In recent years, laser hair removal has become widely popular in the U.K. And it‘s not just among women! Whether it’s for work (i.e models or bodybuilders) or just to feel more confident and comfortable, more and more men are turning to laser hair removal.
As you might already know, it takes at least 4-6 sessions to see permanent hair removal. But what do you do in between these sessions to ensure you get the maximum benefit? Whether it‘s your first laser hair removal appointment or you‘re in between laser hair removal treatments, here are six tips to follow for the best possible results.
1. Be Consistent
Laser hair removal appointments are scheduled based on the growth cycles of your hair. Yet what happens a lot of times is people will get two or three treatments and then disappear for six months only to come back and say it all grew back.
If you take too long between treatments, your hair follicles won’t be damaged fast enough to stop hair growth permanently. You’ll see an initial thinning, but your results will fade, and it won’t be long before you’re right back to normal hair growth.
The good news is that if you remain consistent, hair growth will diminish by 80%-90%, and you will only need to come in for the occasional maintenance session.
2. Avoid Sun Exposure to the Treatment Area
Sun exposure can increase the risk of side effects of laser hair removal, such as hyperpigmentation and laser burns. The latter is not only painful but can interfere with your treatments when you may have to miss one or two sessions for your skin to heal. So make sure you always wear sunscreen when going outside—also wear protective clothing such as hats and long-sleeved outfits.
You should avoid tanning and as well as any kind of tanning lotion or spray. If you already have a tan, it‘s recommended that you wait until the tan has faded entirely before undergoing laser hair removal.
This is because tanning darkens the skin surface, creating a competing target for the light energy of the laser. If the melanin in the hair follicle is not absorbing the laser energy, the treatment won’t be effective.
3. Shave Before Your Appointment
Shaving before your laser hair removal appointment is perfectly fine. In fact, we recommend that you shave the night before or the morning of your treatment. Shaving only takes off the surface hair at skin level while preserving the hair follicle.
This allows the laser beams to target the follicles better. If the hair is too long, it might absorb most of the energy and can cause the laser to burn your skin. Therefore, freshly shaved skin is the most ideal for treatment.
However, make sure you always use a clean, new razor to ensure there are no lingering bacteria that could potentially cause contact dermatitis after your laser treatment.
4. Avoid Antibiotics 7 Days Before Your Treatment
Antibiotics or other light-sensitising drugs can make your skin far more sensitive to sunlight than it would usually be. Photosensitivity reduces your skin’s natural defences and elevates your risk of skin damage from the UV rays. This further exposes you to the risk of burns or blisters during the laser hair removal session.
Suppose you begin taking an antibiotic in the course of your laser hair removal treatment plan. In that case, it’s recommended you check with your personal physician on how you can stop the medication for seven days before your subsequent laser treatment.
5. Resist the Temptation to Turn to Less Effective Laser Treatments
Generally speaking, the more advanced and innovative the laser technology being used is the more effective, painless and efficient your laser treatment will be. Yet, some people make the mistake of cancelling their appointments along the way in favour of cheaper options.
The reality is most certified laser hair removal facilities charge more because they have invested in the best technology and proper education for their staff. If you're going to a spa or using home kits, generally, you're going to get less advanced technology. This doesn’t mean these options don’t work.
It just means they are often less effective, and you might find yourself starting the whole process over again down the line.
6. Stay away from the Tweezers and Waxing Spa Sessions
The follicle needs to remain intact in order for the laser hair removal to work effectively. This is because the laser reduces hair regrowth by damaging the hair follicles. For this reason, you should avoid all plucking and waxing for at least six weeks before treatment.
Laser hair removal has been available since the late 1990s, and the technology has only improved since that time. It’s now possible to treat more hair types and skin tones effectively, and today’s precision lasers can target hair anywhere on the body.
If you’re interested in laser hair removal, a consultation with a certified laser technician is the first step you should take. During the consultation, we will discuss what goals you would like to achieve, the areas you‘d like to target, and how many treatments you may need to achieve your desired results.