Preparing for laser hair removal sessions
Bikini, legs, arms or any other area
I am sorry but we cannot perform your laser session today!
That is a statement you do not want to hear when coming in for your laser hair removal appointment. One of the common reasons we have to turn people away for their session is not coming in with a tan but about to go on a weekend away in the sun. The client came in with no tan, had exfoliated, cleansed, had not applied any moisturisers or other products and had even nicely shaved the area, but during the consultation process informed us they were going away between visits. I will stay out of the sun while I am in Spain, I promise! We just cannot risk it, if you are heading out for some time in the sun your laser sessions will just have to wait until you come back.
Now that we have addressed the most common reason we are unable to perform your laser session, let us proceed with this article covering we hope, all you need to know to prepare for your laser hair removal sessions.
Follow these simple rules before your laser session
Please do not use any hair removal techniques.
In preparation for the best hair removal results, please do not use any hair removal techniques. No Tweezing, Plucking, Threading, Electrolysis, no epilators or Depilatory creams. Six weeks is optimum, four weeks at the bare minimum before the laser course starts.
You cannot have fake tan on
Fake tan is a no-no when it comes to preparing for your laser session. On the day of your treatment make sure you have no traces of tanning products left on your skin.
Three to four days before your hair depilation session, exfoliate the area being treated. After this exfoliation do not use fake tan or tinted products. You want to keep your skin as contaminate free as possible a few days before the sessions commence.
Avoid all UV Rays Tanning & Sunbeds
Six to eight weeks before commencement it is imperative you do not sunbake, use sun beds or even spend time in semi-sun. It increases the likelihood of hyperpigmentation and decreases the effectiveness of the treatment.
Your skin must be free from all topical products
On the day, you start the hair removal treatment make sure you have not put on any (moisturisers), body creams, tinted moisturisers absolutely no topical products.
Will laser hair removal hurt?
Treatment can be a little bit sore, not as intense as a bee sting, but it does have a little sting. If you are very sensitive or have a low pain threshold we have specifically formulated topical anesthetic cream. Please tell us at the time of booking so extra allowances van be made for your treatment.
Follow these simple rules during your laser course
Medication and laser
If you have started a new medication since your initial consultation you will need to come in again. Certain medications affect the bodies reaction to the laser procedure. At the time of consultation, we will discuss any concerns with your current medication.
Going on holiday?
Holiday’s feature often in our clients lives but please you need to use Factor 50+ sunscreen, stay in the shade and live in a big hat. The risk of hyperpigmentation is too serious to take a chance on some holiday rays.
Exercise & Steam Rooms
Often overlooked is the need to limit exercise, saunas, swimming pools. Excessive sweating and again please do not go out into the sun.
Can I shave after my laser session?
After 48 hours, you are able to shave the treated area. Some people like to leave it a bit longer depending on your own skins sensitivity.
It may appear after you depilation session that the hair is still ‘growing’. Sometimes changing in appearance, thicker and even becoming darker. This is perfectly normal and is within the shedding stage of treatment. Over a period of ten to twenty-one days, the hair will fall out and you will notice a smoother texture to your skin. It is a good idea to regularly, lightly exfoliate, this helps the process and reduces the occurrence of ingrown hairs.
Should I exfoliate after my session?
Exfoliation should be left for three to four days, depending on how sensitive your skin is. After that time, we recommend light exfoliating to aid the hair depilation and help stop ingrown hairs. Moisturise afterwards with a good quality moisturiser.
Sensitivity after treatment
After the laser session, the treated area will be a little sensitive. Erythema (redness) and follicular odema (swelling of the follicle) are completely normal side effects, these subside normally within twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
Our hair removal information pages
These pages cover even more information, a preparation and informational guide for bikini line hair removal, an unbiased look at laser effectiveness and more laser hair removal FAQ’s.
One of our longer reads this article covers the three main laser machines,Cynosure, Lumenis LightSheer & Candela GentleLase an unbiased look at laser hair removal for people wanting to be informed in the decision-making process.
The Bikini line, one of the single most popular hair removal areas. In this article, we cover most of the common questions and how to prepare for your bikini line laser sessions. If you follow some simple preparation it is quick & simple.
General hair removal questions
What is the best laser machine for hair removal?
There is no single machine best for all hair and skin types. All FDA approved medical devices achieve semi-permanent hair reduction. the best types of lasers for hair removal: Diode and alexandrite for light skin, long pulsed Nd:Yg for darker skin.
- Ruby laser: Virtually retired now, light and fine hair usage.
- Alexandrite laser: One of the most popular lasers for olive skin complexion. It features in machines such as Candella, Lumenis. Cynosure 755 nm Alexandrite wavelength is highly absorbed by melanin. It has proven long-term results for pigmented lesion removal and hair reduction, permanently reducing hair by an average of 79% after just three treatments.
- Diode laser: Suitable for lighter skin tones and is used in many leading establishments similar to the other two technologies.
- Nd: YAG (Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet crystal) The 1064 nm Nd:YAG is the safest wavelength for permanent hair reduction on darker skin types and tanned skin. It’s also the wavelength of choice for treating facial and leg veins, the most common form of vascular lesions.
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Devices: IPL’s are not lasers although work on the same principle & methodology. The only reasoning behind ineffective treatment with medical grade IPL is poorly trained and less-experienced technicians often carry out the treatments. The most common cause of ineffective IPL is the greater percentage of salons do not purchase medical grade equipment.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
The short answer is no, it is semi-permanent. This is one of the reasons many ladies chose to wax down there instead of laser hair removal. Some areas the hair will be gone, other areas it might sporadically grow back, lighter and often grows back finer. This is the reason you need that one or maybe two top up sessions. As we say in total you should rarely ever need more than 6 laser sessions and no more than one or two top-ups per year.
Will I need 'Top-Up' sessions?
If you have been through a course of effective laser hair removal, dependant on the person, it is unusual to need more than two in a year. You should also only need 6 sessions in total, it is rare to need more than six sessions. We find at Zest the most common is four to six sessions.
Make-Up and Laser
While we recommend avoiding makeup after your laser session, we also understand (like myself) that leaving the building without makeup, just is not going to happen. Only a mineral based makeup or foundation can be used after the treatment, The treated hair follicles become sensitive. This is caused by the heating process of the laser treatment and is a normal side effect of laser treatments.
How often can I get laser hair removal?
Hairs are treated when in the growth phase, sessions are 4 to 6 weeks apart this catches the most hairs within that growth phase. Each session treats a percentage of the hair in the growth cycle inhibiting the ability to grow new hair. Effective permanent hair reduction is normally achieved in 6 sessions.
What should I avoid after my laser session?
The area that is treated is very sensitive after the session so you should avoid the following
- Hot showers/baths, steam rooms, saunas, swimming pools and refrain from exercise for 24-48 hours
- Don’t exfoliate for 3-4 days and use light exfoliation product and be gentle.
- Say no to sunbeds! You cannot use sunbeds during your course although we stress to give up these terrible devices completely.
- No body lotions, body treatment creams for 48 hours.
- Avoid tight clothing especially skinny jeans for at least 48-hours, if you have had your legs treated. Tights, leggings and any clothing that connects to the skin’s surface should be avoided to minimise irritation.
Shedding and Exfoliation
Shedding, flaking of the skin, is a normal part of the treatment process. Normally within the five to fourteen-day, window. A light exfoliation of the area is recommended, followed by a quality moisturiser. Talk to your Zest skin specialist about our handy take home care packs.