Laser hair removal is one of the most effective ways of permanently removing hair from one's body. While it can be extremely useful for getting the sleek look you want, there are a few things you should know to prepare for the treatment. Here are three of them:
While laser hair removal can eventually remove all of your unwanted hair, it may take a while to accomplish this goal. Most patients need multiple treatments because the laser can only target hairs that have emerged from the skin. Since hair often grows in cycles, certain hairs may not be out from under your skin to benefit from the laser light. Your dermatologist can tell you more about how many sessions you may need, but you should expect that you'll need more than one treatment.
There are some prep steps you can start taking now to get ready for your laser treatment, even if you haven't spoken to a dermatologist yet. For example, you should try to avoid tanning and having your hair plucked or waxed, and avoid tanning for six weeks prior to your treatment.
Laser hair removal works because dark hairs absorb the light from the laser, causing the follicle to be permanently damaged so that it can't grow hair. However, the darker your tan, the higher the likelihood that your skin will absorb the laser instead, which could burn you.
In addition, methods of hair removal that affect the hair follicle, like waxing or plucking, can potentially interfere with the laser removal process. However, you can continue to shave, if you choose to do so.
Even once your unwanted hair is completely gone, you'll still need some time to recover from the procedure. While laser hair removal isn't extremely painful and is generally safe, your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight afterwards. So if you intended to have your final hairs zapped and then go straight to the beach, you may need to change your plans a bit.
If you absolutely can't avoid getting a lot of sunlight following your procedure, use a strong sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and remember to reapply every two hours to avoid skin damage.
Laser hair removal can potentially make it so that you never have to shave or wax again. Work with your dermatologist to come up with a plan and determine how long the process will take and when you'll be ready to show off your new hair-free body.