Laser hair removal Laser hair removal

Laser Hair Removal: 10 Must-Know Facts Before Treatment

It is the most popular medical procedure for removing unwanted hair permanently.

Although everyone gets lured by the idea of waxing and shaving-free life, they fail to acknowledge that the hair removal process, like any other thing in this world, has consequences too. 

They are all not that bad and severe, but anyone considering getting it done must know about them. You need to know some facts before getting hair removal treatments.

Let us help you out with it. 

10 Facts That You Should Know

Getting permanently rid of unwanted body hair is the most coveted asset for every woman

It gives them the confidence to enjoy life on their terms without worrying about whether they should raise their arms. But here are some facts you should know about the permanent hair reduction process before getting it done.

Lazer Hair Removal
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1. Laser Treatment Might Take Time but Guarantees Permanent Hair Removal

Laser treatment does not give an immediate observable result, which comes with multiple treatments, approximately 8-12 laser treatments, to see the full effect.

It will take at least two to three weeks after the first treatment before you start observing a difference. 

Hair removal takes multiple sessions to root out hair from the anagen stage, as it is the only point where the hair follicle remains attached to the bulb. 

So hair removal works on the anagen stage to disrupt future growth completely. It is a lengthy but sure-shot process that ultimately pays off.

This treatment gets to the root of the issue, and once you get done with all of its sessions, you will never have to worry about unwanted hair growth. 

1.1 What are the 3 types of permanent hair removal?

The three most popular permanent hair removal methods are laser, IPL, and electrolysis.

1.2 What is the longest-lasting hair removal?

Since electrolysis is permanent, it lasts the longest. With enough treatments, hair removal can be permanent and last up to six months, but it works differently for different people. Tweezers can be used to remove hairs one at a time for up to eight weeks.

2. Consider Shaving the Treatment Area

Body hair in the treatment area can cause damage to the surface of the skin from the burnt hairs. 

These burnt hairs also interrupt the laser treatment as when laser targets the skin that needs to be treated, hair on the surface burns to leave the hair shaft below intact. 

This increases the number of sessions you will have to go through. So, shaving the area 24 hours before the treatment is prescribed. The same goes for makeup.

It would be best to ensure that the area where you want hair removal is free from any makeup or other beauty products. One must wipe out Sun cream, lotion, or deodorant before the procedure starts.

It is prescribed to stop using fake tanning products 3-4 weeks before the procedure. Your skin needs to be thoroughly exfoliated to avoid any side effects.

Lazer Hair Removal
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2.1 What happens if you don’t shave properly?

As we briefly discussed, the laser will singe the hair if you don’t shave before your session, causing a burn to your skin. Additionally, the treatment won’t be as effective and could leave you with minor transient grazes on the top layer of your skin if the hair hasn’t been thoroughly shaven.

3. Other Hair Removal Methods Should Be Avoided

One should avoid plucking, waxing, bleaching, and electrolysis six weeks before the laser treatment.

For the success of the laser hair treatment, it is necessary to preserve the hair root and pigment. 

But waxing, plucking, or bleaching your hair disrupts that motive, leaving nothing for the laser to aim for. It can’t be said then that the regrowth of hair will not happen since it doesn’t guarantee permanent hair removal.

In many cases like this, hair regrows, altering the whole purpose of hair removal. 

So dermatologists suggest shaving your hair instead of waxing it in the weeks before the procedure. This assures an effective result.

3.1 Why should we not remove body hair manually?

There are several advantages to not shaving, including improved sex, a lower risk of skin infections, and better control over body temperature. Ultimately, choosing a look that makes you feel at ease would be beneficial.

Lazer Hair Removal
Source: Shutterstock

4. Blood-Thinning Medications Should Be Avoided Before the Procedure

A dermatologist suggests avoiding blood-thinning medications six weeks before the laser procedure.

Blood thinners like Retinol can have adverse side effects on your skin. It can cause your skin to become extremely sensitive to lasers. 

And then having that highly concentrated soft focus on your skin can be excruciating and irritating. So, blood thinners should be avoided to get the treatment done with as slight irritation and pain as possible. 

You might want to contact your dermatologist weeks before to ensure which medications are a big “no” for this treatment.

5. Not a Very Painful Process 

Waxing is painful. Most of us are familiar with the pain of pulling the hair follicle out of its bud. 

So, imagine how much it will pain when a laser light enters through the pigment of your hair and damages the hair follicle and its bud. A lot, right?

Wrong. Most you will experience in laser treatment is a quick, sharp pain. You will be surprised to know that this pain is almost nothing compared to the pain from waxing. 

Some patients describe this pain as snapping a rubber band on their skin. The pain is a little sharper along the areas where are thinner skin types

Like along the nose, temples, and chin. It can also be a little painful if your body temperature is higher than usual.

