8 things you should know before having laser hair removal

16 September 2020, 09:18 | Updated: 18 February 2021, 14:20

Tips when getting laser hair removal
Tips when getting laser hair removal. Picture: Pulse Light Clinic

If you're thinking about getting laser hair removal, here are a few things to be aware of...

If you’re fed up of waxing, shaving or epilating your body hair, you might have thought about a longer term treatment such as laser hair removal.

In essence, this works by using an intense beam of light which targets the melanin (colour) in the hair and destroys the root at the base of the follicle.

While this might sound a little daunting at first, clinics such as Pulse Light have laser technology which allow safe and effective treatment for all skin types.

Wondering whether it’s the right choice for you? We have come up with a few tips that everybody should know before starting treatment.

Pulse Light Clinic offers laser hair removal
Pulse Light Clinic offers laser hair removal. Picture: Pulse Light Clinic

1. You can’t pluck, dye or wax the hair

Before your first session, avoid waxing, plucking, threading and bleaching for at least four weeks.

The laser needs to be able to identify the follicle, so hold off on your usual routine if it involves removing hair from the root.

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2. The area should be shaved beforehand

The area should be cleanly shaven within 24 hours prior to the treatment, but electric razors are not recommended as the hair is typically left too long.

As well as being hair free, the treatment area needs to be totally free from make-up, lotion, deodorant and suncream.

The area should be shaved beforehand
The area should be shaved beforehand. Picture: Getty Images

3. You should avoid sun exposure

Pulse Light stresses the importance of keeping the area out of the sun for at least four weeks beforehand.

Factor 30+ must be worn daily or the area has to be sufficiently covered with clothing to prevent UV exposure.

4. It’s a quick process

Depending on what area you have lasered, the process doesn’t actually take too long.

For your legs may take less than an hour, while the upper lip will only take a few minutes.

5. You can't get it over tattoos

Laser hair removal cannot actually be done over tattoos, therefore it must be covered and only the surrounding areas around the tattoo itself can be treated.

Laser hair removal can be a quick process
Laser hair removal can be a quick process. Picture: Pulse Light Clinic

6. It’s not too painful

Despite what you might have heard, laser hair removal isn’t that painful for most people, especially on areas such as the legs and arms.

If you are having it done on more sensitive areas such as your underarms and bikini area, it will often feel a quick, sharp prickle.

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Pulse Light’s Gentle Max Pro by Syneron Candela lasers have a cooling mechanism which is basically a running cold blast of air right where the laser is pointing.

The skin may be red immediately after the treatment and the hair follicles where the skin has been treated may be raised and bumpy, but this usually fades within a few hours.

Pulse Light Clinic uses Gentle Max Pro lasers by Syneron Candela
Pulse Light Clinic uses Gentle Max Pro lasers by Syneron Candela. Picture: Pulse Light Clinic

7. The results can take a few weeks

While you might see hair growth slow down considerably after one appointment, after 6-8 sessions at Pulse Light Clinic you can achieve up to 90% reduction.

It usually takes two or three weeks after your first treatment to see a difference, as the dead hair will fall out and less coarse follicles will grow.

It’s important to keep your appointments as regular as possible because your hair follicles are all at different stages of their growth.

8. Exercise and hot showers should be avoided afterwards

Laser treatments create heat in the skin, so it is important to avoid hot baths or showers that might increase your body temperature and lead to irritation.

Exercise, saunas or spas are also off the cards as they will make you hot and sweaty and could also cause bacteria to grow.

Keep the area cool and hydrated by applying the recommended post-laser cream or taking a nice cool shower to soothe the area.

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