The Facts And Fictions Of Laser Hair Removal

Posted on: 5 February 2021

Is laser hair removal right for you? Before you decide to select or skip this cosmetic service, take a look at the facts versus the fictions.

Fact: Lasers Are Really Used

The name says it all. This type of removal process really does require the use of a laser to eliminate unwanted hair. A licensed professional uses a concentrated beam of light (laser) to damage and destroy the hair follicles.

Fiction: Hair Removal Hurts

While you may experience some discomfort, a laser procedure isn't painful. Unlike waxing, this type of removal process won't pull, grab, or rip out hairs. Most patients experience a warm, pinprick-like feeling during laser removal. If you have concerns about the potential for pain, ask about a numbing gel. This can dull the discomfort and make the procedure as painless as possible.

Fact: Pre-Procedure Sunless Tanner Isn't Advisable

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), you shouldn't tan immediately before a laser hair removal treatment. This includes sun and sunless tanning. Stop using all self-tanner products on the area you plan to laser at least one week before your treatment appointment. You may need to exfoliate before your laser procedure to remove any self-tanner or spray tan residue.

You can resume self-tanner use several days after your laser procedure. It's common to experience some level of skin sensitivity following treatment. The addition of a self-tanner can aggravate already irritated skin. Ask your dermatologist or licensed skincare provider for more information on how long to wait. They can help you to safely return to a self-tanning routine after your skin heals.

Fiction: You Won't See Immediate Results

Laser removal requires more than one session. But this doesn't mean you won't see results right away. Many patients notice an immediate reduction in hair growth. Over time (and with more treatments), you'll have less hair growth in the treatment area.

Fact: It's Possible to Have Some Side Effects

Even though this procedure isn't invasive or painful, you may have side effects in the first few days after treatment. The most common side effects include hair removal site discomfort, swelling, or redness. Removal site infection, scarring, or skin color changes are less common but possible. Discuss the possible side effects and what to watch out for with your dermatologist or skincare professional before your first treatment.

Fiction: You Can't Laser Facial Areas

Lasers are used to remove unwanted hair on the back, chest, neck, shoulders, bikini zone—and the face. If you're tired of waxing your upper lip or tweezing stray chin hairs, laser removal is an easy, effective option to explore.