Most patients can undergo laser hair removal once every 4 to 6 weeks, and your dermatologist will be able to tell you when it's safe to have other treatments. Hair removal usually requires a series of laser treatments, and although it can effectively slow hair growth for extended periods of time, it usually does not result in permanent hair removal. Laser hair removal is most effective for people with fair skin and dark hair, but it can be used successfully on all skin types. It's important to shave the area the night before treatment, as this will leave enough hair to show the growth pattern.
As an expert in laser hair removal, I always advise my patients to avoid using depilatory creams for 6 weeks before their treatment. Shaving is the preferred method of hair removal, even on the face, and there is no need to let your hair grow between sessions. Additionally, if you are currently taking Accutane or any other acne medication, it's important to notify your laser hair removal provider before your appointment. Accutane or isotretinoin is a potent medication commonly used to treat severe acne, and it can significantly affect the condition and sensitivity of the skin, making it more prone to dryness, redness, and increased sensitivity to the laser.
Laser hair removal is not recommended while taking Accutane or other similar medications due to the increased risk of adverse skin effects such as burns, blisters, or scars. At Simplicity Laser, we recommend waiting six months after your last dose before undergoing laser hair removal. Exposure to the sun can also make laser hair removal less effective, as the laser may not be able to distinguish between hair pigment and skin pigment. It's best to avoid sun exposure for at least a week before your laser hair removal appointment. If you're sunburned or your skin is compromised (peeling), you may need to wait more than a week before getting treatment.
The skin will need to be healed and have a color that is as close as possible to the natural color of the skin. The laser focuses on the pigment in the hair follicles and if the skin has self-tanning residue, it can increase the risk of complications such as burns or hyperpigmentation. It's best to avoid self-tanning products for at least two weeks before your laser hair removal appointment and make sure that any sunless tanning product is completely removed from the skin before the appointment. It's also important to shave the treatment area before your laser hair removal appointment. Unlike waxing or tweezing which require hair to be visible, laser hair removal works best when the hair is shaved close to the surface of the skin.
Shaving the treatment area 12 to 24 hours before the appointment allows the laser to be aimed directly at the hair follicles without scorching the hair on the skin's surface. You'll want to avoid waxing, tweezing, threading, chemical hair removal, microneedling etc. Today, laser hair removal is a treatment option for patients who have fair hair and skin and for patients who have dark skin. Beware of spas, salons or other facilities that allow non-medical personnel to perform laser hair removal. From preparing the skin to avoiding certain products or medications, proper preparation is key to a successful laser hair removal experience.
Therefore, a contrast between hair color and skin - dark hair and fair skin - results in the best results. During laser hair removal a laser emits light that is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) in the hair. Taking the necessary steps before your laser hair removal appointment ensures the best results and minimizes potential risks. Another thing that has a big effect on the number of sessions you'll need is the part of your body where you want to undergo laser removal.