Deciding on Laser treatment is a significant investment not only for your health and looking good but also for saving you some money in the long run. If you're hesitant about the treatment or you're about to start your first couple of sessions, it's best to understand what you're getting into and what to do and not to do.
What's Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal treatment is one of the most frequently done cosmetic procedures in the U.S. "It beams highly concentrated light into hair follicles. Pigment in the follicles absorbs the light. That destroys the hair."
This will cause damage to the follicles so it can prevent any re-growth of the hair. So while it's not an instant fix, you need to do more than one session, the end goal is worth it.
When hearing that it causes damage to your follicles, many people become hesitant; however, laser hair removal is FDA approved, and it's safe. While there may be some side effects such as:
- Skin Irritation
- Pigment changes
Most people experience no side effects after their laser hair removal treatments.
Before you schedule your appointment, you need to know what to do before and after your treatment to better your chances of not having complications and getting the best results.
Before you arrive at your first appointment, it's essential to know that the area that's going to be worked on needs to be shaved at least 12 hours before the appointment. So, let's say you want to do the treatment on your armpits.
Before you go into your appointment, about 12 hours or more, go to the bathroom and shave your armpits. Once you do that, the area will be ready to be worked on.
On the day of the treatment, avoid wearing any tight clothes, especially on the area that received treatment because it can become sensitive. If you wear tight clothes, it can cause irritation to the area.
You would also want to avoid drinking any alcohol or smoking before your laser hair removal treatment.
If you're someone who likes to work out and you're expecting to do a laser treatment, try and refrain from working out before the appointment.
Lastly, some other things you can do to be sure you're ready for the appointment to includes:
- Try your best to arrive early.
- Drink a lot of water off and before your appointment because it will help your body regulate its temperature.
- Don't put any products on the areas that you're going to be treating.
After Visit Care
After your appointment, you will be able to feel how smooth and nice your skin will feel. However, the process of taking care of your skin doesn't stop after your treatment. You will still need to take care of your skin after and between sessions.
Some of the things you can do to take care of your skin include:
Applying an icepack on the area where you have the treatment performed to reduce any type of pain, irritation, or discomfort that you may be feeling. For example, if you have some aloe vera, you can apply it to your treated skin to help reduce pain and irritation.
After your appointment, you will want to wear some loose-fitting clothes to avoid unnecessary friction for at least 48 hours. Within the 48-hour window, try to keep the area as clean and dry as you can.
Lastly, you will need to drink plenty of water and use an SPF 50 sunscreen with Zinc for at least two weeks.
What Not To Do
After your appointment, you will need to take care of yourself. Here are some things to avoid doing to get the best skin results possible.
- Try your best to avoid exposing your skin to sunlight or self-tan for the next two weeks after treatment. The reason for this is to minimize the chance of darkening your skin.
- You may want to go and treat yourself to an excellent relaxing spa or a steam room and relieve some stress. However, don't! Avoid going to a spa or steam room for the next seven days.
- Don't scrub too hard when showering or apply too much pressure onto the skin for the next five days. This will help your skin recover and prevent infection.
- Wait at least 72 hours after your laser hair removal treatment to start shaving the area again.
- Don't take any hot baths, showers, or submerge in anything with chlorine for the next two days.
- Avoid scratching, waxing, tweezing, and threading while using the laser hair removal treatment course.
What Are Some of The Reactions?
As mentioned before, there are very few instances where customers experience any side effects. However, if you're curious as to what they are, they include:
- Pain in the area
- Swelling around the area
- Skin looking like it's puckered
- Grey or ash color on the skin
Can You Get Laser Treatment After An IPL?
Yes, you can get laser treatment for hair removal after your IPL. However, you would have to wait a few days, depending on what your dermatologist informs you.
However, with laser hair removal, you will get better results than any at-home IPL device. You will have to use the IPL device for over a more extended period of time compared to laser, which is usually about 6 to 8 treatments and is done within 4 to 8 weeks.
While they both will not guarantee 100% to remove the hair for the rest of your life, you will need to get touch-ups every now and then, but if you've done IPL and want to switch over. You can.
How Often Do You Need to Schedule Sessions?
It's important to know that when doing laser removal sessions, you should not schedule them back-to-back. You need your skin to heal and get ready for the next sessions properly.
However, if you don't schedule another session or miss your appointments, the treatment will be less effective. This is because hair grows very quickly and, in some areas, faster than most, like the face.
Face hair grows much faster, so you might need to schedule your next session sooner compared to lasering your armpits. If you want to laser your facial hair, usually, you want to space out appointments every four weeks.
So, you will have one session every month. Whereas, if you're layering your body, you might want to space out appointments for every 6 to 8 weeks. This will go on for typically 6 to 9 months; here is when you will be done with your treatments.
Can I Shave After an IPL Hair Removal?
To get the best results for your IPL hair removal treatment, you should wait a couple of days before you start shaving the area you treated.
Now how will you know precisely when to shave? Usually, you will be good to go when the area is no longer sensitive when you touch it.
However, it's extremely important not to exfoliate the skin for about five days after laser treatment.
Tips for Shaving Before Treatment
You can shave before your treatment while not right before your appointment, but when you do, don't use any depilatory creams on the area. This is because it will extract the hair by the root; while this is good when shaving, it will make your treatments less effective.
The laser needs to target the follicle and the root in order for the treatment to work.
Shave at least 12 hours before your appointment, if not longer. This will give your skin enough time to heal on its own before it starts the treatment.
If you're someone who gets razor bumps regularly using the same razor, what you can do is use an electric razor. You can also use your favorite exfoliate to smoothen the skin and remove any dead skin before you shave to reduce the risk of irritation.
By following these steps above, your knowledge of laser hair removal will become better, allowing you to reap the benefits and better prepare your skin.