There are both pros and cons associated with having your hair permanently removed by a doctor, nurse, or certified technician, courtesy of a laser. The obvious upside is that you never have to shave, pluck, wax, or undergo any other hair removal treatments every again, saving you time and money in the long run. On the other hand, the treatments are by no means inexpensive, and you may have to undergo several, depending on the area of your body and how dense the hair growth is. And if you have light-colored hair, the procedure is unlikely to offer the results you want since the laser uses pigment in your hair to target follicles. That said, if you find that you’re a good candidate for the procedure, you have the cash to pay for treatment, and you can’t think of any better gift to give yourself than the ability to say goodbye to razors for good, then you’ll just want to make sure you’re prepared. Here are a few simple steps to get you ready for your laser hair removal treatment.
- Don’t remove hair. If you want to get the most out of your treatment you need to put down the razor, tweezers, wax, and/or depilatory cream for at least 6 weeks prior to your laser hair removal appointment. The procedure works by zapping the hair follicle. But if you remove the hair, there might be no follicle to zap, making the process ineffective. Considering how much this treatment can cost, chances are you want to get your money’s worth. And if that means wearing long pants and avoiding bikinis for a couple of months, at least you’ll have a lifetime of hairlessness as a result.
- Avoid tanning. It’s best to stay out of the sun and away from the tanning salon for several weeks before your treatment and immediately following, as well. In fact, you should even steer clear of faux tans. The reason is that the color in your skin or in the tanning products could interfere with the laser, potentially making the procedure less effective and causing unintended side effects such as uneven lightening of the skin in the area being treated. In extreme cases, you could even suffer burns or other damage. Since you also have to avoid hair removal, winter might be a great time to plan your treatments.
- Check medications. Certain medications can make your skin sensitive to light, and you’ll probably be well aware of this side effect since you’ll have to be careful about sun exposure if you take such medication. If this is the case, you need to consult with your physician or pharmacist ahead of time to find out the risks involved. Lasers have the potential to damage your skin even if you’re not taking drugs that induce light-sensitivity. But the odds of burns and scarring could increase significantly when you’re on certain medications, so it’s best to understand the risks before you get started.
- Do a test. If you’re at all worried about the potential problems with laser hair removal, simply ask if you can come in for a small test patch before your scheduled treatment. This is not an uncommon request, so you should have no problem receiving accommodation. And if everything comes out fine you’ll feel a lot more confident going into your treatment.
- Find a qualified technician. Every state has different laws concerning who is qualified to administer laser hair removal treatments. In some states only doctors and nurses may do so, while other states allow certified technicians to do the job. Even so, you want to make sure that the professional you see is qualified and experienced. Your best bet is to get a referral, but you can also check out reputable and long-standing vendors in your area like Mona Spa & Wellness that have been in the hair removal business for years.