THE TREATMENT PROCESS
Why do I need a consultation and patch test before starting laser hair removal treatment?
During your consultation we will check through your medical history, assess your skin and hair to ensure you are suitable and answer any questions you may have regarding treatment. We want to make sure you have all the relevant information to allow you to make an informed decision that laser is right for you. After your consultation you will have all the knowledge you need to understand how laser works and the science behind it. Your patch test is also allows us to test your skin for any sensitivity from the laser and will let us know if you are a suitable candidate for treatment.
I have never had laser hair removal and I'm nervous.
We completely understand, when we carry out your initial patch test, we explain how treatment is performed and you will get a sense of how it feels. If you are experiencing any real discomfort, we can adjust settings so that you have a comfortable starting point. Our main goal for your first few sessions is really to slow hair growth down and thin it out. This can be done by introducing a lower level of heat into the skin. Your first few sessions should be comfortable, and you should feel a slight/medium pinch depending on the density of your hair.
Do I need to do anything before my first laser treatment?
If you are thinking about laser and you wax or use an epilator regularly, we would recommend you stop waxing/epilating 4-6 weeks before your first session to ensure your follicles are full and you have enough hair to treat.
The treatment area needs to be free from tan - real or otherwise and lightly exfoliate approx. 5 days before your first session. Do not apply any lotion, creams or oil to the treatment area, Aloe Vera is the only thing we would recommend if skin is irritated from shaving. Close shave the area the night before and not the day of treatment, because when you shave you slightly exfoliate and irritate the area so allow the extra time overnight for the skin to regenerate and make treatment more comfortable. Shaving the day of your treatment will cause your skin to feel more sensitive throughout the treatment and may limit the amount of energy we can use due to skin sensitivity.
How many laser hair removal sessions will I need?
This is all down to the individual. Below is an average amount of sessions of someone who has pale skin, dark hair that is dense, has no underlying medical issues and attends their sessions and maintenance sessions at the time frame given to them.
- Face 6-12 Sessions (Most difficult areas to treat, due to hair being finer and more follicles being present)
- Bikini and Underarm: 6-10 (Labia is one of the most difficult areas here, due to skin color being darker)
- Large areas, legs/arms etc. 6-10 (Knees, Upper thighs due to thick skin on knees or finer hairs on thighs)
- Man’s Back/Chest 12-15 sessions due to hair being very strong, coarse and resilient to laser. After these sessions have been completed maintenance sessions are required, most people will need an average of 2-3 maintenance sessions a year.
What's the difference between IPL and laser hair removal?
Lasers are most selective and more effective at absorbing into melanin, meaning fewer treatments are required. There has been more published clinical evidence to support effectiveness of laser treatments. Lasers penetrate deeper into tissues to specifically target hair structures. Alex 755nm, NdYAG1064nm and Diode 810nm penetrate approx. 4-5mm specifically design to target hair structures, while most IPL’s only target 2mm which is not deep enough to target these structures effectively.
Lasers have more advanced cooling systems meaning more comfortable treatments.
How long should I leave between each laser hair removal session?
Again, this differs from person to person but on average a 4-6-week gap initially depending on the area being treated. We would recommend every 4 weeks for the face. This does depend on the rate of regrowth. After that we may extend the gaps in-between sessions to a 6-8-week interval or longer if necessary. We would recommend every 5-6 weeks on the body depending on the density of hair and regrowth pattern and again extend the gaps in-between sessions to a 8-10 week interval. Your treatment area will be continually assessed throughout your course of treatment and your technician will recommend when you should return for your next session.
Is laser hair removal permanent?
The reduction you receive is permanent, but it is impossible to achieve 100% removal of every single follicle in each area. Over the course of treatment your hair and the amount of it that you have will change dramatically.What starts off as rough, coarse and thick hair will eventually become soft, thin and light hair. You will have areas where the hair has completely disappeared and some areas with sporadic light hairs remain. These hairs will be picked up on your maintenance treatments.
Maintenance treatments are recommended to keep these finer hairs away and are typically needed once or twice a year.
TANNING, SUN EXPOSURE & SPRAY TAN
Can I tan while having laser hair removal treatments?
No, tanning is not recommended while having laser hair removal. Tanning does have an impact on the amount of sessions needed and will impact on your results. When you tan and stimulate the melanin within the skin cells, we would have wait at least 8-10 weeks before repeating a patch test. This long gap in-between sessions can see an increase in density and growth in the hair. And because we are missing growth cycles due to gap in treatments you may see growth cycles of hair coming through at the same time. This is normal and will be the reason why potentially more sessions may be needed.
Can I use sun beds while having laser hair removal treatment?
No, using sunbeds is extremely dangerous while having laser hair removal and must always be avoided. You will seriously damage your skin if you use sunbeds during your treatments.
Can I use Spray Tan while having laser hair removal treatments?
Yes, you can get a spray tan approximately 4-5 days after your session and use it in between each session. It is extremely important that you don’t use any tan for a week before your treatment and ensure that you are exfoliating your skin daily to remove any residue. If there is any residue on the skin, we cannot perform your treatment until all tan is removed.
SHAVING, WAXING & EXFOLIATION DURING TREATMENT
Can I wax during my laser hair removal treatment?