6. Avoid Sun Exposure Before and After Treatment

It doesn’t matter your skin color; it is always suggested to avoid sun exposure 1-2 weeks before the treatment. And also some weeks after it.

Frequent exposure to sunlight before treatment can make your skin extra sensitive to light energy. 

This can threaten your skin, resulting in burns, hyperpigmentation, and scarring. It is used in the hair removal process.

If you are in a dire situation and need to go out, apply sunscreen to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays.

After treatment, treated skin will be extra sensitive and need time to heal before being exposed to UV rays. 

Even after the treated skin is adequately healed, you should always use sunscreen before going out if you don’t want burns and irritable rashes on the treated area.

Also, don’t use a tanning bed or sun lamp for indoor tanning.

6.1 How long should you avoid the sun before the laser?

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Hyperpigmentation, burns, and scarring can result from using a laser on heat-sensitive and sun-tanned skin. The skin becomes more susceptible to heat when exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore even if it is generally considered safe, doctors advise avoiding it at least two weeks before treatment. 

6.2 How many days after laser treatment can I go in the sun?

Though it may not appear tanned, your skin is nevertheless exposed to UV radiation. You should also avoid the sun for roughly two weeks after hair removal. This lowers your risk of developing hyperpigmentation or other issues while giving your treated skin time to heal.

7. It is a Fast Process

Contrary to what you think, the hair removal process is long and swift.

For what laser treatment costs, it will take just 20 minutes for a full-face appointment. And one position or underarms takes less than a minute.

So, you can see you don’t have to spend hours sitting on a chair with a rubber band repeatedly snapped at your skin.

8. Consider Skin Lightening

Your hair and skin color is a crucial factor that decides the effectiveness of the hair removal process. Performing laser treatment on darker skin tones is more complex than on light skin or light-colored hair.

This is because, during the process, laser light enters our skin through pigment and damages the hair follicles to prevent future hair growth in the area. 

Still, a pigmentation in dark skin, melanin pigmentation, absorbs some of the laser’s energy, which can also inflict damage to the skin.

So it presents a challenge to the dermatologist performing the treatment to inflict minimum damage to the skin while inflicting maximum damage to the hair follicles, which is ineffective.

That’s why it is prescribed to use some skin-lightening bleaches or other beauty products on darker skin tones before the process to get as effective a result as possible.

8.1 Is skin lightening treatment harmful?

 Is it secure? Because they work to lessen the synthesis of melanin in the skin, skin-lightening procedures, including lasers, chemical peels, and injections, are considered safe. 

9. Consider Switching up Your Beauty Regime and Other Products

The hair removal on your upper lip, legs, or other body parts makes it extremely sensitive. 

In some people, it takes several months to heal correctly, and between that time, it is advised to the patients to stay away from some beauty products.

Along with glycolic acid, scrubs, and retinol cream, topical beauty products are also prohibited for the patients.

You can apply some moisturizers, but make sure they do not contain chemicals or perfume. A better option is to forego the moisturizer and apply aloe Vera gel.  This home remedy will help you with the itching without any side effects

Beauty products
Photo by Raphael Lovaski on Unsplash.Copyright 2021

10. The Hair Removal Process Can Trigger Hair Growth in Some Cases.

Although it’s not daily, the process can sometimes trigger hair growth. Some particular hair types face this issue. But you don’t have to worry, and your dermatologist will inform you if your hair is one of that kind.

In rare cases, it leads to the growth or regrowth of hair in the area adjacent to the treated area. It can happen anywhere on the face or body.

Clear armpits
Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash /Copyright 2021

10.1 What are some other disadvantages?

Rarely, can result in skin abnormalities such as blistering, crusting, scarring, or other skin alterations. Graying of treated hair or excessive hair growth around treated regions are rare but possible side effects, especially for people with darker skin.

Closing Thoughts

You should know these facts before going for a laser treatment process.  It is a very safe and effective process, but it can cause issues if the patient needs the proper knowledge about this cosmetic dermatology medical procedure. 

So, get geared up with the medical information you need and permanently remove unwanted hair. 

Common Side Effects

Although this process is safe and effective for most people, patients also face some side effects in rare cases. Some of the most common side effects are:

  1. Slight redness, swelling, and irritation in the treated skin.
  2. Some might observe pigmentation changes. People with light skin tend to see darker pigmentation change, and those with dark skin and dark hair tend to see more delicate pigmentation change.
  3. Crusting can also occur on the treated skin.
  4. Although scars are not a common side effect, they can occur if an error is made in dermatological surgery.
  5. There is also a risk of blisters and burns if dermatologic surgery is not performed correctly.

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