Unwanted hair can be a pain in more ways than one. It’s unsightly, causes us embarrassment, and is physically painful to remove on a regular basis. With the promises of laser hair treatment giving us somewhat ‘permanent’ hair removal, things seem to be looking up.
For women who struggle with hormone imbalances, the facial and extra body hair could be disturbing, annoying and embarrassing. Plus, removing it using the traditional plucking or waxing methods can be painful in varying degrees. Add in the sores, bumps, bruises, and acne that these methods can lead to, and it’s no wonder why laser hair removal is gaining so much attention these days.
However, laser hair removal does seem to be a bit intimidating if you don’t know anything about it. It’s not like spending a day at the spa. If we want to consider some sessions in the near future, we should know more about this concept. Here’s what one should be aware of when considering such a step:
Shaving Before Sessions
It might seem strange to shave off our unwanted hair before getting zapped, but keep in mind that laser hair removal isn’t like waxing. With waxing, longer hair will give you a softer, smoother, and more long-lasting result. However, with lasers, you don’t need that hair growing out. In fact, those who perform the session will probably trim off those hard-to-reach areas before they start.
No Tweezing or Waxing
When you’re removing hair between sessions, take care not to use waxing or tweezing methods. Stick with the shaving, as you want to the follicle to remain. The lasers target the follicle pigment, so it needs to be there.
However, you might want to gain some benefit by exfoliating your skin before shaving your unwanted hair. This will not just be good for your skin, but also bring the follicle just a bit closer to the surface, giving the lasers a better shot at removing it. Glycolic acid could be helpful with the exfoliating step.
We all aim to look our best, but wearing makeup on any part that’s getting lasered is simply dangerous. You don’t want a burnt patch on your face, which is what will happen if you leave foundation or any other makeup product there during a laser hair removal session. Another unwanted side effect of this slip-up is the occurrence of pigment patches. Both the burns and the patches will take several months to fade.
To avoid this unhappy result, make sure you take off every bit of makeup with an alcohol pad or makeup wipe before your session starts. After that, wash your face thoroughly. There’s no need to be embarrassed about your natural look, especially at a laser hair removal organization.
Expect Some Pain
Laser hair removal treatments will hurt you, so don’t expect anything else. The newer methods might be a bit gentler, but the zaps will still sting a little. However, most people will only feel the worse of the hits on areas where the hair follicles are thick and numerous.
One exception to this might be the upper lip area, even if it’s not usually an overly hairy part. This is quite a sensitive place, so be mentally prepared beforehand. Plus, the pain might be more than usual if you have overly sensitive teeth.
You can also ask your provider about lasers with cooling air alongside the zaps. There could also be cold-touch lasers of cooling sprays to diminish the pain during the session itself. Some topical numbing creams might also be useful when applied before the zapping begins.
After each treatment session, don’t expect to come out of the room with smooth, glowing skin. In fact, you’d probably be suffering from perifollicular edema or swollen hair follicles. This is a good thing, as it means that the lasers are doing their job.
This swelling might also be accompanied by a bit of itching and/or stinging. These symptoms might bother you for up to two days, but could also fade after just an hour or so. Your provider might suggest a cream or gel to soothe the swelling and take away the redness to some extent.
Prepare for Different Results
If your friend recently went through some laser hair removal sessions and never needs to remove any hair now, she’s one of the very lucky ones. You might not be from the same pool, so don’t be depressed when some hair remains on your body. A few visits might be enough to take care of the coarse hairs, but the finer ones could take several sessions to resolve.
Basically, it might be a better idea to think of this treatment m as laser hair reduction instead of removal. The main aim here is to reduce the hair in thickness, density, and volume. However, some of your hair follicles will naturally be left behind, while new ones might come into being in the future due to hormonal changes.
Staying Away From Sunlight
Before and after you start your laser sessions, you will be auctioned to stay out of the sun. This is so that your skin will remain as pale as possible, allowing the lasers to identify the pigment in your hair follicles much more easily. The ideal contrast for laser treatments is pale skin and black hair, so you should get closer than ever to your baseline color.
In addition to minimum sun exposure, we should also stay away from any kind of tanning. This could be a spray, a cream, or any sort of foundation.
Be Open About Medication
It’s not likely that medication will interfere with your laser sessions, but any antibiotics could be light-sensitive. If you’re on a course while getting lasered, you risk getting burnt. These could be stubborn and unsightly, so make sure to inform your technician about your current precautions.
The same precaution applies even if you’re taking something seemingly harmless, such as Vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C might be beneficial for the skin, but even beauty products with this nutrient should be discontinued a couple of weeks before your treatment starts. Consult your technician and dermatologist for the best guidance about what beauty products and supplements are safe at this time.
Laser hair removal might have delightful results for many, but keep in mind that everyone’s body is different. In any case, the result of your laser hair removal sessions will certainly give you a better experience at handling unwanted body hair. You might want to indulge in some fun and useful beauty or skincare items to feel even better about your body.
Keep in mind that laser hair removal will most probably be an expensive treatment. Plus, it’s likely not covered by your insurance. This is why the more you know about it beforehand, the better. At all events, remember to have an open conversation with the technicians as well as your dermatologist. Once you feel understood, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the somewhat unpleasant procedure.