Answering your questions about these two popular methods of hair removal.
Laser hair removal has been trusted for more than three decades to provide a gentle, permanent solution to unwanted hair.
Whether unwanted hair is removed from a small area such as the upper lip, or larger areas such as the thighs or back, caring for your skin is paramount.
Here, we explain our recommended approach to laser hair removal aftercare.
Understanding how the treatment works
Laser hair removal works by delivering laser light directly into the root of the hair.
The laser light targets the melanin pigment in the hair follicle (the tiny sheath of skin that surrounds the hair root) and the heat generated disrupts the cells, to inhibit hair growth.
Laser hair removal is most effective when the hair is actively growing, which is why a series of treatments are needed to ensure that as many hairs as possible are treated during their growing rather than resting phase.
What can laser hair removal achieve?
Laser hair removal can be used to permanently reduce unwanted hair on any area of the body, as long as the hair contains some degree of pigmentation.
It is also a very effective treatment for ingrown hairs, which can irritate the skin and cause red bumps.
We offer a range of cost-effective packages to suit every requirement.
The importance of laser hair removal aftercare
There are a few simple steps that you can take, both before and after your appointment, to care for your skin and ensure you get the best possible results from your treatment.
Before your treatment
- Your practitioner will ask that you shave the area to be treated at least 12 hours prior to your appointment – this ensures a more targeted treatment.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes on the day of treatment.
- Avoid alcohol the night before and on the treatment day.
- Do not exercise before treatment.
- Avoid applying any products to the area of skin to be treated including lotions, makeup and deodorant. It should be kept clean and dry prior to treatment.
- Do not expose the skin to UV light (natural sunlight or sunbeds) or apply self-tanning products for four weeks prior to your treatment.
After your treatment
- Wear loose clothes to avoid friction on the treated area for 48 hours.
- Avoid shaving the treated area for 48 hours.
- Avoid exercise for 48 hours.
- Avoid the use of deodorants for 24 hours.
- Use a non-scented moisturiser on the treated area. If there is obvious redness after treatment, apply aloe vera gel or a calming cream for three days. A cool compress can also be applied.
- You should apply clinic-prescribed, physical sunblock of at least SPF30, at all times throughout your course of treatment (please ask your practitioner for a skin care product recommendation). Direct sun exposure to the treated area, without SPF30+ protection, will increase risk of hyperpigmentation. Avoid sun exposure as much as possible.
- Avoid heat treatments such as spas, steam rooms and saunas for seven days.
- Avoid waxing, tweezing and threading for the complete duration of the treatment course.
What to expect following laser hair removal
Immediately after treatment
You should expect both erythema (redness) and oedema (swelling) of each hair follicle at the treatment site, which may last up to two hours or longer. The erythema may last for 2-3 days.
The treated area will feel like a sunburn for a few hours after treatment.
There are no restrictions to bathing except to treat the skin gently for the first 24 hours.
5-14 days after treatment
You may experience shedding of the treated hair, which might look like new hair growth. It is important to realise that this is not new hair growth. This hair can be removed by gently washing or wiping the area with a wet cloth or loofa sponge.