Depending on how you choose to do it, removing unwanted hair can be a continuous chore. This is especially true with shaving, as the hair can grow back after just a few days, or in some cases, just a day or even several hours. Waxing lasts longer, but needs some regrowth (at least a quarter inch) to be effective.
Laser hair removal and other light-based methods fare better, particularly in terms of efficacy and longevity. While they may cost more initially, they can help you achieve silky smooth skin longer or permanent hair reduction. They target and heat follicles to disable future hair growth, so there are no cutting, pulling, or chemicals involved.
Further reading: Hair Removal Methods: Ranked from Worst to Best
So, if you’re considering laser hair removal or similar method, follow the tips below to get the most out of your treatment.
Limit sun exposure
A considerable amount of sun exposure can cause the melanocytes (pigment- or melanin-producing cells) to increase in number. These cells protect the skin from the damaging UV rays, producing a tan or darkening of your complexion. This can be a problem for the treatment, as the laser is attracted to the melanin or dark pigment.
If the skin is tanned or there is some sort of discoloration, it is likely for the device to be drawn to your skin too. And while there may be devices that can treat dark and tanned skin, it is still best to avoid sun exposure at least two weeks before to make sure that your skin is healthy and avoid any adverse reactions.
Shave before your session
The hair needs to be at the right length for the laser to target and treat it effectively. While the follicle needs to be intact, the hair on the treatment area shouldn’t be too long, as it can increase your risk of getting burned. You should also shave 24 hours before your session, not a few hours prior.
Make sure to shave using a new or clean razor to avoid cuts, nicks, stray hairs, and any post-shaving irritation. This also minimizes the likelihood of spreading bacteria, especially if you injure yourself. Also, don’t forget to use shaving cream to create a barrier between the blade and your skin, and avoid pulling your skin tightly while shaving.
Don’t wax or tweeze
Laser and light-based hair removal procedures inhibit future hair growth by directing heat to the follicles and damaging them. And as waxing or plucking removes the follicle from the root, there will be no hair or pigment to target, which can then make the laser removal process ineffective.
Because of this, your aesthetician or practitioner will advise you to avoid doing any of these methods four to six weeks before your treatment starts. Doing so ensures that the hair follicles are intact, making it easier for the laser to locate and treat them.
Wear loose clothing if you’re treating body areas
If you, for instance, are having the treatment on your legs, avoid nylon tights or skinny jeans. Wearing tight or restrictive clothing prevents your skin from cooling properly, as the residual heat after the session may become trapped. This may also cause pain or a slight heat reaction after the treatment.
If it is the bikini area, it is best to wear 100% cotton underwear. This will allow the skin to cool down faster and avoid irritation in the treated area. Cotton underwear, furthermore, is gentle on the skin, preventing the fabric from rubbing or irritating the skin.
Other helpful tips to get the most out of your treatment
- Do not apply oils, creams, deodorants, or makeup on the area. They will have to be removed anyway before the treatment.
- Lightly exfoliate the area one week before your treatment. Avoid overdoing or scrubbing your skin harshly, as it can make it sensitive before your session.
- Don’t over shave the area in between your sessions. This may irritate the skin and cause your hair to appear thicker or coarser because of the blunt tip.
- Keep your skin hydrated in between your sessions.
- Wait for the targeted hair to fall out. After your session, the treated hair will start surfacing out of the follicles, which can make it look like they’re growing back. This, however, is not the case as within 10 to 14 days, they will reach the shedding phase and start to fall off. You can use a washcloth to gently remove them, but don’t shave, wax, or force to remove these hairs.
Laser and other light-based hair removal methods
At Cutis, we have a range of hair removal methods that can help you achieve permanent hair reduction. Our treatments involve the use of handheld devices that emit light, which is then converted into heat, targeting the follicles, destroying them, and inhibiting future hair growth.
- Cutera CoolGlide laser hair removal – uses pulses of light energy to target hundreds of hair follicles in a short period. It is safe and effective on all skin types and tones, including dark and tanned skin.
- SHR or Super Hair Removal – uses gentle pulses of energy at a higher frequency to target the pigment and stem cells responsible for hair growth. It can treat almost any area and is safe for all skin colors and hair types, particularly Asian ones.
- LHE or Touch Elite with LHE – uses both light and heat energy (LHE) to target and destroy hair follicles. It transfers light and thermal energy to the follicles and not the skin, which means no damage to the skin during the treatment.
- Prowave LX – uses a specially tailored light source that operates at a high energy level and shorter pulse widths. It targets the germ cells of the hair follicles and can effectively treat lighter and finer hairs.
Take note: You cannot expect complete removal after just one session. These methods treat the hair in the active growth stage (anagen) by zapping the pigment in the follicle bulb. And as not all hairs are in the same growth cycles, you’ll need multiple treatments. The number of sessions required will depend on a few factors, such as:
- The treatment area/s
- Hair thickness or coarseness
- Hair color
- The hair’s growth cycle
Book a consultation today
Are you considering laser hair removal and want to get the most out of your treatment? Consider the tips mentioned above and know the type of equipment used in the clinic you’re looking to have your treatment. A reputable provider has a range of new or well-maintained machines to provide the right type of care to their patients.
Don’t hesitate to contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and book a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out more about our hair reduction treatments and find out which one suits you best.