Shave 24 hours before your appointment
You want the hair to be short and concentrate the heat of the laser deep into the follicle – excess hair can make the treatment less comfortable because sizzling hair curls down against the skin’s surface.
No tanning – real or fake –prior to your appointment
The lasers used in laser hair removal heat darker objects faster than lighter objects. The bigger the difference in darkness between the hair and skin, the more effective your treatments will be. Since fake tanner makes your skin darker, it decreases the contrast of the hair, making your treatments less effective.
Tanning is bad for your skin for a number of reasons, but when it comes to laser treatments, it’s particularly dangerous. Tanning increases the risks of burns and damage to your skin, so you need to be careful not to tan or burn for at least 2 weeks prior to your treatments.
Spacing your appointments by body area
Hair on different points of our bodies grows at different rates. Laser hair removal can only effectively target the hair follicles in a certain stage of growth. So treatments need to be spaced out to wait for more hairs to be in this optimal part of the growth cycle. For the face, that’s approximately 4-6 weeks, and 6-8 weeks for the body.
No lotions, creams, or makeup for your session
Lotions, creams, and makeup can heat up faster than your skin, creating a painful treatment session. Always remove any lotions, creams, or makeup before your laser hair removal treatment for a safer, more effective, and more comfortable treatment.
Don’t dye hair that will be treated
Back in the day, there was a rumor that dying hair darker could help make laser hair removal treatments more effective. It makes sense, in theory, because the lasers work by targeting darker objective, and hair dye can be used to darken the hair. However, the problem is, you want that heat to concentrate in the follicle (the part below the skin’s surface, which later grows out to create “roots”). So what happens, in reality, is the upper part of the hair concentrates the heat, making the treatment less effective.
Ready to ditch the razor? Call (973) 740-2444 for your complimentary consult for laser hair removal.
Dr. Joni Jefferson is board certified and has been practicing medicine for over 15 years. She has extensive experience in woman’s care and surgical procedures, in addition to completing a cosmetic dermatology fellowship that has prepared her well for her role as a cosmetic physician at Reflections.