Body hair: A matter of little concern for some, an utter nuisance for others. While keeping it au naturel may be in vogue, many of us still opt for silky-smooth skin from the eyebrows down. For those who prefer the latter, laser hair removal continues to be one of the most favored options for eliminating that unwanted fuzz. Based on the expert advice of our hair removal specialists Sandy Lanier, PA-C and Katie Bertling, LE at Austin Cosmetic MedSpa, we’ve put together a guide for how to reap the full fruits of your laser treatments.
DO: Consult an expert.
Laser hair reduction uses a high-tech device that sends light energy into the skin to destroy hair follicles. In other words, see a qualified technician with demonstrated laser experience. Consulting a practiced specialist with demonstrated laser experience is the first step to ensuring you receive safe, high-quality and professional care and service. Reading online reviews will help you find a laser artist who can properly examine your hair and personalize your treatment plan according to your hair density, growth patterns and aesthetic goals.
DON’T: Wax or pluck before your appointment but DO: Shave.
Laser hair removal targets hair follicles at the root, so pre-emptively tackling the situation yourself is a big no-no. To ensure the laser can effectively fire at the follicle, refrain from tweezing or waxing for at least six weeks leading up to your appointment. Do, however, keep your razor handy. Shaving the treatment area the one to two days before your appointment will make it easier for your technician to find and eliminate the hair. This will make for a more productive and efficient treatment session. Shaving also encourages the hair to enter the active growing stage, which is an ideal time for the laser to make an impact.
DO: Prepare your skin for treatment.
Heading into your appointment, ensure your skin is entirely product-free. We recommend having a lukewarm shower and washing your skin with a gentle cleanser to remove any oil, dirt or makeup. A clean surface will allow for a more thorough hair removal treatment and will also reduce the risk of irritation. Though it might be against your sacred skincare scheme, resist the urge to moisturize the day of treatment, and you will be rewarded.
DON’T: Fake-tan or sunburn.
Having a laser treatment done while you’re sunburned or tanned can lead to hyperpigmentation, scarring and some less-than-pleasant burning. Wearing SPF protection for at least four weeks before your appointment is non-negotiable, and any direct sun exposure or fake-tanning should be given a miss. For this reason, many laser-lovers out there begin hair removal treatments in the fall or winter to ensure sleek and polished skin by the summer.
DO: Exfoliate gently after a week.
After one or two weeks, you might notice a pesky bit of fuzz creeping back up on the treated area. Fret not – this is just the hair beginning to shed. To help the process along, use a washcloth or puffy shower sponge and a gentle exfoliating gel to wipe away the hair. Your skin will be sensitive, however, so steer clear of any abrasive scrubs or aggressive products while it heals.
DON’T: Subject the area to irritants.
Your skin will be sensitive and most likely tender after your appointment, so treat it kindly to avoid any further irritation. This means no direct sun exposure or hot showers while the skin is still calming down for five to seven days after treatment because, frankly, heat will be uncomfortable. If the area is usually exposed to sunlight, wearing sunblock with a high SPF is crucial. Protecting your skin from potential irritants will help prevent any complications occurring with the hair removal process or with follow-up appointments. You’ll also want to take a rain check on any “spa days” or hot baths for at least five days after your session.
DO: Schedule a series of treatments.
If you’re hoping to maintain a heavenly hairless existence, consistency is critical. One treatment will not cut it, as your hair follicles run on different growth cycles, so be sure to arrange a series of appointments with your provider. To keep your body feeling baby-bottom-smooth, you should schedule your hair removal sessions every four to six weeks, though this will depend on your hair growth patterns. The timing of your treatments plays a crucial role in the aesthetic outcome, so time it well and you’ll be on your way to carefree, hair-free living. Our providers typically recommend a series of eight treatments to start. In the future, you may need a “touch up” session here and there to maintain your results going forward.
DO: Choose Austin Cosmetic MedSpa for all your skincare and hair removal needs.
The team at Austin Cosmetic MedSpa, including expert aesthetic physician assistant Sandy Lanier and licensed aesthetician Katie Bertling, are trained to maximize both results and patient comfort. In your laser hair removal session, our staff will take every measure to ensure you feel minimal discomfort during the process, and will walk you through how to proactively care for your skin after treatment. To start your journey toward smooth and lustrous-looking skin, send us a message or call our MedSpa in Austin, TX at 512-815-0123 to schedule your consultation today.
Christine Fisher MD