Are you new to laser hair removal, or did your last session cause discomfort? Either way, you should find out what to do before engaging in laser hair removal. Otherwise, you may have to hide not only hair but burns or other side effects of the procedure under your clothes.
We have explored many sources, read the most frequently asked questions, and collected answers to the following:
- What should you do before laser hair removal?
- What should you do after laser hair removal?
- Is it painful to remove hair with a laser, and can it lead to cancer?
Let’s get started with the tips!
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a non-invasive medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light, also called a laser, to eliminate unwanted hair. Now let’s see how it works:
- The laser penetrates the to the hair follicles, which regulate hair growth.
- The laser energy is absorbed by melanin, which protects the skin’s DNA from the harmful effects of sunlight.
- The laser energy turns into heat and damages the hair follicles.
- Damaged hair follicles die off and can no longer regulate hair growth.
Now let’s get acquainted with its efficiency. In a recent study, 948 patients took part, of which 574 received 3–16 treatments on different body parts – breasts, abdomen, back, face, lower and upper limbs, and bikini area. As a result, 74% of patients experienced 75–100% hair elimination .
How Many Sessions Do I Need to Achieve Results?
Laser hair removal requires several treatments to achieve maximum effect. According to one of the studies described earlier, a different number of patients reported various hair removal efficiencies depending on the body part and the number of procedures.
With more than three procedures, the following number of patients noted 75-100% effectiveness of the procedure:
- On the axilla, 98% of patients
- In the bikini area, 82% of patients
- On the lower and upper limbs, 79% of patients 
Laser hair removal on the face and abdomen showed 66% and 62% effectiveness after three treatments. However, after five sessions, patients noted 75-100% effectiveness in the following areas:
- On the face, 79% of patients
- On the chest, 80% of patients 
It is worth noting that up to 70% of the results of laser hair removal can last at least one year .
Dos and Don’ts Before Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that can cause both positive and negative results. Therefore, you should know about dos and don’ts before laser hair removal, as they will help you avoid the negative consequences of the procedure and increase efficiency.
In addition, you should also visit your doctor to know whether you can attend this procedure. Only a medical professional can give an objective verdict.
Avoid Alcohol and Coffee
Alcohol and coffee are diuretic products. Therefore, after two cups of coffee or two glasses of beer, you go to the restroom more often than after two glasses of water. This, in turn, will lead to.
You may experience soreness due to dehydrated skin during laser hair removal because the body will lose the layer of fluid that protects the skin from cracks and burns. Therefore, we do not recommend drinking coffee and alcohol the day before a laser therapy session.
Avoid Treatment After Dermal Fillers or Botox
You should wait about ten days after Botox injections, as swelling or bruising may occur after the procedure. Because of heat from the laser beam, they may increase and take longer to recover.
As for dermal fillers, you should also refrain from laser hair removal for two weeks after them. This procedure concentrates the body’s moisture in one place, and the laser can reduce the amount of water and worsen the procedure’s effectiveness.
Avoid Sun Exposure
You should wait two weeks after tanning or tanning beds as your skin will be more at risk of re-burning. Melanin is released when tanning to protect your skin from UV rays. Laser hair removal will also stimulate the skin to release melanin to protect it from the beam, which can eventually lead to dark spots.
Clean Your Skin
Before laser hair removal, you should shower to remove any remaining skin, skin care products, deodorant, or lotions. They can interfere with the laser, so it will not reach the hair follicles, and its effectiveness will be much lower.
No Waxing! Only Shaving!
You should not wax for six weeks before treatment. This procedure removes the hair from the root, so laser hair removal cannot affect the hair follicle to destroy it and prevent growth.
In this case, you need to shave the treatment area. It is necessary because you will reduce the number of hairs when shaving that could interfere with the laser. You should do this two days before the procedure, so that the irritation will be over by then.
Use Only Permitted Medications
Some medications can increase sensitivity to laser treatments. It can lead to undesirable consequences such as redness or burns. Therefore, you should refrain from taking these drugs or postpone laser hair removal until the end of treatment .
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Use Right Skin Products
Scrubs, lotions, and other skincare products may contain substances that sensitize the skin. It can also cause redness and burns. Therefore, you should refrain from using products that contain the following components at least five days before treatment:
Dos and Don’ts After Laser Hair Removal
After laser hair removal, the process is not over yet. You have achieved the desired result, but you also should consolidate the effect. With improper aftercare, you risk the following negative consequences:
- Graying of treated hair
- Increased hair growth around the treatment area.
To avoid this, you need to observe the simple rules of aftercare, which we will list below.
Do Not Be Afraid of Redness and Bumps
Laser hair removal has several minor side effects that you should not worry about:
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, these effects will end after one to three days . You can help speed up healing if you use a cold compress, as it constricts blood vessels, reduces fluid inflow and outflow, and reduces swelling.
