The desire to permanently get rid of unwanted hair never stops. Whether removing hair from your legs, face, armpits or other areas, conventional hair removal procedures – like tweezing, waxing and shaving – are inefficient and have short-lived results. Laser hair removal is a popular alternative to these traditional methods. This article discusses what laser hair removal is and how it works, how to prepare, recovery time and aftercare.
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal uses high heat to purposely damage hair follicles and significantly slow down hair growth. This treatment is ideal for removing hair on the upper lip, sideburns, armpits, back, chest, buttocks, legs, arms and bikini line but can be used on all body parts. Laser hair removal treatment works best on dark, coarse hair.
Although the effects last much longer than home hair removal methods, like shaving, laser therapy doesn’t immediately give you permanent results. You’ll need multiple treatments for long-term hair removal, and you may require a yearly touch-up visit.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
You will be instructed to fully shave the area being treated the day prior to your treatment. You’ll also be required to wear special goggles to protect your eyes from the lasers.
Your specialist will press a hand-held laser instrument to your skin during the treatment. When activated, the laser beam targets your hair follicles through the skin, with the heat from the laser beam damaging the follicles and repressing hair regeneration. Depending on the type of laser used, a cooling tool on the device or a cooling gel can be used to protect your skin and lessen side effects.
You might feel slight discomfort, sometimes described as a warm pinprick sensation, followed by a chill from the cooling tool or gel. Typically, treating small areas takes only a few minutes, and larger areas can require up to an hour or more.
Preparing for the Procedure
It is mandatory to have a consultation prior to the treatment to ensure you are a good candidate. A patch test will also be performed at this appointment to ensure you do not have any adverse reaction to the laser treatment. You can then schedule your first full treatment 24-48 hours later.
Once you’ve decided, prepare for your laser hair removal treatment by avoiding the following:
- Tweezing, electrolysis or waxing. For optimal results, don’t tweeze or wax the area at least four weeks before your appointment because it will remove the hair from the follicle and the laser will not have a target and you will not receive any results.
- Lightening or altering your skin. Avoid pigment-changing beauty creams and skin-lighteners as this will cause both skin sensitivity and can result in a burn.
- Direct sunlight: Sunbathing and tanning beds are not advised for four to six weeks before treatment and should be avoided post-treatment for a couple of weeks.
- Cosmetics: Your skin needs to be oil-free and clean before your session, so avoid oily skincare products and makeup. The treatment can cause some irritation, so it’s wise to avoid skin products with fragrances, which can aggravate your skin further.
Recovery Time and Aftercare
After the procedure, your skin care specialist may apply a soothing aloe gel to limit discomfort. You might experience minor skin irritation, temporary discomfort, inflammation, redness or swelling around the treated area. These side effects can often be managed by applying ice to the affected area.
It’s essential to avoid direct sunlight and tanning booths for up to four weeks after the procedure and between scheduled appointments. Your specialist will give you a timeline suited to your situation. Use broad-spectrum sunscreen daily if the area must be uncovered.
How Can I Make the Treatment Last Longer?
- Visit a professional. Although laser hair removal is considered a safe procedure, it’s essential to visit a Vancouver skin clinic with qualified and licensed professionals using the right equipment.
- Touch-ups: Maintenance treatments go a long way in deterring hair regrowth. Maintenance treatments are often minimal after this point. While some people might need semi-annual at first, others might only need a touch-up every few years.
Are You Looking for Laser Hair Removal in Vancouver?
If you’re looking for a laser treatment skin clinic in Vancouver, contact us at SKN Clinic. Our certified professionals are equipped with advanced laser hair removal technology and have years of experience.