What to Expect During a Laser Hair Removal Procedure

Laser hair removal has a number of benefits, primarily cosmetic. Those who are unhappy with the results they get from shaving or waxing often look for more permanent solutions, and lasers offer a simple way of destroying the hair without damaging the skin or hair follicles. While this type of procedure is now incredibly common, it’s still one you need to regard with great care consider the use of lasers. Here’s what to expect during your first treatment.

The Initial Consultation

You should expect a consultation before your laser hair removal session begins. During this time your dermatologist or your spa’s trained technician will spend some time going over your medical history. Unfortunately, those who have blonde, red, gray, or white hair will not qualify as the laser will not work on these hair colors. You’ll also need to talk to your tech about whether or not you scar easily, whether you currently have any raised scar tissue (aka keloid scarring), the medications you are taking, and whether you have a history of genital herpes or cold sores. While laser treatments may not be best, there may be other hair removal options for you if you don’t qualify.

Preparing for the Procedure

You’ll be asked to do some preparation work before your procedure. Your dermatologist will likely tell you to wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. You’ll also be asked to avoid tanning beds and sunbathing. Waxing and plucking are also off-limits. You’ll probably be told to shave before the day of your laser treatment.

The Laser Hair Removal Session

The procedure starts with sterilization. Your tech will cleanse the area and apply a topical anesthetic to your skin. You will be asked to wear eye protection, and everyone in the room during the session will be wearing eye protection as well.

Despite the anesthetic, you will likely feel a sensation most describe as similar to being snapped with a rubber band. Others say it feels like tiny pinpricks. As the laser destroys the hairs, you may see a little bit of smoke and you may smell something similar to sulfur.

Small procedures, like hair removal from the lip, only take a few minutes. Larger procedures – like leg hair removal or a bikini wax – may take up to an hour or more.

After the Procedure

You should be able to return to your normal activities right after your procedure, but you should avoid strenuous activities for the first day. You’ll have a little bit of redness and tenderness, and your skin may be slightly swollen during that time.

It doesn’t matter if you visit a dermatologist’s office or the Red Bamboo Medi Spa. The techs who work with you are trained to work with laser hair removal technology and will take special care to protect your skin. Make sure you ask as many questions as you need before your procedure to ensure your own comfort levels. It’s your skin!

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