You've probably been shaving, waxing or using creams to remove unwanted body hair for years and years. And it works, for a little while. Then, a day, a week, or a few weeks later, you're back at it again, shaving, waxing or using other temporary hair removal methods. If you're tired of constantly battling unwanted hair, there is a better way: laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal works by damaging the hair follicles so that the hair is much less likely to grow back. It can be done on pretty much any area of the body where there's unwanted hair, with the exception of the area around the eyes. Although traditional laser hair removal methods were best suited for people with dark hair and light skin, newer advanced lasers and modern methods work on all types of hair and on a greater range of complexions.
If you're thinking about laser hair removal, follow these prep tips for the best results.
If your usual hair removal method is waxing, you'll want to take a break from it starting about a month before your first laser hair removal treatment. Waxing removes hair by the root, and laser hair removal needs that root to be actively growing hair in order to work effectively. Giving up waxing at least a month before your first treatment gives your hair a chance to get reestablished.
It's not only waxing that you want to take a break from before laser hair removal, however. Any hair removal method that pulls hair out by the roots, such as tweezing and epilating, should also be avoided.
If you usually use a product like Veet or Nair to get rid of your unwanted hair, it's a good idea to stop using it for about a month before treatment. Depilatory creams work by dissolving hair at the root, so you need to give your hair time to grow back before your laser treatment.
Although it doesn't remove hair like waxing or depilatories, it's also recommended that you hold off on bleaching your hair starting about a month before your first treatment. The pigment of your hair absorbs the heat from the laser, which is what destroys the follicle. The treatment usually works best when there's some pigment for the laser to absorb.
Another aspect of laser hair removal prep is staying out of the sun and avoiding any sort of activity that will make your skin darker. Having a tan increases the risk of skin discoloration after laser hair removal.
If you do have to go outside, cover up the area you're going to treat and be sure to wear an SPF of at least 30.
Some medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, can increase your risk for sensitivity after laser treatment. It's a good idea to review what you take with your surgeon. They might recommend another option if your medicine makes skin more sensitive. Alternatively, they might simply recommend waiting to get laser treatments until you're no longer taking the medication.
It's not only oral medicines that can affect your skin. It's also a good idea to review the products you put on your skin, such as creams with retinol or alpha-hydroxy acids. Your surgeon will let you know what products you can keep using while you're getting laser hair removal.
There's one hair removal method you don't want to give up on before laser hair removal, and that's shaving. In fact, your provider is likely to recommend that you shave the area to be treated the night before. The shorter the hair being treated, the more effective the laser usually is.
It's also important that you clean your skin as part of laser hair removal prep. Remove any lotions or creams from the surface. If you're having your underarms treated, make sure there's no deodorant or antiperspirant there. Use a gentle soap and water to wash the area.
Dr. Haitham Masri and Dr. Fatina Masri each have more than two decades of experience performing plastic surgery and non-surgical procedures. They offer a range of facial and body procedures. They can help you prepare for laser hair removal and help you fully understand what's involved with the treatment. To schedule your free patient consultation at Masri Clinic for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, call (866) 487-3223 today.