A guideline for successful laser hair removal treatments
As we start to leave winter, it becomes a very popular time for people to start thinking of the warmer months and consider permanent hair removal.
Here at SkinFirst we treat thousands of clients every year for hair removal, and have extensive knowledge and experience in this industry. With this in mind, we have put together this quick guide to help you understand some of the important points to remember if you are considering or undergoing laser hair removal.
Please remember we always have your best interest in mind, so make sure to be honest with your therapist so that no complications arise from your hair removal sessions. All these points will be covered with any consultation before starting hair removal.
Always shave before your session
The MPL (multi pulsed light) we use for hair removal targets the pigment of the hair and penetrate into the skin. It focuses its heat energy on the hair which transfers into the follicle and destroys it. Since its the follicle and not the hair we are actually targeting, it is important that you shave (or use hair removal cream) the treatment area the day of your session. If the hairs are long they will absorb the laser energy outside of the follicle, leading to ineffective hair removal, and may cause damage to the top of your skin. Please don’t pluck/wax/thread the hairs as it pulls it from the root, and we need that hair attached to the follicle under the skin.
Use a broad spectrum SPF at all times
A tan is laser hair removals worst enemy. Since the laser focuses its energy on darker pigments, active melanocytes in the skin caused by a tan are vulnerable to hyper/hypopigmentation (the lightening or darkening of your skin) and can cause burns. Stay out of the sun and make sure to apply an SPF 30 sunblock every 2 hours when you have to be exposed to it.
Try your best to keep your scheduled appointments
Your hair grows in cycles and the hair removal can only effectively treat hairs in the growth cycles. You have many different cycles of hair that grow which is why effective laser hair removal takes numerous sessions. We schedule your appointments to optimally treat those hair cycles and not miss any of them. If you miss an appointment, you may miss a hair cycle causing the need for more sessions.
Don’t have an expectation of how many sessions you will actually need
The industry standard for effective laser hair removal is between 6-8 sessions. This is only an average; it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed clearance after 6-8 sessions. Some people may need more than 8 sessions to get clearance. Remember, changes in medication that cause hormone imbalances, missed scheduled appointments, some medical conditions, and even pregnancy can cause new hair growth.
Do tell us about medical conditions
No matter how irrelevant the condition may be, make sure to always disclose any medical conditions you may have. There might be a contraindication that would put you at risk when getting laser hair removal sessions done. Safety first!
Do tell us about any medication you are taking
The medication you are taking may or may not have an impact on our ability to treat you and the effectiveness of laser hair removal. Medication that affects hormones can cause the need for more laser hair removal sessions since hair is affected by a change in hormone levels. Also, there are some dangerous medications that can leave your skin sensitive to the laser and cause burns. Always disclose all medications you are taking. This includes any changes in medications throughout your sessions.
Don’t get a tan
If you’re tanned, we cannot treat! Though we can treat most skin types, a tan is different due to the increased levels of melanin. Make sure to stay out of the sun at least 4 weeks before and 2 weeks after your sessions!
Let us know if you are taking antibiotics (or have recently)
Antibiotics make your skin photosensitive, with Accutane being the worst. Most antibiotics clear your system within 3-10 days. With Accutane it will be 6 months before you can safely have laser hair removal sessions. Make sure to let your tech know if you are or have recently been on antibiotics!
Avoid getting hot straight after your treatment
This is something that is very obvious, but also commonly overlooked. We have just caused heat damage to your skin. Just as you wouldn’t go take a hot shower right after you get a burn, you should avoid hot showers/baths or working out after your hair removal session. Cold showers are completely ok!
Try and avoid wearing tight clothing on treatment area
Tight clothing, especially spandex legging, trap heat and can cause complications. Wear loose cotton clothing for and after your treatment
Don’t miss your appointments
As stated earlier, missing your appointments means the likelihood of missing a hair cycle, causing the need for more sessions and more money out of your pocket.
Don’t lie to your therapist
We are here for you and want you to be safe and get the best out of your sessions!
If you have any questions regarding MPL hair removal, or any of the treatments we offer, feel free to drop us an email or give us a call.
We look forward to helping you become hair free!