Lasers used for cosmetic purposes permanently remove unwanted hair by targeting hair follicles in a way that destroys the follicle without affecting your skin’s surface. Whether you’ve opted to have laser hair removal to get ready for summer or you’re simply tired of dealing with the regular process of trimming, shaving, or waxing, there are steps you’ll be advised to take before your appointment.
Stop Plucking or Waxing
If you normally pluck or wax away unwanted hair, stop doing this about 4-6 weeks before your first appointment. It’s important to avoid waxing and plucking since laser hair removal targets the roots of hair follicles, which are removed with plucking and waxing. However, shaving is fine since it doesn’t remove the root.
Shave the Target Area
While you don’t want to pluck or wax, it’s advised that you shave the area that’s going to be treated a day or two before your appointment. This reduces the risk of burning since the laser will be able to safely target hair below the skin. Even though you won’t see any hair after shaving, the roots needed for successful laser hair removal will remain in place.
Stay Out of the Sun
At the very least, keep the area that will be treated from being directly exposed to sunlight a few weeks before your scheduled session. Also, avoid the use of tanning beds and self-tanners. Typically, appointments are rescheduled if someone arrives with a sunburn or tan-damaged skin. Apply sunscreen if direct sunlight exposure can’t be entirely avoided.
Be Upfront about Medications
During your initial evaluation, disclose any and all medications you may be taking or using, including oral and topical ones. The reason for doing so is because certain medications may affect how lasers interact with hair tissues. Certain medications can also make skin more sensitive. Normally, you won’t have to stop taking oral medications, but this information needs to be known so laser treatments can be appropriately adjusted.
Lastly, when you do your normal post-bath/shower routine prior to your appointment, don’t apply any makeup or anything else you would normally apply topically. Simply use soap and water to cleanse the area that will be treated. If you need to use makeup remove in the area to be treated, rinse it off with water when done. Taking the precautions discussed here increases your odds of having a pleasant and beneficial experience with laser hair removal.