Your first time getting laser hair removal can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. However, if you’re getting your hair removal from a quality provider like Lively Wellness & Aesthetics in Odessa, TX, you really have nothing to worry about. The treatment is completely safe and you’ll love the results. There are some ways you can prepare for your session, though, that will make it even more effective.
How Do You Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
Do Not Wax, Pluck, or Tweeze Prior to Your Session
The laser for hair removal works by targeting the pigment in the hair follicle during its growth stage. The damage done to the follicle by the laser inhibits hair growth for a period of time, usually a few months to a few years. However, waxing, plucking, and tweezing pulls the hair from the follicles, so if you’ve practiced any of these hair removal methods too close to your laser session, there won’t be any hair in the follicles to target.
You should refrain from any type of hair removal method that pulls your hair out at the root for at least six weeks prior to your laser appointment. This will ensure that enough hair is in its new-growth phase to make the laser treatment effective. You are welcomed, and even encouraged, to shave before your appointment because this method only removes hair from the surface and the lack of hair will allow your technician to better see the treatment area.
Avoid the Sun
For at least two weeks prior to your laser treatment, you’ll want to avoid both natural and artificial sunlight exposure to the area or areas you’re getting treated. There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one is that the laser is designed to target the pigment in your hair’s follicles. If your skin is too dark because of tanning or sunburn, the laser will also target the pigment in your skin, thereby reducing the effectiveness of the treatment.
Additionally, if you have a sunburn, the treatment becomes painful, as nearly any treatment to burned skin would be. In fact, most clinics will not even treat someone who has a sunburn, even if it’s a mild one, which means you’ll have to reschedule your much-anticipated appointment. During the two weeks leading up to your sessions, wear sunscreen of an SPF of at least 30 to ensure your skin does not get exposed to excessive UV rays.
Avoid Bleaching Your Hair
If you bleach the hair in your treatment area, you’ll need to halt this process at least six weeks before your laser session. Remember that the laser works by targeting the pigment in your hair.
By making your hair lighter through bleaching, the laser becomes much less effective because it can’t target the dark pigment in the roots, which are what absorb the light. Six weeks will give your hair enough time to grow out to its original color.
Discontinue Certain Medications
At your initial consultation, be sure to mention all topical or oral medications you are currently taking to your technician because there are some that will need to be discontinued before your laser appointment.
Some medications interfere with the laser and will keep you from achieving the results you desire, while other medications can make your skin more sensitive to the laser. Antibiotics, acne medications, birth control, and photosensitizing medications are especially important to mention.
You won’t need to stop taking all medications because in some cases, your provider can simply adjust the treatment to account for the effects that some medications have on the laser. However, products containing Retin-A, some depression drugs like Zoloft and Prozac, and antihistamines such as Benadryl and Claritin should be discontinued for a couple of days prior to treatment, as they contain photosensitive compounds that do not react well to ultraviolet light, which is what is used for treatment.
Do Not Wear Makeup, Creams, or Deodorant
Some products used for skin care, beauty, or personal hygiene contain ingredients that can cause laser treatment to be less effective than it would otherwise be. For this reason, it’s important not to wear makeup, lotions, ointments, or deodorant on your treatment area to your laser hair removal appointment.
If you’re coming to the clinic directly from work, you’ll need to remove these products with soap and water before your session. Makeup remover should also be rinsed off your skin.
Do Wear Light-Colored Clothing
As mentioned earlier, the laser works best when the hair is the darkest object in the treatment area. Otherwise, the laser is partially absorbed by the pigment of other objects, including dark-colored clothing.
This is why you should wear light-colored clothing to your laser appointment. It’s especially important to wear light-colored underwear if you’re getting your bikini line treated. This way, the laser will be focused on the pigment in your hair instead of in your clothes.
Let’s Get Started!
By following these preparation tips for getting a laser treatment for hair removal, you’ll ensure that you receive the best possible outcome from your sessions. If your provider wants you to prepare in any other way, they’ll let you know at your initial consultant. Contact Lively Wellness & Aesthetics in Odessa, TX today and our experts will get you on the path to smooth, silky, and hairless skin.