Laser hair removal is a treatment more people are choosing every day with many benefits over the alternatives. Unlike waxing, you don’t need to grow your hair to a reasonable length to then have it vigorously – and painfully - ripped out. And unlike shaving, laser hair removal doesn’t cause rashes, stubble, or ingrown hairs. Laser is a far more sophisticated and effective method of permanently reducing unwanted hair.
The Clinical Director at Clear Skincare Clinics, explains how laser hair removal works. ‘It does it by transferring heat from the laser beam into the hair follicle, gradually weakening it until it gives up the ghost and doesn’t grow anymore.’ The key to gaining the results you want is in the preparation, however. The laser beam targets the pigment in the hair follicle, so there are just a few things you need to do to prepare for your laser hair removal treatments:
1. Ensure you have hair!
About the only thing that you need in order to have laser hair removal is hair that’s dark enough for the laser to see. So, don’t wax, pluck, bleach or use electrolysis in the weeks leading up to your appointment. The laser is seeking that pigmented hair in the follicle to destroy it, so don’t rip it out or the laser will have nothing to find, and the treatment will be ineffective. Shaving and depilatory creams are acceptable because they leave the hair follicle intact. In fact, it is good to shave the treatment area 2 days beforehand so that there isn’t unnecessarily long hair attracting the laser beam.
2. Don't tan!
Clear Skincare recommends avoiding the sun and any form of tanning for two weeks before and after your treatments because the laser will target that pigment as well, potentially causing skin damage. Ideally, you want your skin as pale as possible so that the most obvious pigment to the laser beam is the pigment in the unwanted hair. For at least two weeks prior, preferably longer if you are inclined to tan, either stay out of the sun altogether, sunblock thoroughly, or get your laser hair removal done during the winter months when your skin is lightest.
3. Arrive with clean, product-free skin
It is best to avoid applying creams and lotions to your skin immediately before laser hair removal treatments. This applies afterward too. Your qualified therapist will advise you of the best way to care for your skin post-treatment and at Clear Skincare Clinics you will be provided with a take-home kit of recommended after-care products.
While laser remains the most effective and affordable method of permanent hair reduction, the results can vary depending on several factors. The individual hair being targeted, your gender, age and even hormone levels can impact on the time it takes to achieve results with laser. Clear Skincare suggests that generally the hair follicle is destroyed within approximately nine to twelve scheduled sessions with about 80% of the hair removed during the hair’s growth cycle. For some people this will be permanent and for others there may be the occasional top-up treatment required at some stage.
Following these tips when preparing for your treatments will help to ensure the best possible results from your laser hair removal treatments.