If you are unhappy with unwanted hair, whether it is on your legs, underarms or just above your lip, you are definitely not alone! You are one of the many millions of women (and men) that have to deal with this inconvenience. Sure, shaving and waxing are effective but you may not have the patience to be shaving every few days or waxing every few weeks. Laser hair removal can offer a longer term option for hair removal but how much do you really know about the laser hair removal process?
This article will help you answer some of the important questions you have about the laser hair removal procedure so that you can decide whether or not it is for you and you’ll know what to expect at your first appointment.
Laser Hair Removal Pre-Treatment
At least 3-4 days before your first laser hair treatment, the clinic will carry out a patch test on a small area of skin. The patch test not only helps to determine if you will have any adverse effects from the treatment but it also helps the practitioner determine the level of laser energy needed for the most effective course of treatment and you’ll get an idea of how the treatment feels. Some clinics will charge for a patch test but it is a crucial step of the pre-treatment process so do not be tempted to skip it to save some money!
On the Day of the Appointment
Once you have the patch test out of the way and you and your practitioner are both happy with the results, what can you expect at your first appointment?
- The skin will be prepared by using alcohol to remove any topical applications such as lotions, perfumes, makeup or deodorants. This allows the hairs to absorb the laser better and the alcohol serves to disinfect the skin.
- Before the treatment itself begins, you’ll be given some special goggles to wear to protect your eyes from the laser.
- If you choose, an anaesthestic cream or gel will be applied to the treatment site to numb the area and ease the pain of the treatment. The pain varies from person to person and will also depend on your pain threshold. You will have an idea of how painful it is based on your patch test.
- The laser treatment itself is undertaken with a small handheld wand and the treatment lasts a few minutes for a small area and can take an hour or more for larger areas.
- After treatment, the skin will be cooled down – usually with a cooling gel like aloe vera. Your skin may be red and a little swollen but this should disappear within about 24 hours.
The type of treatment needed depends on your skin tone and hair colour amongst other things so before deciding on laser hair removal, be sure to discuss the details of the procedure with your laser hair specialist to determine if the laser hair removal procedure is right for you.