10 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is not a decision to be taken lightly. When thinking about going through this procedure, it would be in your best interest to educate yourself on the various aspects of the procedure, including the process and the potential side effects. Doing your due diligence will be extremely beneficial in calming your nerves, answering any questions you may have and allowing some form of mental and physical preparation before your first appointment.
That is why we have put together a list of some of the most common questions that first timers have, giving you the opportunity to start your research in the right place.
If you want to learn the top 10 things you need to know before getting laser hair removal, just keep reading:
- What is laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal is the process of removing unwanted hair, with the help of a beam of light that is emitted from a machine. This is a medical procedure and should be treated with care and be performed by a licensed professional, as damage to the skin can most definitely occur otherwise. The light that emits from the laser zaps the hair, targeting and being absorbed by the melanin (color) of the strand. The light converts its energy and releases heat, incinerating the hair follicles, prohibiting future growth. It is important to research the type of laser a spa uses, as this will determine the end result, how many sessions you will need and the overall effectiveness and safety of the procedure.
- Is laser hair removal a safe procedure?
Absolutely! If done by a licensed professional at a certified location, it is a safe procedure. Besides the technician, the type of machine used will determine the level of safety and comfortability you will feel at your appointment. For example, the Candela Gentle Pro is currently one of the safest and most innovative machines available on the market and provides excellent end results.
Besides this, the light produced by the Candela Gentle Pro has a very low rate of skin hypopigmentation, meaning it is an efficient and effective solution for men and women of all skin types and tones. Since the light and heat produced by the machine targets the melanin in the hair follicle, it does not do any damage to the surrounding skin. Since this specific machine doesn’t need gel for cooling purposes, it is also a more hygienic and comfortable experience.
- Is laser hair removal painful?
All cosmetic and medical procedures will have some degree of discomfort associated with them. After all, there is no beauty without pain! However, the treatment is much less painful than its counterparts: waxing and plucking. It is also a much faster procedure overall, requiring less maintenance and appointments compared to waxing.
Where waxing will pull and irritate the surface of the skin, laser hair removal will simply target the hair follicles, saving you a great deal of soreness. Since most machines have either a cooling spray or a cooling gel associated with it, the skin will not overheat and cause further irritation.
It is important to keep in mind that pain tolerance is different for everyone and, depending on the sensitivity of your skin, can affect every individual client differently.
- How often can I get laser hair removal done?
Typically, clients can get the laser treatment done every 4 weeks on the face and every 6-8 weeks on the rest of the body. If a client is treating both their face AND body, the procedure can be scheduled for every 5 weeks or so. This is due to the fact that hair on the face grows at a much faster rate than hair on the body, so an appointment can safely be scheduled earlier for the client’s convenience.
The time in between appointments allows some growth to occur. Hair growth in general affects each individual differently, so hair can be in different stages of growth in various places when you come to your next appointment.
- Can I get laser hair removal if I am pregnant?
The short answer is: No.
Although laser hair removal is not harmful to your skin or your general health, there are very few studies that prove it will not harm your unborn child. Studies show that there are various procedures that a pregnant woman can undergo if NEEDED. Lasers have been safely used on pregnant women in the past, for conditions such as kidney stones and genital wart removal.
However, laser hair removal is not an essential procedure and doctors prefer to be cautious. Better safe than sorry!
If you are pregnant, use this time to educate yourself on the pros and cons of laser hair removal and find a reputable clinic with trained specialists. That way, once you are no longer pregnant, you will already have all the details you need to go ahead with the procedure!
- Is laser hair removal safe for tanned skin?
If you have recently developed a tan (whether naturally or with the help of a tanning salon) you must wait a minimum of 2 weeks before coming in to get laser hair removal treatments done. This will give your skin time to rest and rejuvenate.
If, after the 2-week timeframe, your tan is still intense or causing you discomfort in any way, it is up to the specialist’s discretion whether to perform laser hair removal on your skin. Extra precaution must be taken when attempting to perform laser hair removal treatments on overworked, tired skin. It is in your best interest to reschedule your appointment if you are very tanned or burned. This ensures optimal results!
- Which conditions will ensure the best results when getting laser hair removal?
Laser hair removal works for all hair and skin types. However, lighter skin and darker, coarser hair will produce the best results when it comes to this procedure. This is because the laser zaps the melanin (pigment) in your hair follicles and the machine better picks up the dark hair in contrast with light skin.
For people with hormone imbalances which cause an excess of hair to grow, laser hair removal can help alleviate the issue. The darker the hair pigment, the better (and faster) the result.
- What are some things to consider BEFORE getting laser hair removal?
Before coming to your laser session, make sure to shave the area you are getting lasered! This may sound counterintuitive but specialists asking that clients shave 24-hours before your appointment is a normal part of the process. If you don’t shave the area before arriving, the specialist will be forced to do it themselves, which is uncomfortable for all parties involved.
Shaving is the only method allowed, both before and in-between sessions, as waxing and tweezing will impede the process. This is because the laser targets the PIGMENT in the hair follicle and, when waxing and tweezing, you remove the whole hair, melanin, and all, making it impossible for the laser to detect.
Lastly, before coming to your session, remove ALL of your makeup or, better yet, avoid putting on any products at all. Your specialist will be sure to go over the area with makeup remover regardless, but putting on a whole face of makeup will not only waste your technicians (and your) time, but the remnant of product can actually be unsafe in the process of laser hair removal.
- What are some things to consider AFTER getting laser hair removal?
Once you are finished with a laser hair removal session, it is important to keep in mind that strenuous activities, such as going to the gym, should be avoided for at least 24-hours. This is because the heat of the laser can stay in your skin for up to a whole day! Exposing your skin to hot, humid conditions, such as a gym, sauna or a hot shower can cause bacteria to form, breaking your skin out in the process.
Sun tanning, both naturally and at a tanning salon, should be avoided before AND after a laser hair removal treatment. Also, scrubs, retinol creams and glycolic acids should not be applied to the skin for at least 2 days before and after treatment, to help protect your skin.
- Is laser hair removal expensive?
The price of the treatment varies, depending on your geographical location, the reputation of the Medical Spa and the number of sessions you need to perform.
Generally speaking, a small area (like upper Lip) can cost between $35-$69 per session and a larger area (like the legs) can cost upwards of $140-$250 per session!
For a more accurate quote, visit the Medical Spa you want to have the service done at and ask for a Professional consultation. That way, you will have a concrete price to budget for!
There you have it! These were just some of the things you need to know before getting laser hair removal. This process is a commitment, both physically and financially, so knowing what questions to ask and what to expect in general is crucial to the long-term success of your treatments!