Summer makes everyone uncomfortably aware of their own body hair. If you have European “let it grow” sensibilities, the thought of an overgrown bikini line or dark hair on your face might not bother you. But many men and women dislike the process of shaving, shaving, shaving to get rid of unwanted body hair. Laser hair removal targets the hair follicle to reduce or eliminate unwanted body hair. After a few treatments, many patients can stop shaving, waxing, or plucking for good.
Are You a Good Candidate for Laser Hair Removal?
Some people see laser hair removal as a quick, permanent fix to unwanted body hair. And it’s true that in most cases, laser hair removal permanently reduces unwanted hair. Hair that grows back will be lighter, thinner, and overall less noticeable (if it grows back at all). But laser hair removal treatments require forethought and planning. It takes time, especially when covering large areas like the legs. Even smaller surfaces like the armpits or bikini line requires multiple treatments. Determine if you’re a good candidate for laser hair removal by answering these questions:
- Do I dark, thick, or otherwise unwanted body hair?
- Is that hair in a treatable area (back, chest, bikini area, neck, face, etc)?
- Do I have the budget for laser hair removal, which is not covered by insurance?
- Have I spoken to my physician about whether laser hair removal is right for me?
How to Prepare for Your Appointment
- Protect your skin. Skin irritation is laser hair removal’s worst enemy, so make sure you don’t wax, get sunburned, or otherwise irritate your skin before a laser hair removal treatment.
- Stay out of the sun. Not only is skin irritation detrimental to your treatment, lighter skin makes it easier it is to target hair follicles.
- Keep it clean. Stay away from sunless tanner, as well as everyday products like deodorant and perfume. Keep the area clean before your appointment.
- Shave, don’t wax or pluck. Laser hair removal targets the pigment in the hair follicle. This requires a smooth surface (so shave before you come), but also requires the hair to be present beneath the skin. If you wax or pluck in the weeks before laser hair removal, you’ll have to reschedule your appointment.
- Be consistent. Most people require 2-6 laser hair removal treatments. If you skip treatments or ignore your doctor’s recommended schedule, your treatments will become less effective.
- Sooth your skin. The treated area may be irritated for a few days. A cool compress will reduce any redness or swelling. Stay out of the sun and use only fragrance-free soaps and lotions.
To learn more about laser hair removal, schedule an appointment with Dr. Brantner.