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Pre-Summer Prep: Laser Hair Removal Essentials

laser hair removal

Summer is coming … which means vacations, pool time and lots of outdoor activities. If you’re anything like us, having smooth, summer-ready skin is top of mind. Laser hair removal presents a popular option for those looking to reduce unwanted hair (is there anything worse than getting to the pool and realizing you forgot to shave?! We don’t think so). Understanding the essentials of this treatment can help you make an informed decision and prepare effectively.

Understanding Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal works by targeting hair follicles with laser light, destroying the follicle's ability to grow hair without damaging the surrounding skin. It's a preferred method for long-term hair reduction for its efficiency and effectiveness. Before considering this option, it's essential to understand that it typically requires several sessions to achieve desired results, as the process works best on hair in its growth phase.

Suitability varies with skin type and hair color. Advances in technology have made laser hair removal accessible for a wider range of skin tones and hair colors, but it's crucial to consult with a professional to assess your suitability. They can provide guidance on what to expect and how to prepare for your sessions.

Choosing the Right Provider

You don’t want just anyone lasering your body! Selecting the right professional for laser hair removal is critical. Look for licensed aesthetic practitioners with good reviews and a track record of success. A consultation before your treatment allows the professional to evaluate your skin and hair type, discuss your goals, and recommend the best treatment plan. Feel free to ask about their experience, the types of lasers they use, and any concerns you have.

The clinic's environment should be clean and professional. Don't hesitate to visit the facility in advance to ensure it meets your standards for hygiene and professionalism. Trusting your practitioner will only make for a more comfortable experience.

Preparing for Your Session - 2 Weeks Before 

Preparation is key to maximizing the effectiveness of laser hair removal. Refrain from sun exposure, using tanning beds, or applying self-tanning products for a minimum of two weeks prior to your appointment. UV light can increase skin sensitivity and affect the treatment's effectiveness. Additionally, you should shave the area to be treated a day or two before your appointment, as this allows the laser to target the hair follicle more effectively without burning the hair above the skin.

Steer clear of plucking, waxing, or electrolysis for at least six weeks before your treatment. These techniques eliminate hair from the follicle, a crucial step for effective laser targeting.

During Your Laser Hair Removal Session

Laser hair removal sessions vary in duration, depending on the area being treated. The upper lip and similar areas may require only a brief period, whereas larger surfaces such as the legs or back may need more time. Most people experience some minor discomfort, often described as a snapping sensation against the skin, but this is generally manageable. Depending on the type of laser your studio uses, it might even be relatively pain-free. 

Your provider will provide you with protective eyewear to safeguard your eyes from the laser's light. They may also apply a topical numbing cream to reduce discomfort during the session. Communicate with your practitioner throughout the process to ensure your comfort and safety.

Aftercare and What to Expect

Following your session, it's normal to experience redness and swelling similar to sunburn. Typically, these symptoms diminish within a span of several hours to a few days. Applying ice packs and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory creams can help soothe the skin. Avoid sun exposure and apply a broad-spectrum SPF30+ sunscreen to protect the treated areas from UV damage, which can complicate recovery.

Hair shedding is a part of the process. Over the next few weeks, treated hair will fall out. It's important not to mistake this for new hair growth. Avoid waxing or plucking hair in the treated area between sessions; shaving is okay if necessary.

Long-Term Care and Additional Sessions

Laser hair removal often requires multiple sessions to catch all hair in its growth phase. The number of sessions varies based on the treatment area, hair density, and growth cycle. Your practitioner will advise you on the expected number of sessions for your individual case.

Maintaining skin health between sessions is vital. Continue to protect the skin from the sun, and follow any specific instructions from your practitioner. After completing the recommended number of sessions, you may need occasional touch-ups for any new growth or areas that were missed.

Laser hair removal is a fantastic way to reduce unwanted hair and get your skin summer ready! By understanding the process, choosing the right provider, and following the necessary pre-and post-care instructions, you can achieve smooth, lasting results. Remember, patience and consistency with your treatment schedule are key to successful hair reduction.

Start your path to better laser hair removal in Chicago

At Chapter Aesthetic Studio, we provide caring, guest-tailored laser hair removal in Chicago and over 20+ other locations throughout the northern United States. To learn more about preparing for laser hair removal, book a free consultation now for any of our aesthetic studios or contact us anytime!