Laser Hair Removal: Know Before you Go

Just because laser hair removal has been around for quite a long time doesn’t mean everyone knows about its process and benefits. If the idea of being stubble-free sounds appealing to you and you’re considering scheduling your laser hair removal treatment, there are a few things you should know before you go. For example, if you’re on the fence and feel like having smooth, soft skin is not a good enough reason to get laser hair removal, you may also benefit from hearing that this treatment is also excellent for those who are susceptible to ingrown hairs, razor burn, and general skin irritation in the area commonly shaved or waxed. Also, laser hair removal is the best treatment for achieving long-term results. Here, we discuss a few more things about laser hair removal that you should know. 

Laser hair removal isn’t as painful as you might think. 

One of the reasons people hesitate to schedule their laser hair removal treatments is that they fear the process will hurt. After all, lasers work by delivering light through the skin and into the hair follicles. Inside of the hair follicles, laser energy transforms into thermal energy, or heat. That said, newer laser devices deliver energy in quick bursts. This can prevent the buildup of heat in the skin, resulting in a much more comfortable process than most people imagine. 

Preparation pays off. 

One of the ways to avoid unnecessary, uncomfortable “zaps” during laser hair removal treatment is to shave within 24 hours of each appointment. All other forms of hair removal, including plucking and waxing, must be avoided. Shaving does not pull hair from the follicles; it cuts it off at the skin’s surface. For laser hair removal to be effective, hair must be in the follicle at the time of treatment. For it to be the most comfortable, it helps to have hair as short as possible, which is why providers advise patients to shave. Additional ways to prepare for laser hair removal treatments include:

  • Avoid applying sunscreen, deodorant, lotion, or makeup to the treatment area. If you accidentally apply a product to the skin, inform your provider so proper steps can be taken before treatment begins. 
  • Avoid sun exposure to the treatment area for 4 weeks before each laser treatment. 
  • Avoid the use of sunless tanning lotions for 3 to 4 weeks prior to appointments. The laser works best when there is more contrast between the color of hair and the tone of the skin. 

Patience is a virtue.

You may have heard this old adage that patience is a virtue. When it comes to enjoying the lasting results of laser hair removal, this is an absolute truth. Fortunately, hair growth changes after the very first session. In two to three weeks after treatment, the hair may become very fine and may start to slough off. Subsequent hair growth that occurs in between sessions tends to diminish as treatment progresses. Still, it can feel like a long haul to have treatments every few months over the course of a year to year-and-a-half. It is important to be consistent with laser treatments, otherwise the level of hair reduction reached will be less than desired. 

Now is a great time to begin laser hair removal treatments. Contact our Murray, UT office at (385) 388-8600 to schedule your visit. 

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