It might be winter here at the moment, but it’s still bathing suit weather in the Caribbean. So if you’re planning a winter getaway to somewhere warm and tropical—or you just want to get ready for spring now—and you’re tired of shaving, plucking and/or waxing, laser hair removal might be just the ticket for you.
Laser hair removal is especially beneficial for removing hair from bikini, lip, chin and underarm areas. It works by permanently destroying hair follicles with a concentrated beam of light that is generally painless to the patient with a small amount of topical numbing used during the procedure.
Here are a few other useful things to know before you get started:
– One treatment won’t do it. The amount of sessions it takes for each individual to see results differs, but it generally takes an average of six to eight treatments before the desired affect is achieved.
– Keep going. When you start seeing initial results, your first reaction may be to stop your treatments. Don’t. Hair growth may slow, but your practitioner is skilled at evaluating your progress and will recommend whether you have reached your goal or not.
– Medications. Medications that are photosensitive—such as some antibiotics—should not be taken when receiving laser hair removal treatments. Be sure to schedule your first appointment after your prescribed dosage has been completed. Also, some skincare treatments with strong active ingredients—such as retinoids and alpha hydroxyl acids—could cause excessive irritation during laser hair removal. Consult your doctor before treatment.
– Shave first. Shaving the area to be treated before a session helps the laser penetrate better into the hair follicle. However, do not wax, tweeze, thread or bleach a treatment area within one month of your first appointment.
– Sunscreen. It is advisable to keep a treated area from being exposed to the sun after treatment. Use a good moisturizer with a sufficient SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or more. It is also recommended that you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen if possible. These are the most effective at blocking both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
– Cost. Laser hair removal pricing can differ from provider to provider, but it generally achieves superior results. It is an investment, but when compared to the cost and discomfort of waxing and/or shaving, many patients believe the money is well spent.
– Different Lasers. There are three main types of lasers used in hair removal treatments: Diode, which is very effective for all skin types; Alexandrite, which is the fastest type and is good for treating large areas quickly; Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet), a pulse laser that is better for thick, coarse hair.