Posted on: 8 July 2015
If you are sick and tired of shaving, waxing, or using creams to get rid of the unwanted hair across your body, then it may be time to try a more permanent solution. Laser hair removal is one of these solutions. During the removal process, a pulsating light is shone across the skin. The light is absorbed by dark hairs that contain a great deal of a melanin, and these hairs are then burned or vaporized. The follicle is burned as well during the process, and this prevents new hairs from returning. A single laser hair removal appointment can last up to an hour if a large area needs to be treated, and you will need to make multiple appointments. Typically, it can take two to six treatments for full hair removal, and you will see anywhere from 10% to 25% hair reduction after each treatment. You want to make sure that you make the most out of each session though, to see the results that you are expecting, so follow the tips below.
Stay Out of the Sun
Many people like to enjoy the sun during the warm summer months, and sun exposure does cause the skin to darken. The tan you see across your body is your skin trying to protect itself from the rays of the sun. It does this by forcing the skin to produce more melanin, the pigment that makes the skin and hair appear dark. This melanin helps to absorb ultraviolet light so the cells of the body do not become damaged irreparably.
Unfortunately, the tool used during laser hair removal also targets melanin and this can cause complications during the procedure. Specifically, the tanned skin can absorb the pulsating light and this can result in skin lightening and general skin damage. The same problem can be seen if you have naturally dark skin, but your dermatologist will use a laser light that produces longer wavelengths to better target the hair follicles. This can lead to a much longer treatment period though. This means that you should avoid sun exposure and tanning before your laser hair removal to avoid long treatment sessions and possible skin damage.
Avoiding Sun Exposure
It is always wise to use sunscreen to protect the skin from damage when you go outdoors, but you should know that these products will not stop the sun from tanning your skin. This does not mean that you need to avoid the sun altogether though. It does take your body some time to start producing more melatonin, so you are probably safe standing in the sun for 10 or 15 minutes at a time. However, if you plan on being outside for longer, Then wear a wide brimmed hat and clothing that is hard for the sun to penetrate. Wearing tightly woven fabrics, like denim, is best for this. You should protect your skin in this fashion for the several weeks leading up to your first hair removal appointment and for the time period in between sessions as well.
Remove Hair Carefully
Laser hair removal works by targeting the coloring agents in the body hair, and this means there needs to be some hair present for the pulsating light to target. However, there also should not be so much growth across the region that the light works to burn the hairs high above the skin. This can result in skin burns and little to no follicle damage. To make sure that you leave some hair behind, try to avoid any and all hair removal methods that tend to rip the hairs out of the follicles.
Waxing and epilation should be avoided. So should the use of creams that dissolve hairs deep underneath the skin. You can shave though, but just make sure that you allow the hair to grow for several days before your laser hair appointment. Not only will this allow for some growth, but the skin will be free of the microcuts that often appear when a razor is forced against the skin.Share