Pre-Treatment Hair Removal Instructions
Prior to a laser hair removal treatment, patients must abstain from tweezing, waxing, or any other unwanted hair treatment that removes hair from its root. There must be hair in the hair follicle for laser hair removal to work. The laser is attracted to the melanin, or pigment, of the hair. The hair must be in its anagen, or active, growth phase.
You should also avoid sun exposure in the 4-6 weeks prior to your laser hair removal treatment. Tanned skin has extra melanin, which attracts laser energy.
Right before your laser hair removal treatment, avoid applying any lotion, sunscreen, perfume, or other similar cosmetics to the surface of your skin.
Shave 1-3 days before your session. The idea is to have a nice, close shave, so that there is no hair outside the skin. It is best to have just enough hair to be visible so your laser technician knows what is to be treated.
There may be some slight charring of the small amount of stubble that gets hit by the laser. So, if you notice an odor of singed hair, that’s normal.
Post Treatment Hair Removal
Immediately after treatment, there may be mild redness and swelling at the treatment site, which may last up to 2 hours or longer. The redness may last up to 2-3 days. The treated area may feel like sunburn. Apply ice packs or gel packs (do not apply direct ice) for first few hours after treatment to reduce any discomfort or swelling. If redness or swelling persists, ice packs can be continued.
Makeup may be used immediately after the treatment unless there is blistering.
Avoid sun exposure until skin has returned to its normal baseline (no redness or swelling).
Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. Do not use any other hair removal treatment products or services (waxing, electrolysis or tweezing) that will disturb the hair follicle in the treatment area.
Wash the treated area and pat dry for 3 days after treatment. Do not scrub.
Start gently scrubbing treated area on the 4th day (ex-foliate).
Anywhere from 5-10 days after the treatment, shedding of the surface hair may occur and this appears as new hair growth. This is not new hair growth, it is the shaft that was below the skin and is being expelled. It may take 7-10 days for the shafts to be fully expelled.
There are no restrictions on bathing except to treat the skin gently, as if you had sunburn, for the first 24 hours.
At the next visit, it is important for the patient to let the practitioner know how long the redness lasted after treatment and when significant hair growth was noticed in the area. This info will allow the practitioner to individualize treatments to achieve the desired results.