Even though laser hair removal is a quick procedure--with areas like the chin, bikini line, and upper lip taking about 5 to 10 minutes--that doesn't mean you should skimp on your pre-procedure preparations. Before you go in for your first session, talk about the logistics with your doctor and follow these tips.
Stop Tanning and Stay Out of the Sun
While laser technology has improved to be more efficient for darker skin tones, HelpForHairRemoval.com says these kinds of machines are expensive and not yet common at clinics. If you aren't sure what kind of machines your doctor's office utilizes, you should play it safe and avoid sun exposure for about a month before your appointment. This tip is especially important for those whose hairs get extremely light in the sun, as blonder hair is more difficult to remove.
Purchase Sunscreen and Moisturizer
Talk to your doctor beforehand to see what moisturizers and sunscreens won't irritate your skin. Since your skin may be a little red or swollen a day or two after the procedure, you'll want to have the right moisturizers (along with cool compresses) to facilitate healing.
Make Sure You Shave Instead of Using Other Options
You may feel uncomfortable going into public with noticeable hair growth, but BodyAndSoul.com says that you shouldn't wax, pluck, or use depilatory creams before your procedure. Since laser hair removal targets hair roots, removing the root from the follicle could make your session less successful. However, BodyAndSoul.com does say that you can shave 24 hours before your appointment. If you do decide to shave, make sure that you are using a brand new razor. If you use an old razor, it could leave bacteria on your skin, which could cause contact dermatitis (a delayed allergic reaction due to mixing with coolant spray or numbing agent).
Get A Patch Test
A patch test is where the doctor will test a small area of your skin with the laser before your first appointment. Some clinics will do this for free at your initial consultation, while others may ask that you pay a small fee. If you aren't able to get a patch test, then make sure you list any medications that you've taken in the past or are currently taking, and make sure you let the doctor know of any adverse reactions. Make sure that you aren't using perfume, moisturizer, or deodorant on the day of the procedures, since they can have chemicals that can irritate your skin.
If you follow these guidelines, you'll have a better chance at getting the results you want. Talk with your laser hair clinic for more detailed instructions.