woman receiving laser hair removal on upper lip

Laser hair removal allows you the freedom to feel confident with your body without having to shave or wax. After several sessions of laser hair removal, you may see less coarse hair, dark hair in the treated areas. Just as with other types of cosmetic procedures, it is important to come into your treatment session with realistic expectations and with adequate preparation. This guide will help you prepare for your first session of laser hair removal.

1. Avoid Sunlight

It is important that you stay out of the sun for at least four weeks before your laser hair removal session. Your appointment may have to be postponed if you become sunburned or have tanned dark. This is because laser hair removal targets the melanin, or pigment, of your skin. It is best if you come to your appointment without a tan on the area of treatment.

2. Develop Reasonable Expectations

Patients are often surprised to learn that results may require several sessions to see. Additionally, you should expect to see some of your hair falling out within about two weeks as it begins to reach a certain cycle of growth. Sessions may be spaced out every one to two months. Your doctor will help you develop the best plan of action for optimal results.

3. Understand Your Candidacy for Laser Hair Removal

If you are a woman with hormonal issues, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, laser hair removal may not work. Additionally, laser hair removal works best on dark, coarse hair. If you only have fine, light hair, you might not see a difference in hair growth. Not sure if you are a candidate for laser hair removal? Talk to your doctor to determine if this is a good fit for you.

4. Shave Hair Removal Areas

You should not come in for your appointment with hair in the area you want it removed, but you cannot come in waxed either. Laser hair removal works by targeting your hair follicle’s pigment, and shaving is the best method that does not remove follicles. Prepare the area for laser treatment by shaving the day before the appointment, not plucking, bleaching, or using electrolysis.

When you do shave, make sure to use a new razor so that you are not risking infection with an accidental cut. If you tend to experience ingrown hairs or irritation after you shave, try using an electric shaver instead.

5. Make Time for Your Appointment

Different body parts require different amounts of time for hair removal. The legs and back tend to take longer than the armpits and bikini areas. Talk to your doctor about how long your laser session will last so that you can plan accordingly.

6. Avoid Drinking Caffeine

Coffee, energy drinks, and sodas with caffeine can make you feel tense during a laser hair removal session. If you are already nervous about coming in for your session, lay off the caffeinated drinks that could make you jittery.

7. Shower Thoroughly

Always arrive at your laser hair removal appointment with clean skin. Try to eliminate as much makeup, oil, and dirt as possible. You should also avoid using moisturizer on the areas to be treated, as this can affect the laser hair removal process.

8. Talk to Your Doctor About Pain

Generally, patients who undergo laser hair removal report only mild discomfort. Still, many patients are concerned with pain. Some doctors offer a topical cream to numb the area ahead of time. You can take an anti-inflammatory medication, like Ibuprofen, before your session too. If you are scared of the pain of laser hair removal, your doctor may provide additional suggestions for relief.

If you still have questions about laser hair removal, your doctor has answers. Get in touch today to learn about your candidacy and other options for laser hair removal.