I am constantly running late. I am that person who thinks she has way more time than she actually has and tries to do way more in that time than she possibly can. I am also obsessive about shaving every day… which always put me behind even more! When Dr. Michael Spann said he was interested in buying a laser hair removal machine, I was more than happy to help out with the research and highly encouraged him to purchase one.
Laser hair removal uses heat to cause damage to your hair follicles to prevent hair growth. The laser works by targeting the pigment in your hair follicle so it does not work on blond, red, white, or gray hair.
It is not a one-and-done procedure. Hair grows in different phases and laser hair removal only affects the hair that is in the active growing phase, so multiple treatments are needed. Generally, you need five or six treatments and each treatment is done every four to eight weeks depending on the area being treated.
I’m not going to lie… laser hair removal is not pain-free. One thing I have learned over the past five years of being in this business is that if it doesn’t hurt a little bit, then it doesn’t work! It is a quick process and totally worth it. The laser treatment kind of feels like a hot rubber band pop, and your skin may feel a little hot or tingly for a few minutes after the treatment. The hair doesn’t come out immediately. It takes a few weeks for it to start falling out. But even after just one treatment, you will notice finer, thinner hair.
Before laser hair removal it is important to know the do’s and don’ts:
- Don’t wax, tweeze, or thread the area being treated two weeks prior to your treatment.
- No sun exposure or self-tanner for two weeks prior to your treatment
- Don’t use Retin-A three to five days prior
- Don’t put on any makeup, lotion, or deodorant on the area being treated
- Do completely shave the area the morning of your treatment
After your treatment, it is common to be red, itchy, or have a little bit of mild swelling or red bumps. These side effects last for a few hours and sometimes a few days. More serious risks include blistering, scarring, scabbing, hypo- or hyperpigmentation, infection or burning of the skin, especially if you are going to someone who is not properly trained.
It is so important to go to a medical doctor or RN who has extensive training for your laser treatment. There are very important things to consider when doing laser hair removal on a patient – their skin type, hair color/density/diameter, recent sun exposure, medical history, and current medications. All of these things play a role in not only receiving an effective treatment, but also in preventing serious side effects that can often be permanent.