Laser hair removal treatments are popular among men and women who have grown tired of the drudgery of shaving, plucking, waxing, and trying to keep hair under control. Grooming becomes much less of a chore when the skin is smooth all on its own. With Winter being the perfect season for laser hair removal, we’re ready to dive into some of the little secrets only the pros will tell you.
- Arrive at your appointment clean-shaven. This will expedite the treatment process and also make it much more comfortable. The longer the hair is, the more energy gets absorbed. The more energy there is in the hair shaft and follicle, the more heat there is and the more intensely this is felt.
- Shave, but don’t pluck. Waxing, plucking, and some other methods of hair removal literally pull hair from follicles. We don’t want this happening. Hair must be in the follicle to absorb energy from the laser device and pass it into the walls of the follicles.
- Arrive clean-faced, too. Some patients have learned the hard way that laser hair removal on the face can go wrong if makeup isn’t removed. Providers advise clients to come to their appointment clean-faced and will also clean the skin with an alcohol pad before commencing with laser treatment. If makeup is on the skin, it can absorb too much heat and cause burns and discoloration.
- Swelling is normal. After a laser hair removal treatment, a condition called perifollicular edema occurs. This swelling in the hair follicles indicates that energy was sufficiently absorbed and the follicles are slowly being disabled. Along with swelling, redness, itching, and stinging may last for a day or two.
- Talk about medications. Some medications, and even supplements and essential oils, create photosensitivity in the skin. Tell your provider if you are taking any medications or supplements. Also, if you use essential oils, do some quick research to discover which can make the skin more sensitive to light.
- Get pasty! One of the complaints many people express during the wintertime is that their skin looks starkly white. For laser hair removal, this is exactly what we want. Patients should avoid all forms of tanning, including tanning beds and creams, until their course of treatment is complete. We don’t want the laser device mistaking pigment in the skin for the hair root. This could lead to burns.