Laser hair removal: This is everything you need to know before your appointment

You’ve been thinking about getting laser hair removal, but still have doubts? Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place.

This is everything you need to know before your laser hair removal appointment
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This is everything you need to know before your laser hair removal appointment

I used to have doubts of my own.

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First off, I thought that we have hair in specific areas for a reason. And second, I refused to accept the socially constructed beauty standards set on women. Although my thoughts haven’t changed on the latter, you could say I am a laser hair removal 'convertee' simply because I prefer my skin smooth instead of spiky.

Before I embarked on this journey, I did extensive research which I am happy to share with you.

Is it permanent?

As said earlier, the hair is there for a reason, and as hard as the laser device tries, the brain does not get the memo and keeps producing hair. With this being said, laser hair removal does not guarantee permanent hair removal and there are additional procedures involved. This is confirmed by Mayo Clinic who says:

Although laser hair removal effectively delays hair growth for long periods, it usually doesn't result in permanent hair removal.

What is guaranteed with laser hair removal though, is that it will take time, patience, and money. Depending on the targeted area and other factors regarding your hair, it might take between 8-12 sessions separated over 4-6 weeks to see desired results.

Is it safe?

Generally, it is safe and not really painful. According to NHS:

Laser hair removal is safe, but it can occasionally cause side effects, such as pain and discomfort, and red skin that may last for some time. It may also not be suitable for everyone, including pregnant women and people with certain skin types.

What to expect?

  • Depends on which area you are targeting, but you might be asked to shave it the day before your appointment.
  • You will be wearing (IMO) cool goggles to protect your eyes.
  • They will apply a gel or spray before starting the procedure.
  • When the time comes and they will put a handheld device—the laser (which to some might tingle more than it hurts).
  • Session time varies from 15 minutes to over an hour.
  • How many times you need to repeat sessions depends on the area you target and other factors.

Possible afterwards effects

Normally, you might find that the affected area may be red and feel sensitive to the touch. It is recommended to hold an ice pack to cool off the skin, and stay out of the sun until the whole treatment is completed.

Although rarely, laser hair removal might result in discomfort, rash that might not go away, swelling of the skin, scarring, laser burn, and infections among others.

If you experience any of the above, please contact your doctor.

Sources used:

- Mayo Clinic: 'Laser hair removal'

- NHS: 'Laser hair removal'

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