You can keep ice or a cold washcloth on the swellings for up to 40 minutes to avoid hypothermia. Afterward, you need to take a 20–minute break. You can repeat this procedure four to five times within four to five hours after laser hair removal.
Do Not Use Skin Products for 24–72 Hours
After laser hair removal, your skin will remain sensitive for 24–72 hours, which will show up as redness. Therefore, you should not use skin care products, as their ingredients can cause rashes, burns, swelling, irritation, and even skin discoloration when applied to sensitive skin.
We specifically discourage the use of the following skin care products:
- Tanning lotions
- Lotions with perfumes or fragrances
- Deodorant (if the treatment area was the underarms)
Five to thirty days after laser hair removal, you will notice stubble from the dead hair. During this period, dead hair breaks out of the hair follicles. You can help them fall out by washing them with a washcloth or an exfoliating cloth.
Moreover, you should exfoliate your skin to avoid ingrown hairs, as some follicles may be damaged but not eliminated, which is the cause of ingrown hairs, swelling and redness.
Do Not Tan
After laser hair removal, the skin becomes very sensitive, as this is a natural reaction of the body to the destruction of hair follicles. It makes the skin more exposed to UV rays, which can causeor burns.
Therefore, you should not tan for two weeks after laser hair removal to avoid the negative consequences.
Extra Tip: Avoid Heat
Avoid all types of heat for 24 hours after laser hair removal, so to not affect the skin. You should not take hot showers, or visit a sauna or steam room, to avoid excessive irritation.
Moreover, you should skip the gym sessions within 48 hours after laser hair removal. Sweat and clothing rubbing against sensitive skin can cause blisters, rashes, or even infections.
Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?
Laser hair removal can cause discomfort, which is similar to the sensation of pinching your skin with a clothespin. It is worth noting that the thicker the hairline on the treatment area you have, the more sensitive the skin will be during and after the session.
However, in most cases, laser hair removal is an almost painless procedure. Discomfort during the session will be much less than during a wax.
Can Laser Hair Removal Lead to Cancer?
Laser hair removal is a completely safe procedure that does not cause long-term health problems. In a recent study among 948 patients, only one got a scar on the face, and three developed herpes, which is <0.3% of participants .
It is worth noting that laser hair removal does not increase cancer risk because the procedure does not use UV rays. Moreover, medical research confirms that there is no link between the development of cancer and the use of lasers and 5].[
Laser hair removal allows you to achieve 75 to 100% of the desired result, which will last for at least one year. However, you should consult your doctor and follow a few tips for pre-care and post-care. In this case, you will prolong the result and be able to avoid negative consequences.
In short, you need to know and adhere to the following dos and don’ts before laser hair removal:
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, treatment after dermal fillers or Botox, sun exposure, and waxing.
- Clean your skin.
- Do shave, but don’t wax.
- Use only permitted medications.
- Use the right skin products.
💲 Do I need to tip after laser hair removal?
Whether you have tipped or not, the quality of service you will receive during laser hair removal will not change. Therefore, tips are optional.
2️⃣ Are 2 laser hair removal sessions enough to achieve results?
According to a recent study, you will need more than three hair removal sessions on the axilla, bikini area, and lower and upper limbs, and more than five hair removal sessions to remove facial and chest hair.
🕔 Why do I need to attend hair laser removal every 4 weeks?
You should consult a specialist to find out the exact schedule for visiting laser hair removal because it depends on the hair growth rate. Usually, experts recommend attending sessions once every six to eight weeks.
✅ What are the benefits of laser hair removal?
The main advantages of laser hair removal are the long-term results (typically lasting one year or more), the absence of pain and side effects, and the possibility of treating a specific area.
🪒 Can I shave right before laser hair removal?
Shave the treatment area two days before laser hair removal. Otherwise, the skin will be sensitive, which can increase irritation and discomfort.
- Russe E;Purschke M;Herold M;Sakamoto FH;Wechselberger G;Russe-Wilflingseder K; (2019, October 3). Evaluation of safety and efficacy of laser hair removal with the long-pulsed 755 nm wavelength laser: A two-center study with 948 patients. Lasers in surgery and medicine. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31579971/
- Gold, M. H., Foster, A., & Biron, J. A. (2010, February). Low-energy intense pulsed light for hair removal at home. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921762/
- DJ;, G. (2018, September 24). One-year follow-up results of hair removal using an 810 nm diode laser. Journal of cosmetic dermatology. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30251358/
- Laser hair removal: Faqs. American Academy of Dermatology. (n.d.). Retrieved January 9, 2023, from https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/hair-removal/laser-hair-removal-faqs
- Ash, C., Town, G., Whittall, R., Tooze, L., & Phillips, J. (2017, November). Lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) association with cancerous lesions. Lasers in medical science. Retrieved January 11, 2023, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5653718/
- Drugs that may cause photosensitivity. Fix laser and skin center. (n.d.). Retrieved January 12, 2023, from https://fixlaserskincenter.com/drugs-that-may-cause-photosensitivity/