Still shaving your armpits? Hot waxing your bikini line? Plucking your mustache? Ugh! That’s SO last season. Gone are the days of painful pulling, skin scratching, and time-wasting just for short-term, half-baked hair removal results.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to consider laser hair removal. Laser hair removal has been rising in popularity since the late 90s, and it’s easy to see why! If you’re new to the game, laser hair removal is a non-invasive procedure that utilizes a highly concentrated beam of light to target hair follicles and inhibit hair growth.
After four to six sessions over a period of six to six weeks, you’ll enjoy six to eight months (possibly even up to a year) of no hair regrowth before needing a maintenance session (boy that was a lot of numbers 😵💫).
With results like that, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to pick up the phone and book that appointment right now! But before you dive in, there are some steps to take in preparation for your first treatment.
Stick with us, and we’ll put some prep in your step. Let’s get you ready for your smoothest hair removal experience yet…
Trust the Professionals
Laser hair removal may feel like a cosmetic luxury, but you should treat it like any other medical procedure. That means you should leave it to licensed professionals. It’s important to check reviews online or ask those close to you for a recommendation when finding a certified laser hair removal clinic for your treatment.
Once you have locked down the clinic, schedule a consultation. (Most credible offices will require a consultation for every patient, anyway.)
During your consult, a techician will explain side effects, aftercare procedures, and everything else you’ll need to determine whether you’re a good candidate for laser hair removal.
It is also the perfect opportunity to ask questions, and we encourage you to do so to feel confident in your decision to pursue laser hair removal.If you know you have very sensitive skin, this is a good time to ask about administering a numbing cream before treatment so you can feel as comfortable as possible.
While it’s important to be mentally prepared for your laser treatment, you have to make sure your body is ready to go, too. This may feel like a lot of aggressive restrictions but we promise we only have your best interest (and smoothest legs) in mind 😘
Here are several things to AVOID before going in for that first session to ensure the most effective and comfortable laser hair removal experience:
We know this is asking a lot of you, and it’s the only rule that’s not exactly *required* — but skipping your morning coffee on the day of your session can help avoid unnecessary skin sensitivity.
We’re crying just thinking about giving up our morning cup of Joe, but it can help the procedure be much more comfortable, especially if you have highly sensitive or reactive skin.
We hate feeling dry or like our skin is crusty dusty. However, it is best to avoid using creams, oils, lotions, or moisturizers on the areas that will be laser treated on the day of your session. The skin should be freshly clean, dry, and free of any skincare products before treatment.
NO Plucking or Waxing
Yes, plucking and waxing is *in theory* aiding in hair removal. However, beginning four weeks prior to laser treatment, it is necessary to refrain from any hair removal technique that completely removes the hair or damages the follicle.
Laser treatments require hair in the follicle to work (the pigment in the hair is what the light is targeting). Therefore, no hair in the follicle = no successful laser treatment.
NO Excess Hair
On the contrary to plucking and waxing, you can shave between your laser sessions and shouldshave the area being treated 24 to 48 hours before your session. Shaving cuts hair at the surface without impacting the follicle and can help prevent the laser zapping excess hair above the skin and causing irritation.
We love the way a good tan makes us feel and look. Unfortunately, your laser technician may be side-eyeing you if you come into your session with a fresh bronze.
Whether natural or artificial, a tan lowers the level of contrast between your skin and the hair color, which could decrease the effectiveness of the laser. (We realize this may be a conflict of interest, since you might be trying to get hairless for those summer beach days — but all the better reason to start your laser journey in the spring.)
In the weeks prior to your laser appointment, we recommend consistently using a strong SPF on the area you will be treating to see the best results.
Clear Your Mind
As important as it is to prepare your body for treatment, it is also necessary to prepare yourself mentally for laser hair removal. Laser hair removal can be an expensive and lengthy treatment for some and it is okay to take some time between your consultation and first session to think over if laser hair removal is a worthwhile option for you.
Additionally, we know laser hair removal is very safe but there are a few potential side effects that are worth thinking over before committing. Similarly, while laser hair removal is relatively painless for most people, you should prepare for some minor discomfort if you know you have sensitive skin.
Once you are certain laser hair removal is right for you, book your appointment and get excited because soon worrying about shaving, waxing, and plucking will be a thing of the past.
We Have a Secret…
All of this prep may seem a bit overwhelming, and you might even be wondering if hair removal is even worth all the trouble. What if we told you you could bypass all the annoying clinic appointments (and save time and money) with a simpler system? Well, we can!
IPL (intense pulsed light) systems are an alternative to laser hair removal. They can be administered in a clinic but can, more importantly, you can safely DIY them at home. IPL is a gentler light therapy that sends light pulses (duh) to the hair follicle, causing the hairs to fall out.
With significantly less heat involved than laser hair removal, IPL systems are much more comfortable on the skin than laser and can even help improve skin elasticity while stimulating natural collagen production. (Everything’s coming up roses, isn’t it?)
Speaking of roses, companies like RoseSkinCo offer a variety of handheld IPL devices that are user-friendly, effective, and can be shipped right to your door. And we can not emphasize enough how much cheaper it is than four to six clinic appointments. 😅
Similar to laser hair removal, IPL requires four to six sessions over the span of one to two months to achieve long-term hair removal. In terms of prep, following the Body No-Gos we listed above will help you get top-tier results with IPL the same way they will with laser hair removal. But now, you can do it all from the comfort of your couch while binging your favorite TV show.
Who said you can’t have the best of both worlds? Whether you are on a budget or on the quest for convenience, IPL gives you the option to literally “prepare for laser hair removal at home,” and that’s the greatest gift of all.