The Do’s and Don’ts After Laser Hair Removal
Since smooth, hairless skin is one of the most popular beauty trends; it’s no wonder that laser hair removal is one of our most requested procedures at Bared Monkey for Professional Hair Removal NY.
This procedure is ideal for men and women who want to shave, pluck, or wax certain areas less often. Sometimes, laser hair removal is so successful that it prevents the hair from growing back at all. In other cases, it slows down hair growth to make hair removal more manageable.
Whether you have a laser hair removal session booked or are still exploring to figure out if it’s right for you, knowing what you should and should not do before your hair removal session can help you make the most of the treatment.
What you do before, during, and after the procedure can affect how you look and feel once it is done. For the most comfortable and best results, follow our list of do’s and don’ts below!
What Happens During a Laser Hair Removal Session
Although laser hair removal might seem a mystery, it’s no secret what goes on behind the closed doors of a cosmetic treatment professional’s laser hair removal procedure. When you come into our office for laser hair removal, you can expect the professional treating you to use a laser tool that removes hair by projecting light beams into the hair follicles. This damages the hair follicle in a positive way that aims explicitly for the hair’s melanin pigment.
As the light converts to heat, it stops the growth process and keeps the hair from growing back as thick as it had grown previously. In many cases, it prevents the hair from growing back altogether. For most clients who undergo this treatment, laser hair removal causes hair to grow back at a decreased rate. Sometimes, patients will notice that their hair never grows back, which is the ideal outcome for this treatment.
Do’s Before Laser Hair Removal
Before a laser hair removal session, there are several things you can do to make the process as smooth and comfortable as possible. What you do before your session matters as much as what you do afterward.
Before you go through this treatment, you will want to properly clean the area in a way that will not interfere with the treatment or irritate the skin. You will also want to hold off on waxing to avoid excessive discomfort and irritation during the session. Additionally, ensuring that you get the proper nutrition before your session can go a long way in preparing you for it.
How to Clean Before the Session
Before you head out to our office, you will want to ensure that the area where you receive laser hair removal is free of dirt, lotion, and debris. Cleaning the area with soap and water before you come in is essential. Refraining from applying products such as gels, moisturizers, or lotions is equally vital to ensure you get the most effective treatment possible.
If you apply lotions or other products to your skin, just skip them in that area on the day of treatment. Also, if you do accidentally apply cream after your shower or bath that day, make sure to remove it before treatment so that you can see the best results.
While laser hair removal gives you smooth, hairless skin, you will want to avoid specific hair removal methods for a few weeks before your treatment. If you tend to wax or pluck the region where you are receiving laser hair removal, stop doing this for at least six weeks before the procedure. Waxing and similar hair removal methods, such as plucking, remove the hair to the point where the laser will not reach the pigment due to the lack of hair. Instead of waxing or plucking, try shaving so that the hair follicle and pigment remain intact for the treatment. You can shave up to a day or two before the treatment for the best results.
If you’re getting laser hair removal treatment soon, one of the best ways to prevent uncomfortable side effects is to focus on your diet. By ensuring that you are adequately hydrated before and after the treatment, you can reduce the procedure’s pain. Additionally, avoiding excessive alcohol beforehand will ensure that you are not dehydrated on the day of the procedure. Although caffeine and coffee drinks can help wake you up in the morning, you will also want to make sure to avoid them on the day of your laser hair removal treatment. Overall, a healthy, balanced diet will make this procedure easier from start to finish and will be good for you.
Don’ts Before Laser Hair Removal
Before laser hair removal, there are things that you should avoid in addition to the things that you should add to your self-care regimen. Some items on this list are relatively straightforward, such as avoiding tanning. Others, like avoiding certain medications, require you to speak with your treatment professional and doctor before deciding whether laser hair removal is right for you.
Excessive Sun Exposure
When getting laser hair removal, you should plan your appointment outside of a time when you will be on the receiving end of excessive sun exposure. For example, if you know you have a beach vacation where you will be soaking up plenty of rays, you should schedule your appointment several weeks before this event. While you might miss getting your tan on, your skin will thank you for taking this precaution.
You run the risk of laser burn when you have too much tanning or sun exposure in the weeks before a laser hair removal procedure. If you think sunburn is painful, you definitely don’t want to discover how painful a laser burn is. This complication of the treatment process is less likely to occur if you limit your sun exposure and tanning before the treatment.
While you might look forward to looking smooth and tanned, you should avoid tanning for several weeks before you have booked your laser hair removal appointment. If you use self-tanning lotions, you should cut those out of your routine for at least two weeks before the treatment. This is because self-tanning lotions and tanning, in general, increase your chances of having an unpleasant side effect called “laser burn.” This side effect is about as pleasant as it sounds, so you want to do everything possible to prevent it.
Alcohol and Smoking
While you might love to party or enjoy a nice cigarette to calm your nerves before laser hair removal, alcohol and smoking should be avoided before this treatment. Alcohol will dry out your skin and make the procedure more uncomfortable. Smoking can also affect the skin and the treatment, so you should consult your treatment professional to see how long you should avoid smoking before the procedure.
Although your morning cup of Joe might get you going, it can also make your skin more sensitive. This is why we recommend avoiding coffee for 24 hours before your treatment to ensure that you don’t have a more uncomfortable treatment session than necessary.
Some medications can make your skin more sensitive, which might make this treatment less than ideal for you. Suppose you are prescribed antibiotics, blood-thinning medicines, anti-inflammatory medications, topical products containing retinol, acne, or hormone treatments. In that case, you should talk to your doctor before booking your laser hair removal appointment. Because of the side effects, some of these medications could make laser hair removal too painful to tolerate.
How to Ensure a Smooth Procedure
The best way to ensure a smooth procedure is to follow this list of do’s and don’ts before and after the procedure. Additionally, you should follow any suggestions or requirements that your laser hair removal professional makes.
What to Expect After a Session
After a session, you may find that the area feels inflamed, red, sore, or otherwise uncomfortable. This can last as little as one day or as long as three days. While they aren’t as expected, some patients experience severe side effects like permanent pigmentation changes in the skin, scarring, rare burns, extreme pain, blistering, and infection.
If you notice side effects like an increase in swelling, blisters, burns, pain that antiseptic cream can’t control, pigmentation changes, scars, or signs of infection like pus or red/discolored streaks, you should seek medical help. While these side effects are not common, they must be taken seriously.
Because of its effectiveness and minimal side effects, laser hair removal has become one of the most popular methods for achieving smooth, soft hairless skin. Preparing for your session requires some planning and lifestyle changes for a few weeks, but it will be worth seeing the fantastic results of this procedure.