What you need to do to prepare for laser hair removal treatment

Now that summer is right around the corner, it’s time to book our appointments and get ready for a summer of socialising.

While we might not be hitting the beaches on foreign shores just yet, we still want a hassle-free summer in swimsuits, sundresses and sleeveless tops. The irritation of shaving, razor bumps and reddened skin is the only thing getting in the way of that.

And laser hair removal is here to provide a solution! A few friends had laser hair removal last summer and raved about the process. A stress-free summer after just a few sessions seems worth the price tag.

woman lifting his leg

So what is laser hair removal and how does it work?

It is a safe way of using light energy to effectively remove unwanted hair permanently. According to Thérapie Clinic, the way it works is that ‘light is absorbed by melanin, the pigment in the hair follicle. The laser’s light energy heats the pigment and destroys the hair follicle. It only affects the specific structures of the hair and follicle, leaving the surrounding skin undamaged.’

How many sessions you will need will vary from person to person. Generally, between 6-10 sessions are needed, but that depends on hair’s type, the area you’re having lasered and any medical conditions you may have. This treatment is not effective on blonde, grey/white or red hair as their pigment isn’t strong enough to produce any effect.

What do I need to do to prep for an appointment?

Shave beforehand

Don’t wax, bleach, pluck or thread any areas that you will be having hair removal in, before or during your treatment. But you absolutely must shave the area 24 hours before the treatment. Any other form of hair removal can damage the hair follicle, which means the laser treatment will not be effective. Interfere with the hair root before a treatment is a disaster so stick to just shaving for now.

topless woman with brown hair

Wash off the tan

Whether that’s one with all natural ingredients or a chemical one, you need to have it cleaned away before going for laser hair removal. The area must be clean in order to for it to work properly. This means staying away form sunbeds or suntanning for at least 4 weeks beforehand also.

Talk to your practitioner about pain management

They may apply a local anesthetic or you may discuss alternative pain management, but be sure to have that conversation with your clinician. Laser hair removal can be painless for lots of people or only cause slight discomfort, but it can also cause redness, swelling and pain, so you may need to take time off work if you’re getting it done in a sensitive area. Be sure to consult with your licensed clinician.

Keep chemical-free

Avoid using deodorants, moisturisers or body creams on the areas that will be undergoing treatment. This is essential to avoid any reactions with the skin and hindering the treatment.

How can I take care of myself afterwards?

Avoid water/chemical exposure

No baths/showers/pools or any kind of water exposure for 48 hours after the treatment. Chlorinated water, deodorants, perfumes and scented lotions or body washes will irritate the sensitive skin and could cause inflammation. Be sure to treat the area very delicately and carefully. No active products such as AHA’s, BHA’s and retinol for 3-7 days after treatment.

smiling woman standing near pool

Take it easy

This means no excessive exercising with intense workouts or gym sessions until 48 hours after treatment. Sweating will irritate the area and could cause friction and pain.

Wear loose clothes

Anything tight or restrictive will trap heat and rub against the treated area, causing irritation and possibly even swelling.

Follow your clinicians advice about sun care protection for the sensitive skin. It will be at risk of increased exposure, but certain sunscreens may irritate it so seek professional advice about how to best protect your skin.