Prior to your appointment for laser hair removal you may be asked to go to the clinic to get a test patch of hair lasered. Not every clinic does this but some do to checkyour skin’s tolerance to the laser and to screen for any adverse reactions.
Before lasering you will also be asked to shave the hair to be treated. Clinics vary but you will usually need to shave between 1 and 3 days before your appointment. Some clinics do not require you to shave as they clip the hair themselves to the ideal length.
Many patients find that they get less pain or discomfort if they take a mild painkiller prior to their appointment. If you have particularly sensitive skin you may also be offered an anaesthetic cream to prevent you feeling discomfort during your procedure.
You will be given eye protection to wear and your skin may be cooled using a gel, cold air or spray to protect it from heat and minimize discomfort. The treatment will then commence with a small area being treated at a time. The first patch will be done and then examined to check for any adverse reaction. You may notice a small amount of redness and swelling at this time but this should subside within 24-48 hours.
The laser will be moved from area to area being treated. Treatment time can be as short as 15 minutes for small areas up to 2 hours or longer for larger areas such as legs and back.
After treatment you may be offered cooling packs to help to remove any discomfort or redness.
As treatment only works on hairs that are currently in their active phase an average of six treatments is needed depending on the area that is being treated. This varies from patient to patient however and may take more sessions for people with darker skin or lighter hair.
The length of time between sessions varies from clinic to clinic. Some clinics simply ask you to return at such time that regrowth starts to reappear. Many clinics suggest a time of 4-6 weeks between treatments in order treat new hairs as they move into the active treatment phase.
It is important to remember that you should not wax or pluck between treatments although shaving is fine. This is because waxing or plucking may remove hairs that are in their active phase and therefore require additional sessions to complete treatment.
As when considering any type of cosmetic treatment you should thoroughly investigate all clinics and options to ensure that you get the most experienced provider possible. You should also ensure that you use only licensed clinics operated by trained medical professionals.