Hi! Today on the blog I have invited one of the amazing members of our Racquel Aesthetics team as a guest writer. Emily works as a laser specialist and she’s here to share everything you need to know about laser hair removal! Not only did I used to perform this treatment for years but I have undergone this treatment personally (on my upper lip, underarms, legs, & bikini line) and I can tell you firsthand that this is a very high satisfaction treatment! What I love most about this treatment is the time that it saves me. As a busy mama, I LOVE that I never have to think or worry if I am “good to go” when I’m throwing on a pair of shorts or swimsuit. The days of spending extra time in the shower with my leg up on the wall…the little cuts….and the missed patches of hair…are long gone, and that is a luxury that I enjoy! I hope this blog helps answer any questions you may have or if this is something you have been considering I hope it helps give you that extra push to go for it!
Laser Hair Removal 101
Hey guys I’m so honored to be a a part of Racquel’s blog! As a Laser Specialist, I spend my days providing cosmetic laser treatments. IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy, microlaser peels and of course laser hair reduction are some of the treatments patients come in regularly to see me for. My job is very rewarding and I love what I do!
Laser Hair Reduction is one of the best treatments out there in terms of satisfaction and effectiveness because it gets rid of the dark coarse hair. Most patients see about an 85-90% success rate in terms of permanent hair reduction. Because there is no laser that permanently removes all of the hair, touch-ups are necessary. Results are different for everyone since things like hormones and pregnancy can play a factor. In general after the initial treatments, you can expect to do a touch-up about once every two years. Also, in between those touch up the hair will never be as dark or as coarse as it once was.
At Racquel Aesthetics, our laser can safely treat all skin types, whether your skin is fair or dark. Not all lasers can do that since laser work with contrast. You will want to do your research, and find a physician’s office that has a laser that can safely treat you and your skin type.
What to Expect When You Come In For A Treatment
During your initial appointments we will make sure you’re a candidate for laser hair removal. Most people are with a few exceptions that I’ve laid out below.
Then we’ll make a schedule for your treatments.
You’ll sit comfortable in the chair or on the bed and exposure the area that we are going to be treating. I’ll also give you a pair of protective glasses and I’ll be wearing some as well.
The head of the laser is sanitized and will press lightly against your skin, followed by a *zap* sound and a flash of light.
There is good news: laser treatments are no longer painful! The lasers of long ago, are dead and gone. Today, we no longer need messy creams or gels and no numbing because it really is painless! Everything is very comfortable and takes very little time!
What You Need to Know About Getting Laser Hair Removal
1. It’s Important to Stay on Schedule
During the course of laser hair treatment, you will be put on a schedule in which you are to return based on the area in which we are treating and the hair growth cycle. It is very important that you stick to your appointment schedule and do not miss one, as patients who come consistently have the best results. Hair grows in three cycles and we always want to catch the hair when it is in the growth phase so we can damage, weaken and then destroy the hair follicle completely. Getting off track will affect your results and possibly add on to your total treatment length.
2. Expect 7-9 Treatment Sessions
For almost any area of the body you can expect 7-9 treatments. You’re going to become great friends with your laser technician for a few months lol! By the second or third treatment, you will already begin to notice that the hair is finer, thinner and less coarse. You will also notice that it is patchier. Meaning it has died off in some areas. These are all good signs and mean the treatment is working.
3. The Laser Seeks Pigment Which is Why It Can Easily Target Dark Hair
Wherever you have dark hair, the laser can treat you. The laser is seeking a target in the hair follicle and that target needs to have pigment. LHR can treat any hair that has some color but not white, blonde, or grey because there is no pigment for the laser to target.
4. No Self Tanner on The Areas You’re Getting Treated
The laser is attracted to a distinct difference between your skin color and the pigment in your hair follicle. The more contrast the better which is why we recommended that you do these treatments when you are at your palest. Chances are your underarms and bikini area will be pale, but legs and arms should be done when you are the least tanned. This also means that self-tanner is a big no-no. If you come in my treatment room with sunless tanner, I will send you right back out the door. With love of course.
5. No Waxing or Sugaring During Treatment
During the course of treatment, the only method of hair removal that is appropriate is shaving. You cannot do anything that removes the hair from the follicle. If you do, the laser has nothing to target. This means no waxing, no depilatories and no threading.
6. Shave the Night Before
This surprises people but we always ask you shave the night before a treatment. Unlike waxing, where a ¼ of an inch of hair is desired, we do not want to see any hair above the surface of the skin during laser hair removal. The laser will singe the hair and not target the actual hair in the follicle, making the treatment null and void. Therefore, we ask that you arrive freshly shaven before each and every treatment.
7. You May Not Be A Candidate!
If you are pregnant, have a skin infection, or have used Accutane in the last 6 months; you are not a candidate for laser hair reduction. Additionally, if you have had recent sun- exposure or are sunburned, you must wait two full weeks before you can be treated again to avoid additional damage.
8. If You’re On Antibiotics Let Your Laser Tech Know
Antibiotics can make you very sensitive to light-based treatments and therefore increase photosensitivity. We cannot treat you if you are on antibiotics. You will need to wait until you are off the medication before treatment can resume.
Laser hair reduction is a fabulous treatment that is truly life changing. It is very freeing to no longer have to think about shaving your legs, underarms, bikini etc! Just think about all the time it cuts down in the shower! I can truly say that all of my patient’s have been extremely happy with their results and the investment in their treatments. Their only question after we are finished is “What area should I do next?!” If you’re in the STL area I’d love to meet you, leaving my contact info below!