following the instructions your laser professional provided both before and after laser hair removal treatment.

What to Expect After Laser Hair Removal

After your appointment, you can expect your skin to be pink, irritated, and slightly raised. You might notice little black ‘specks’ leaving your skin; this is your body getting rid of the hair follicles destroyed through the permanent hair removal process. It means hair growth from that follicle has stopped!

Following your appointment, follow the skincare instructions provided to you by the dermatology clinic.

Stay Cool

Keep your skin cool for several days after treatment. Taking a cool shower, enjoying the air conditioning, or using cool packs can help. The most important step is avoiding the heat.

Stay Out of the Sun

While those with light skin should heed this advice too, it is most important for those with dark skin. Hyperpigmentation can occur if your skin is exposed to the sun too soon after laser hair removal treatment, so you should avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks.

Avoid Working Out

Take a break from the gym to avoid unwanted hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation. About 24 hours or one full day after your appointment, you can resume your workouts.

Steer Clear of Beauty Products

Avoid topical products like makeups, creams, lotions, and masks for about two weeks so your skin can heal after your appointment.

You’ve Done the Prepping. Now Let Us Do the Work in Making Your Skin Smoother

To book your appointment, call our experienced skin care professionals at 757-547-7546 or complete our online appointment form, and we’ll call you shortly!

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