Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that can limit, or even eliminate, your need to shave, wax, or pluck.
It’s becoming a more popular procedure in North America, but it can be mysterious if you haven’t heard of it before.
We’ll break down everything you need to know about laser hair removal, and give you some sweet tips and tricks to get the best possible results from your treatments!
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a procedure that uses a highly concentrated beam of light to prevent and stop the growth of hair in certain areas.
This light from the laser is absorbed by the hair’s pigment, called melanin. When the light is absorbed, it creates heat energy that damages the hair follicles. Damaged hair follicles prevent the growth of new hair.
Because hair grows in cycles, laser hair removal requires multiple treatments to permanently reduce or stop hair growth.
The Process of Laser Hair Removal
Step 1: Your Consultation
Before you start any treatment, a thorough consultation should be conducted to understand your goals, identify the issue you want to address, and ensure this is the right treatment for you.
You should always feel comfortable during your initial consultation. It should be no-obligation, meaning you don’t have to commit to anything to have a consultation. Take this time to ask any questions and voice any concerns you may have.
And don’t forget to check in with yourself. Ask yourself…
- Do I feel comfortable moving forward with this treatment?
- Do I trust the practitioner who will perform my treatment?
- Do I have any other questions/concerns before we start?
- Do I truly want this treatment?
Your practitioner should discuss your personalized treatment plan, goals, associated risks or potential side effects, and expected results. After your consultation, you’ll decide whether or not you wish to move forward with laser hair removal.
Step 2: Your Treatment
Before each treatment, you’ll check in with your practitioner and ensure you’re settled in your treatment room.
You’ll be given protective glasses to wear during your treatment. Depending on the area being treated, your practitioner may shave the area and apply a topical anesthetic. This should be discussed with you prior to your first appointment.
Using a handheld laser, your practitioner will begin lasering your skin, assessing clinical outcomes for a successful treatment and monitor how you’re tolerating the treatment. You may feel a sensation similar to a pinprick or a pinch, but most patients report minimal discomfort.
Each treatment can take anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour depending on the area. Again, this should be discussed with your practitioner before your first appointment.
Step 3: Your Follow-Up
After each procedure, you may experience some redness and swelling on the treated area. Some patients say it feels like a light sunburn for a few days after.
Most side effects should subside after a few hours, but a cold compress may help. Your practitioner can provide you with specific post-care instructions to maximize your comfort.
Typically, patients notice a 10 – 25% reduction in hair after each treatment. Your hair grows in cycles, so multiple treatments are necessary to permanently reduce or stop hair growth.
On average, patients receive 4 – 8 treatments total over a 4 – 8 week period.
Don’t Miss a Treatment
Laser hair removal appointments are scheduled around your natural hair growth cycle.
During each growth cycle, different follicles produce hair. The laser targets follicles that are growing hair during each cycle. This is why it’s important to schedule and attend all of your laser hair removal appointments.
By attending all your appointments, you’ll get the best possible results.
Avoid Tweezing & Waxing
The laser heats the actual hair follicle, so it’s important that your follicles are actually present during your treatment.
Tweezing and waxing pull the follicles out of your skin, making your laser hair removal treatments ineffective. Avoid tweezing and waxing for at least a month before you start your treatment to ensure the follicles are present.
Shave Before Your Treatment
Unlike tweezing and waxing, shaving cuts the hair down to the skin without removing the follicle.
Shaving the day before your hair removal treatment can make it easier for the laser to get to the hair follicles. It can also help you feel more comfortable during the appointment.
Limit Sun Exposure
It is important that you limit your sun exposure both before you begin laser hair removal treatments and in between each of your treatments to prevent adverse events and facilitate successful treatment outcomes.
Is Laser Hair Removal Right For Me?
Laser hair removal can be an effective procedure with long-lasting results when performed correctly. Follow our tips to get the most of your appointment. If you’re curious about laser hair removal, or have any questions about the procedure, contact our team today! We can get you the answers you’re looking for, and set up a no-obligation consultation at Iconic Beauty Aesthetics.