Laser hair removal has become a popular cosmetic procedure in the recent years. People who are tired of employing methods like waxing, shaving or tweezing to get rid of unwanted body hair have turned to this option as it offers more advantages over traditional hair removal techniques. The primary advantage is that laser hair removal offers a permanent solution to all hair woes, though after 3 or 4 treatment sessions with minimal side effects. However, complications can arise with laser hair removal if you do not follow the instructions given by your practitioner. If you have any doubts or concerns related to the treatment it is advised that you ask them during the consultation.
- What type of laser will be used?
This is probably the first thing to ask the practitioner. You don’t have to suffer to get results, so you should know a few details about the laser hair removal machine being used for the treatment. It is important to ensure you are being treated with a reputable, medical grade device. No matter how well trained the laser technician is, the type of equipment used determines the majority of efficacy and safety. So ask them about the device’s manufacturer to ensure that there are no side effects.
- Can laser hair removal work on light hair?
Laser hair removal works on light hair that contains dark pigment, the laser has no effect on blond, red, gray or white colored hair as they don’t contain enough pigment for the laser to absorb into. Lasers target melanin (dark pigment) in the hair and more the melanin in hair the more heat it will absorb and effectively remove it. When the laser is pulsed on to the skin, the light is absorbed by hair shaft and transferred into follicle where it heats and disables the interconnecting cells to remove the hair. However, for lasers to work on light hair high intensity of light must be used, Nd YAG and Alexandrite are designed to target dark fine hairs using high settings without compromising on the safety.
- Will laser hair removal treatment hurt?
The pain factor varies from person to person as everyone’s pain tolerance is a little different. What may be uncomfortable for one person might not affect another. However, the treatment feels like snapping a warm rubber band against the skin. It is typical to feel the warmth on the skin during the treatment which almost goes away instantly. Also, the pain factor depends on the area of the body being treated as some areas are more sensitive like the underarms, bikini line and face.
- Can ibuprofen be taken before the session?
It is advised not to take ibuprofen before laser hair removal session as it may cause bruising after the treatment. Also, stop taking any medications 48 hours before your session as some medications cause the skin to become more photosensitive and lead to pigmentation. Most medications taken to treat acne cause photo sensitivity and it is not possible to have laser treatment while on them. If you are taking any medications, please tell the practitioner before the treatment so that they can advise you how long you need to wait to get an effective treatment without side effects.
- Will fake tan hamper with the treatment process?
Yes, fake tan hampers the treatment process. Tanning is not recommended as it darkens the skin and as laser light attacks dark cells, it won’t be able to differentiate between skin and hair. Thus more energy will be absorbed by the skin and cause permanent damage such as burns and bruises and blisters which lead to skin pigmentation and also hair removal treatment will not be as effective as it should be. However, if you are a big fan of tan then it can be worn in between sessions but ensure that on the day of the treatment your body is completely free from it otherwise the session would be postponed until the tan has been completely removed. Also, it is advised that you wait for 4-5 days after the treatment session to wear a fake tan as the skin is sensitive and may cause irritation resulting in rash or infection.
- Can makeup be worn after laser hair removal?
Applying makeup or concealer is not recommended after the laser hair removal session. After the treatment session, tiny follicles on the face become sensitive to irritants, so it is important that you refrain from using makeup. This will prevent any breakouts or reactions on the skin. The skin care regime you need to follow before and after the treatment session is as follows: use a fragrance-free cleanser and lukewarm water to wash your face and then use a clean towel to pat dry the skin. Don’t use scrubbers or exfoliators or hair removal creams on the treatment area. Apply a layer of aloe vera gel overnight to reduce any redness. If you want to go out, wear a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more and cover your face with a scarf or wear a hat. You need to wait for 24-48 hours depending on your skin’s recovery process to apply the makeup.
These are few questions you should ask in your initial consultation to get the best possible results without being at risk for side effects.