Laser hair removal is a revolutionary treatment to remove unwanted hair for good. Unlike waxing, plucking, or shaving, this solution is kinder to your skin and provides long-term benefits. But for it to be fully effective, you must know how to prepare for laser hair removal before your appointment.
As laser specialists, we can’t stress enough how preparation is crucial to the success of your treatment plan. We’ve seen clients who didn’t follow our pre-treatment recommendations and ended up not getting the results they wanted despite finishing the treatment plan.
So to ensure that your skin is set for success, consider following these prep tips that our specialists recommend.
What to do before laser hair removal
Before you undergo a laser hair removal session, our specialist will conduct a thorough consultation. Aside from assessing your skin and hair type, we provide you with the proper guidance on how to condition your skin before your scheduled session.
Here’s what you need to do weeks before your appointment:
1. Stay away from the sun
Too much sun exposure will darken your skin more, making the laser less efficient in targeting the hair follicles. Instead, the laser beams may also target your skin, leading to burns and blisters.
Also, excessive UV ray exposure will make your skin sensitive and prone to complications.
If you can’t avoid going out in the sun, put on at least a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen. You should also wear protective clothing to minimize your skin’s exposure to UV rays.
2. Shave before laser hair removal
While waxing and plucking are highly prohibited before laser hair removal, we advise clients to shave the area before their appointment. Shaving doesn’t remove the roots of your hair, which is the only part the laser targets.
If you don’t shave dense hairs, the excess length will absorb the laser energy instead of the hair follicles. Also, the heat may be transferred to the surrounding skin and cause burns.
In general, we recommend that you shave at least two days before your appointment to allow the skin to settle.
3. Avoid using topical products
Our specialists will also advise you to pause using certain topical products that may cause photosensitivity. Some of these may include products formulated with retinoids, salicylic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids, and benzoyl peroxide.
Some can be found in body washes and body creams, so be sure to look at the ingredients list before applying body products.
In addition, you should steer clear of any tanning products because they will negatively affect the efficacy of the treatment.
As part of your laser hair removal preparation, stop using these products at least a week before your scheduled treatment. Our specialist will advise of the exact duration based on the product you’re using.
4. Don't wax or pluck
Never pluck or wax the treatment area before your appointment! When you do this, you’re moving hair follicles that the laser needs to target. This means your treatment will be ineffective, and the hair will grow back as usual.
Remember that laser hair removal targets the hair follicles on your skin. If you remove it by waxing or plucking, you’re just burning money on your appointment.
The only hair grooming you can do on the treatment area is shaving – nothing more, nothing less.
5. Keep your skin clean
Before your appointment, ensure your skin is clean of sweat, excessive oil, and dirt. Use mild soap to wash the area, then pat it dry. This way, the laser energy will effectively penetrate the hair follicles.
6. Wear loose clothes
Opt for loose and comfortable clothes for your laser hair removal session. This way, the fabric won’t rub the treated area, avoiding the possibility of irritation.
Aside from that, you must keep wearing loose clothes after the treatment until the mild redness and swelling subside.
7. Declare any medications you're taking
During the consultation with our specialist, inform us about your medical history, the medications you’re currently taking, and concerns about the procedure. This way, we can personalize your treatment and assess if you’re a good candidate for laser hair removal.
Pro tip: You can write down a list of questions you may have about the treatment. Our specialist will happily answer them, so your road to hair-free skin will be stress-free.
8. Avoid caffeine or alcohol 24 hours before the treatment
You should avoid taking caffeine and alcohol a day before your scheduled appointment. These substances can dehydrate your skin, and alcohol increases inflammation all over your body.
Moreover, we recommend that you drink lots of water before your appointment. This will help your body regulate its temperature, and it will also help flush out alcohol and caffeine left in your system.
9. Arrive on-time
On the day of your appointment, make sure that you arrive on time to prevent cancellation. Also, this will give you some time to relax before undergoing treatment.
If a large part of your body will be treated, we also recommend bringing a change of clothes as a backup. We’re going to apply a numbing gel on the treatment area, which may get into your clothing.
What to do after laser hair removal
Aftercare is as important as your preparation for the laser appointment. This ensures that your skin will heal fast and without further irritations.
Here are some of the basic aftercare tips you should follow:
1. Minimize sun exposure
The same with the preparation, you should keep the treated area away from direct sunlight for two weeks. If you need to go out, make sure you put on broad-spectrum sunscreen, but not until 24 hours after your treatment.
2. Avoid hot water
For 24 hours after your treatment, don’t take hot baths, hot showers, or use warm compresses in the treatment area. High temperatures can irritate your laser-treated skin and increase the risk of infection.
Instead, we recommend using cold compresses or cold showers to help with swelling and redness. Just avoid scrubbing or applying harsh soaps until 24 hours have passed.
3. Schedule follow-up appointments
Your journey to hair-free skin doesn’t end in the first session. You need to schedule follow-up appointments to sustain your progress and eliminate unwanted hair for good. Otherwise, the hair will just grow back, though slightly thinner.
We always recommend finishing your recommended treatment plan for the best results. Our specialists will advise about the number of sessions during the consultation.
4. Avoid physical activity that makes you sweat
5. Don't use deodorants for 24 hours
6. Don't pick on the treated area
In some cases, the laser-treated area may have tiny scabs or blisters, but resist the urge to pick on them! Picking the surface of your treated skin can cause infection or scarring, which will compromise the course of your treatment.
Be patient and let your skin heal at its own pace. The scabs will fall off on their own after a few days without any intervention. Also, it’s completely normal to see dead hairs falling off the treated area after 5 to 30 days post-treatment.
At the same time, avoid plucking, scrubbing, waxing, or doing anything abrasive on the treated area.
7. Consider using aloe vera gel
If you’re experiencing redness and swelling in the treated area, apply an all-natural aloe vera gel to ease the discomfort. This will keep your skin moisturized while soothing the short-lived side effects.
When you are in doubt about how your skin will react, call us, and our specialist will recommend a topical solution that matches your skin.
8. Be patient
Each person’s skin has varying responses to laser hair removal. Some may lose a lot of hair in just one session, while others may require 6 to 9 appointments before seeing desired results.
In general, people with light hair and light skin tone will need more sessions. It’s because the laser energy needs melanin to be properly absorbed. With that, light hair colors can only absorb a lower amount of laser at a time, which demands further sessions.
Get effective laser hair removal today!
Are you ready to kiss unwanted hairs goodbye? If yes, call us at Eau Claire Body Care, and we will prepare a personalized treatment plan for you!
We use the Soprano Ice laser hair removal system to neutralize hair follicles for effective permanent hair removal. It’s safe for all skin tones and hair types – both men and women.
Aside from that, our laser specialist is licensed for your peace of mind, and our happy clients speak for the efficacy of our treatment. Book a laser hair removal session with us today to see the results for yourself!