Show me one woman who loves to shave. It is a thankless job. Who wants to shave every morning only to have a 5 o’clock shadow. Not me! And waxing, do we even want to go there? Not only is it PAINFUL, the horrible week of growing the hair out before waxing is almost worse than the treatment itself.
Laser hair removal is one of the best things I have ever done for myself (and I have done a few). This truly is a permanent solution for your unwanted hair woes. Using a cosmetic laser adjusted for a patient’s skin and hair type, a concentrated beam of light is directed at the pigment in the hair follicle. The laser kills (for lack of a better word) the follicle at the root, preventing the hair from growing back.
Before you take your permanent hair removal journey I think there are a few things you should know!
1. Stay out of the sun before your appointment
At the very minimum four weeks. Remember the laser is attracted to pigment in the hair follicle. If you have a tan, the laser beam will be attracted to the color in your skin as well as the hair. It can cause discoloration of the skin and possible burning. This may surprise you…you must also stay away from spray tans and tanning lotions. Just like a real tan the laser will be attracted to the color produced by “fake bake”. Time your hair removal accordingly. If you are not a sun goddess, anytime of the year will be fine for you. If you love the look of a golden tan, wait until fall or winter to start your laser hair removal sessions.
2. Don’t worry about growing your hair out
This isn’t anything like waxing. You don’t need to grow your unwanted hair out beforehand. The best thing to do is to shave the day before your appointment. Check with you laser expert prior to your initial session.
If you have recently waxed, forget it! Remember the laser targets the PIGMENT of your hair follicle, and the follicle actually has to be there in order for this to work.
3. After the 1st treatment you will NOT be silky smooth
There is a good reason for this. All hair follicles have a growth cycle and not all growth cycles are the same. It only takes one treatment to kill a hair follicle. It takes five to six sessions spaced out every four to six weeks to hit all of the growth cycles. If you are hoping for instant results you may want to consider waxing. If you want permanent results, be persistent. Everyone is different, but by the third month you should see a dramatic difference.
4. The treatment isn’t relaxing
I am just being real with you. Each appointment can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Numbing cream may be an option in some areas, but you should check with your laser expert. Here is the thing, ever time the laser fires, it feels like someone is snapping you with a rubber band. Tempting, right? I will tell you the first appointment is always the worst. As your hair starts to thin out there is a lot less ZING!
Let me give you the alternative. Have someone rip the hair out of you with hot wax and a cloth. In four to six weeks the hair simply grows back. Yeah – I know they claim waxing reduces the amount of hair over time. My question is: How many times do I have to go through that torture to see some hair reduction?
Choose the rubber band snaps (that get better over time) and a permanent solution. You will not regret it.
5. Some hair colors are tricky to treat
Dark hair follicles are easy to treat because, as I said before, the laser targets the hair’s pigment. On the flip-side, gray, white, blonde, and red pigments, previously impossible to treat, some say can be treated with the latest advancements in laser technology. I am not convinced these previously “hard-to-laser” hair colors can actually be removed via laser. I think the verdict is still out on this one! Make sure to discuss your hair concerns with you laser expert, understand the capabilities of their technology and then make a decision.
6. Laser hair removal is worth it!
Here is the caveat…laser hair removal won’t guarantee 100% removal of unwanted hair. WHAT? In my experience it removes 99.9% of the unwanted hair. I had my bikini, armpits and full legs done in the 90s. This was prior to the advancements made to treat blond, gray and red hair. So – I still have very fine blond hair on my legs and maybe 4-5 stragglers. I may lightly shave (just to remove the peach fuzz) 4 times per year. Imagine not really shaving your legs for the next 20 years. Is it worth it? OH YEAH!!!!