While many people have struggled with the cyclical natures of shaving and waxing, some have found it more useful to pursue laser hair removal. The only issue in this treatment is how to prepare for laser hair removal. It turns out that many of the routines that you might participate in for skin or body care might be conflicting with the potential success of laser removal.
Here are six of the most important tips for preparing for removal.
1. Stop Waxing and Plucking
If you’ve decided to choose to get laser hair removal done, you need to change your grooming routine. It’s important to stop the plucking and waxing you might have been doing. Any kind of hair removal that takes your hair out from root needs to end now so that you’re ready for laser removal.
In order for your laser removal to be most effective, you need to avoid touching up stray hairs between sessions. You could end up interfering with your treatments and mess up the hair growth cycle.
Laser hair removal is powerful because it destroys hair follicles underneath your skin’s surface. The laser needs to target something in order for it to function. When you take out the hair from the root, there’s nothing there for your laser treatment to target.
If you need to keep hair out of sight, then you can still shave. It’ll still be visible to the laser in the meantime.
2. Shave Before Your Treatment
Even though you need to refrain from serious hair removal techniques, you can still shave in the interim. If you’re looking to live without that hair while you wait between treatments, you can shave any visible hair growth in your treatment area.
Shave at least 12 hours before your treatment session. Even if it’s not visible to you, the laser can still see the hair beneath the skin. Recently shaved skin is best for a safe and effective treatment, eliminating the possibility of “hot pockets” that can be created when a laser treatment is given when there is hair above the skin surface.
If you are unable to reach a difficult area to shave prior to your appointment, let us know and we can schedule more time for your treatment. There may be a nominal fee for large areas that need to be shaved.
3. Cleanse Your Body
When it comes time for your treatment, make sure that you’ve properly cleansed your body. You don’t want anything there for the laser to hit as it can increase the risk of irritation.
Cleanse your skin thoroughly at the site where you’ll be receiving treatment. This ensures that the surface is easy for the laser to access and that you can properly remove hair as intended.
Keep your skin free of any kind of cosmetics before the treatment. If you’re used to putting on creams and lotions, avoid doing so before the treatment. Even deodorant needs to be removed before any underarm treatment as it can cause problems.
4. Stop Tanning Now
If you’re considering laser hair removal treatment, you need to avoid tanning ASAP. Not only does the CDC warn against the impacts of tanning that include higher risks of cancer, but it’s also bad for hair removal. Please make sure to avoid any direct sun exposure 2 weeks prior, and 2 weeks after, your scheduled appointment.
At Harpe Laser and Wellness, we use two different laser platforms to safely treat all different skin types. We are able to treat tanned skin, as long as you have not tanned or burned 2 weeks prior to your treatment. You will be asked to fill out a medical history and skin-typing form at your complementary consultation visit.
If you’re using tanning lotions or creams, you need to stop using them now too. Whenever you use anything to change the pigment of your skin, the laser will struggle to tell the difference. After you’ve completed your treatment, you can go back to your old routine with smoother skin that will remain smooth for a long time.
5. Avoid Some Medication
If you take any medications that make your skin more sensitive to the sun, we need to know about it.
We will go over all of this with you at your complementary consultation with Dr. Harpe and each time you come in for your treatment, we will re-address any medications you are currently taking. Please make sure to speak to our technicians about any changes to your health history.
Be sure to let your technician know if you have started any topicals containing Retinol, Accutane, or new acne medication that may make your skin more sensitive to the laser treatment, so that your visit can be planned accordingly.
Ask Your Specialist For How to Prepare for Laser Hair Removal
Figuring out how to prepare for laser hair removal doesn’t have to be a mystery. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to go over any questions you may have.
For some of the benefits of laser hair removal, check out our guide for tips.