How Do I Prepare for Laser Hair Removal?
For this write-up, we explain how to prepare for laser hair removal to our readers. In addition, this guide will explain how to prepare beforehand to get your skin ready before using the Bareskin laser hair removal machine.
Laser hair removal is when the "user" destroys or damages their hair follicles through continuous pulses of concentrated light. Once the hair follicle has been disabled and has reverted into a resting phase, it may never produce hair again. Please note that it takes a few treatments to get to this desired outcome.
Guide to preparing for Laser Hair Removal
The first stages of IPL laser hair removal will gradually damage the follicle in which the treated hair will typically grow back much thinner and sparser. After which, the treatments will continue for a few months until it's been disabled. After that, we advise users to keep using the device once a month to remind the hair to stay in the resting phase.
There are two ways people get laser hair removal treatment, either by going to a specialised facility that offers this service or simply purchasing a laser hair device at-home machine that allows a user to do it themselves. Knowing the correct way to prepare for laser hair removal is essential. We advise planning the laser hair removal procedure before you undergo the process. Please see the tips below:
Take a shower before you make use of the device.
Taking a shower is vital before laser hair removal treatment. Not only is this simple hygiene, but it removes any lingering cosmetics that might still be resting on the skin. These products can interfere with the laser, acting as a shield for the hair follicles.
Cosmetics on the skin can result in a patchy job and irritate the skin with certain ingredients found in creams and lotions. It is equally essential to keep deodorant and related products off the area you would like to target.
Let Your Hair Grow a Bit
Though it might seem unconventional, it will be a much easier process for you if the area you want to have treated grows out a little. Especially true if it is your first ever session. However, do not let it grow too long; let it grow to where it is just visible.
Now it is time to shave.
After cleaning your skin, it is time to shave. Shave the area before you use the device. Shaving is crucial as you get rid of hair above the skin but leave the hair below the skin. It is important to remember that you need hair below the skin for laser hair removal to work.
Means of removing hair like plucking, waxing, or the electrolysis method can disturb the follicle and thus cause significant interference for the laser. Therefore, you should shave before all your IPL laser sessions. In this case, it is best to use a sharp, clean razor.
Avoid waxing or plucking hair.
Avoid waxing or plucking hair in the treatment area for a week or two before your session. It would help to avoid waxing or plucking, as this will remove the whole hair follicle. If the entire follicle is pulled, the effectiveness of the treatment will be reduced.
Try Not to Tan
It is common knowledge to most clients that skin lightening can occur after a session. However, they don’t know that this is usually due to not avoiding the sun and tanning salon in the weeks leading up to treatment. In addition, darker skin pigments have a much higher chance of displaying lightning than a paler complexion.
It is vital to keep away from UV rays and other means of tanning. However, if you do have to spend some time outside, pack sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and apply it as often as directed.
Dusan Sekulic M.D noted that the users of an IPL device should stay away from sun exposure for a week or more. Avoiding the sun provides your skin with an opportunity to heal, including avoiding issues like hyperpigmentation. You may think that your skin is not tanned, but even a few minutes in the sun can cause a problem.
Though it might be tempting to wear what you find typical for a trip to town or lounging around the house, try and find clothes that will leave the area you are targetting exposed. Items such as shorts or a tank-top are ideal. Then, when it comes time to start the process, it will be easy to access all the needed areas without rolling or completely removing items.
If you don’t have these clothes, try finding something that is loose-fitting and doesn’t cling to the skin. Tight skin clothing will irritate the skin and sometimes cause pain after the session.
Do not bleach your hair.
While having a lighter skin tone is better for laser hair removal, the same is not true about hair colour. The darker the undesirable hair is, the easier it will be for the laser to detect the melanin in the hair. However, it could be tough to get a complete and effective treatment depending on the shade of hair. Therefore, do not bleach the hair follicle you will be targetting. Bleach removes the melanin from hair follicles and makes it almost impossible for laser hair removal to target the hair follicles.
If you already have bleached hair and wish to use a laser hair removal service, wait until the darker, more natural colour grows out. It may take a few cycles of shaving and growing, but it is better when compared to the aggravation the laser treatment would cause you otherwise.
Check Your Medications
Believe it or not, some medications can increase your risk of side effects during and after a session. These drugs are known as photosensitive medications, a type of medicine that reacts to UV rays.
While most prescribed drugs do not fall under this list, it is good to check and make sure any medication you take regularly or take before a session does not interfere. If you are not sure whether a particular medicine falls into this category, ask your doctor or check a list of dependable sources online. It is always better to be safe than face the consequences of potential side effects.
Remember to exfoliate.
Remember to exfoliate 3 to 4 days before your laser hair removal session. By exfoliating, you prepare your skin for the IPL device. Do not exfoliate a day before as this may irritate if you have sensitive skin.
Don't drink any caffeine.
Yes, unfortunately, this is true. Avoid caffeine if possible. If you think you may experience pain, we advise you not to drink any caffeine before your session. Caffeine is known to increase pain sensitivity.
Some pain medication.
If you believe you may experience pain, you may have a low pain threshold. You may want to take some pain medication before your session. We at Bareskin have found that almost 99% of users do not experience significant pain. Also, the Bareskin device has five power settings, so if you are unsure, you can start at the lowest setting before increasing the power.
Remember to stay hydratedDrink plenty of water in the days leading up to your appointment. We have found that hydrated skin tends to respond better to laser treatments.
You’re Ready to Go
After preparing in all the possible ways listed above, you will be ready for your laser hair removal session. Now you can buy a suitable laser device for a hair removal treatment at your own home. Be sure to double-check that you have done everything needed before beginning. With this knowledge, you know how to prepare for laser hair removal.
Medically reviewed by: Dr. Robert Walters MD (Dermatologist)