Laser hair removal is quickly becoming one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed. During the treatment, a laser emits a highly concentrated beam of light to the hair follicle, preventing future growth. Laser hair removal works best for those with dark hair because the laser targets the pigment in the hair follicle, and lighter hair can cause some reflection of the beam. Each pulse of the laser targets a particular hair follicle and lasts less than a second. The length of each treatment depends on the size of the area being treated, lasting anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. For optimum results, you will need to undergo at least eight treatments, and you will need to wait six to eight weeks in between treatments. In order to receive the best outcome from your laser hair removal, follow these five tips.
1. Choose a reputable health care provider for treatments.
Due to the growing popularity of laser hair removal, there has become an increasingly large amount of places that offer the treatment. It is essential that you choose a licensed healthcare professional that is highly-educated and experienced in dermatology and laser hair removal. Before your first treatment, a nurse or physician should perform a thorough skin evaluation and take a medical history. Each skin type reacts differently to laser treatment, and the assessment will dictate the intensity level of the laser that is safest for you.
2. Start hair removal treatments in the fall.
Most people mistakenly start their treatments in late spring, because they want to get rid of unsightly hair before bathing suit season begins. However, fall is a much better time to begin, because you will need to limit sun exposure during laser hair removal treatments. This is especially true if you enjoy frequent outdoor activities. Most physicians will encourage you to avoid sunbathing for six weeks prior to your initial treatment and in between treatments. This is because tanning—whether in the sun or tanning bed—increases the risk of an adverse reaction to the treated area. If you start your treatments in September, you will have at least eight months of treatments before summer.
3. Know what to expect before your first visit.
It is important to be prepared for your first visit. You can expect slight discomfort during the treatments, especially in more sensitive areas such as the bikini line or underarms. The laser pulses feel similar to a rubber band being snapped on your skin. Each pulse is very short, and you can take a break between pulses if it becomes too much for you. Most lasers have a cooling tip, or a cooling spray is used for your comfort. Many physicians may also prescribe a numbing cream to minimize discomfort.
4. It is okay to shave the treated area in between treatments.
After each treatment, you will notice increasingly less hair regrowth. However, it will still be necessary to use some form of hair removal in between treatments. Shaving is the preferred method. You will need to avoid electrolysis, tweezing and waxing, because they will disrupt the hair follicle, reducing the effectiveness of the laser hair removal. Make sure to shave the treated area closely before each treatment. This will prevent the laser from targeting hair above the skin, causing possible burns on the skin.
5. Take proper precautions after your treatment.
You can expect some redness and swelling after the procedure—this is completely normal. It is usually mild, and should be treated much like a sunburn. You can use aloe, ibuprofen, and ice packs to reduce swelling and discomfort. Symptoms should subside within 1–2 days. Contact your physician if symptoms are more severe or blisters form. You may need a steroidal cream or the laser settings may need to be reduced for future treatments.
The first 24 hours after your treatment, you may notice some shedding of dead hair follicles. These typically come out on their own or by gently pulling on them. Do not scrub the area or try to tweeze the hairs; this will only irritate the skin and hair follicles.
When proper precautions are heeded, laser hair removal is very successful. It can greatly simplify your life, eliminating the need for wasting hours of your time shaving. If you're interested in laser hair removal, visit Defy Nature LLC.