Getting rid of unwanted hair can be a time-consuming and painful process. Whether you shave, wax, pluck or thread, it can be costly in the long run, and you might not get the results you want. For many, laser hair removal offers the perfect solution.

Significantly reducing hair growth, altogether in some cases, laser hair removal eliminates lengthy hair removal rituals from daily routines. From increasing confidence to avoiding pesky ingrown hairs and rashes, laser hair removal has a range of benefits.

However, before investing in this tried and tested treatment, it pays to know what to expect. Read on to find out everything you should know about laser hair removal.

What you should know before doing laser hair removal

  1. It’s a fast process

You’ll be glad to know that laser hair removal is a pretty quick process. While it often takes around 8 sessions for optimum results, the sessions are usually spaced around 4 weeks apart and are faster than you might expect.

The precise time of the procedure ultimately depends on the areas of the body that are being treated. But in some cases, you may even be able to fit a laser hair removal appointment into your lunch break.

2. Make sure to shave

It’s not time to throw away the razors just yet. Unlike waxing, you need to be free of hair before your appointment. This protocol ensures the laser can target the follicles at the root rather than the hair itself. So, make sure you shave up to 24 hours before your laser hair removal appointment.

3. No plucking, waxing, bleaching, or threading!

While you’ll be asked to shave before treatment, you shouldn’t touch any other hair removal treatments such as waxing, threading and bleaching for 4 weeks. That includes plucking – so put down the tweezers! The laser for the procedure needs the follicle to be intact. Therefore, you must avoid carrying out these DIY treatments before undergoing laser hair removal.

4. Ditch the tan

We often say that the best time to undergo laser hair removal treatment is in the winter, as you should avoid sun exposure for at least 4 weeks before each session. Whether you like to sun yourself in the garden, frequently go abroad, or sneak onto the tanning beds, you’ll have to give this a rest while you’re getting treatment. If you don’t, you risk discolouration of the skin.

And you can’t fake it either! Avoid fake tan, as darkening the skin in this way can mean that the laser’s energy will be absorbed into the skin rather than the follicle. This increases the likelihood of blisters or burns and will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.

5. Cover your tattoos

Similarly, you cannot perform laser hair removals over a tattoo. In the same way as fake tan, the pigment of the tattoo may absorb the laser’s energy rather than the hair, which isn’t safe for the skin. For this reason, you’ll want to cover any tattoos in the affected areas before treatment

6. Avoid exercise after treatment

The perfect excuse to skip a gym session! For at least 24 hours after treatment, you should avoid any form of exercise, spas or saunas, as the heat and sweat involved can cause bacteria to grow, which can lead to irritation.

You’ll also want to steer clear of hot showers and baths to avoid increasing your body temperature further.

7. Be a little patient for results

Unlike waxing or shaving, you might not see instant results. It may take between 2-3 weeks after your first treatment for you to notice a difference, as it can take a little while for dead follicles to fall out before the finer follicles can grow through.

But remain patient and stick to a course of sessions. Your amazing results await. It’s common for some patients to need infrequent top-up sessions after the end of their course, perhaps once a year.

8. Not everyone is eligible

It’s worth noting that laser hair removal isn’t appropriate for everyone. It ultimately depends on the type of hair you have. Paradoxically, coarser hair works better with this form of hair removal. If you have finer hair, you may need an alternative type of laser treatment or something different altogether.  

Does laser hair removal work?

The short answer is yes! You should work with a certified professional to map out the best course of action for you, your skin, and your hair type. If you do this, you’ll know what kind of results you can expect at the end of your course. 

Most people report great results. The process should be seen more like a laser hair ‘reduction’, as it works to reduce the cycle of hair growth. In some cases, it does completely stop hair growth. 

Is laser hair removal safe?

As with every treatment, there are some risks. But if you work with a board-certified dermatologist, you can rest assured that you’re in safe hands. They’ll run through your specific case, including any lifestyle habits, situations, or medication that may affect or interfere with the laser hair removal treatment.

Doing so will help to reduce the risk of ineffective treatment, changes in pigmentation, or even burns.

Is laser hair removal permanent?

Most people that qualify for successful laser hair removal experience a 90% permanent reduction in hair growth. No practice can guarantee a 100% chance of permanent hair removal. However, when it’s done correctly, the process significantly reduces hair growth. And permanently so, in the majority of cases.

Does laser hair removal hurt?

You may have heard people say that laser hair removal feels like elastic bands hitting the skin. This is probably the most accurate description of the sensation you’ll experience.

Laser hair removal works by sending light through the hair, damaging the follicle and bulb in the process. The feeling you might experience from the laser light is a hot, sharp zap. It may cause a pricklier feeling in more sensitive areas such as the bikini area or underarms. But any pain will be over quickly.

You can also expect some redness and raised or bumpy skin after the treatment. But this is a good thing. Any swelling of the follicles in this way means that your treatment was more likely to be successful.

How much is laser hair removal?

The cost of laser hair removal depends on the area of the body and how many sessions you might need. It typically takes a course of 8 sessions to see the results you might be looking for. 

At Virtue Hair and Skin Clinic, we price based on single treatment sessions, but you’ll receive a discount for completing a full 8-week course. 

You can expect to pay from £35 for a single session on a smaller area of the body, up to £139 per full-body session. 

Why home laser hair removal should be avoided

We urge customers to refrain from any at-home laser hair removal procedures. If done incorrectly, laser hair removal can lead to burns, scars and hyperpigmentation.

At-home procedures will often have less intense light pulses, which means that it’s much less effective. A laser needs sufficient power to destroy the hair. Otherwise, you risk simply damaging the hair, which won’t lead to a reduction in hair growth.

It’s also much harder to cover a larger area of the body and reach certain areas yourself. Rather than performing a contortionist act, it’s much easier to have a professional do it for you with access to higher-quality, higher-powered, cutting-edge light laser technology.

Benefit from the knowledge of laser hair removal specialists so that you see the best results. From preparation for treatment to the treatment itself and aftercare, you’ll be in safe hands.

Speak to a leading clinic specialising in laser hair removal treatments in Birmingham

Get in touch today for a confidential discussion with one of our laser hair removal professionals and find out what the best course of treatment is for you. We’re more than happy to help.