No, shaving is the only method of hair removal recommended while having laser. Waxing in between your sessions will affect hair growth patterns and affect results.
Can I shave in-between my laser hair removal sessions?
Absolutely, you can shave as much as you like while having laser treatment.
Why can’t I wax or pluck in-between my laser hair removal sessions?
When you wax or pluck, the hair is completely removed from the follicle. For the laser to be effective, hair follicles must have hair present so that they can be targeted. If you have waxed or plucked the treatment area you would have to wait 6-8 weeks for follicles to produce a new hair.
Should I shave after my laser hair removal treatment?
You can shave the area after laser treatment but must leave it for a minimum of 48 hours after treatment before shaving the areas.
After laser hair removal treatment, the hair may still appear to be “growing”. It may also appear darker and thicker in some areas such as bikini line. This is a natural process of laser hair removal and the hair is now in a shedding stage. It appears darker and thicker as it has been charred by the laser (this is good). It may take 10 -21 days for the hair to fall out of the follicle which will leave a noticeably smoother skin’s surface. During this time, it is perfectly fine to shave the areas you have had treated and this along with regular exfoliation of the areas will assist in the hair shedding process.
How soon after laser hair removal can I exfoliate?
Depending on how sensitive your skin is after laser it is quite safe to start lightly exfoliating about 3-4 days after your treatment, just be gentle for the first week or so. We really do recommend exfoliating in between your laser appointments to avoid ingrown hairs forming under the skin.
MEDICATION & MEDICAL CONDITIONS
Can I take Ibuprofen before my session of laser hair removal?
Please do not take Ibuprofen for 48 hours before your laser hair removal session, this medication may cause bruising after laser for certain people.
What should I do if I get ingrown hairs during laser hair removal treatments?
This usually happens if you have transferred from waxing to shaving, it takes a little while for your skin to adjust. It also happens when treated hairs are shedding and if you don’t exfoliate regularly enough these hairs will tend to get trapped in the skin. If you are prone to ingrown hairs, you will normally see bumps appear about a week after laser these are nothing to worry about. It is however very important to use a product specifically designed to help with ingrown hairs and begin to exfoliate at this stage otherwise you will find more hairs becoming ingrown. It is important that you stop using these products a week before your session and recommence using them about a week after your session also. Light exfoliation methods are best to free any ingrown hairs and hydrating the skin afterwards is a must.
How do I get rid of ingrown hairs and do the red marks they leave fade away?
Light exfoliation should help but if you are prone to ingrown hairs it is worthwhile investing in a good product to help the skin chemically exfoliate (not meaning use of chemicals, but an active ingredient in the product) as opposed to mechanically (Scrubbing). This will also help the red marks to fade over time.
GETTING THE BEST RESULTS
Can Laser Hair Removal Work On Light Hair?
Laser hair removal will work on light hairs that contain dark pigment, laser has no effect on light hairs that are blond, red, grey or white in color as they don’t contain enough pigment for the laser to absorb into.
Do I need to avoid anything after my laser hair removal treatment?
Directly after laser your skin will be sensitive so please refrain from the following.
- Hot showers/baths, steam rooms, saunas, swimming pool and exercise for 24-48hrs
- Don’t exfoliate for 3-4 days and use light exfoliation methods . Don’t use sun beds on the area or expose the area to direct sunlight at all while having laser
- Don’t use perfumed products or thick creams for 48hrs
- Don’t wear tight clothes like skinny jeans or nylon tights (if having your legs treated) for 48hrs as they will cause heat buildup and friction on the area and may aggravate skin
- All of the above may cause skin to become irritated in the treated area, it is important that you follow these guidelines to ensure your skin safety.
How do I exfoliate and how often during laser hair removal should I?
About 7 -10 days after your session the treated hair growth cycle will shed out of the follicle. We would recommend exfoliating using gentle to medium pressure on the skin as very rough and aggressive exfoliation will aggravate it. Regular light exfoliation done 2-3 times a week is more effective than 1 session using a heavy-handed approach as this will traumatize your skin. Exfoliating mitts are widely available and when used in conjunction with a light scrub prove to be a very effective combination. Apply moisturizer after exfoliating to help skin replenish.
COMFORT DURING TREATMENT
Does laser hair removal hurt?
When we initially perform a patch test, we do this on the most sensitive part of the area to give you a true reflection of what you will be feeling. We adjust settings in accordance with how sensitive you are and what you can manage personally. As with most treatments it depends on the person and on the area being treated but we will always ensure you are comfortable. The lasers we use has an additional cooling device to decrease any sensitivity you may feel throughout your treatment. Most people say it’s the anticipation and thought of it which is the worst part, the actual treatment itself is fine. For the first few pulses the energy can feel a little sharp but over the duration of a session it does get easier to manage.
Can I exercise after laser hair removal sessions?
You should not perform any form of strenuous exercise after laser hair removal treatment for at least 24 hours. As laser works on the principle of using heat to destroy the hair follicles deep beneath the skin’s surface, an increase in the body’s natural temperature by exercising combined with sweat will cause an increase in irritation on the treatment area. This also applies to swimming where the chlorine in the water can cause irritation on the skin during the 24 hours after treatment.