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Get Ready for Smooth Skin: A Guide to Preparing for Laser Hair Removal

You’ve decided not to shave anymore and instead go for laser hair removal. Your bare skin is going to feel so smooth in areas that you didn’t know were possible. There are some basic steps you need to follow in preparation before using this method of hair removal. For permanent hair reduction to be a reality, you must complete the following steps.

Plucking and waxing should be stopped

Whenever you decide to go with laser hair removal, you should stop using any other hair removal method that removes hair from the root. The mere act of touching up stray hairs between sessions could interfere with a treatment’s effectiveness. By removing hair follicles before laser hair removal, there are no hair follicles under the skin’s surface for the laser to target. Keeping hair out of sight while still visible to the laser can be accomplished by shaving in between sessions.

Before treatment, shave 24 to 48 hours in advance

In addition to removing hair from the treatment area, laser hair removal does not require visible hair growth. Waxing prevents you from shaving between sessions, whereas shaving allows you to do so. It is important that you shave the area within 24 hours of your session, so that just enough hair is visible to the laser. By keeping hair below the skin’s surface, you can reduce your risk of burns even though the laser may not be visible to you. Hair above it will also be targeted by the laser, causing discomfort.

Avoid tanning

Skin cancer, eye damage, premature aging, and immunity suppression can be caused by tanning, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is not only damaging in these aspects, but it can also interfere with laser hair removal treatments. Because the laser targets your hair follicles’ pigment, you may have trouble telling the difference between your hair and skin if you have extra melanin in your skin from tanning. Thus, tanning lotions and creams should not be used in the treatment area. While undergoing treatment, you should avoid anything that changes your skin’s pigment. The good news is that you’ll have bare, smooth skin once all your sessions are completed.

Medications should be taken with caution

It is possible for some medications to interfere with laser hair removal or to increase the sensitivity of the skin. It’s important to tell the medical or healthcare professional performing your laser hair removal treatment if you’ve recently taken any medication. This doesn’t mean you should stop taking medication or refuse what your doctor prescribes. A session can be affected by antibiotics and topical products containing Retinol and other substances. You should inform your doctor that you are beginning hair removal treatments and inform your treatment provider of any medications you are taking.

Your treatment may be interfered with by the following medications:

  • Birth control
  • Drugs that reduce inflammation
  • Photosensitizing medications
  • Treatments with hormones
  • Medication for acne.


What should I do before laser hair removal?

Before laser hair removal, it’s important to avoid sun exposure and tanning for several weeks prior to treatment. Sun exposure and tanning can increase the risk of side effects, such as pigmentation changes. It’s also important to avoid waxing, plucking, and electrolysis for at least 4 weeks before treatment, as these methods remove the hair from the root, making it more difficult for the laser to target the hair follicle.

Should I shave before laser hair removal?

Yes, it’s recommended to shave the area to be treated before your laser hair removal appointment. Shaving helps to remove the hair above the skin’s surface, making it easier for the laser to target the hair follicle. Avoid using any creams, lotions, or oils on the area before treatment, as these can interfere with the laser’s ability to penetrate the skin.

How can I reduce pain during laser hair removal?

To reduce pain during laser hair removal, you can use a numbing cream or a cooling device, such as a gel pack or a cooling mist. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen, before your appointment to reduce discomfort. Your laser hair removal practitioner may also offer a topical anesthetic to reduce pain during the procedure.

What should I expect during the laser hair removal procedure?

During the laser hair removal procedure, you will be asked to wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from the laser. The laser will be directed at the area to be treated, and you may feel a slight warming sensation or a rubber band snap. The procedure usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated.

Is laser hair removal safe for sensitive skin?

Laser hair removal is generally safe for people with sensitive skin, but it’s important to discuss any concerns with a licensed professional before undergoing treatment. People with sensitive skin may experience more discomfort during the procedure and may need to use a numbing cream or cooling device to reduce pain. It’s also important to avoid sun exposure and tanning before and after treatment to reduce the risk of skin irritation and pigmentation changes.

What should I do after laser hair removal?

After laser hair removal, it’s important to avoid sun exposure and tanning for several weeks to reduce the risk of skin irritation and pigmentation changes. You may experience redness, swelling, and tenderness in the treated area, which should resolve on their own within a few hours to a few days. Avoid using any creams, lotions, or oils on the area for 24 hours after treatment and follow any aftercare instructions provided by your practitioner.

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