What you can expect
First things first, you need to decide exactly where you’d like to target. The great thing about laser hair removal is that it’s suitable for most areas of your body. Think legs, arms, underarms, buttocks, bikini line, back, chest, nipples… the list goes on. Your experienced practitioner will often start your session by using a white pencil to mark out the area you’d like to treat. Using the latest hair removal technology, they’ll use a cosmetic laser that’s settings have been cleverly adjusted to accommodate both your skin and hair type. Now all you need to do is lie back and relax. It’s showtime! The laser will fire a beam of light towards the pigment in your hair follicles, killing the follicle at its root. And the best part? Each pulse of the laser treats an area around the size of a two-pence coin and it takes not even a second, meaning large areas can be dealt with pretty quickly. After your chosen area is complete, some aloe vera gel will be applied to cool your skin. If you’re worried about the pain, don’t. The pain is minimal, with some people describing it as feeling like a little elastic band being pinged against your skin. You can definitely expect it to hurt less than your average waxing session.
Know before you go
- You will have to go for a patch test at least 24 hours before starting the course of laser hair removal.
- Before you arrive at your chosen salon or clinic, make sure the area of skin you’d like to treat is shaved as smooth as possible. Why? Because it’s just the root of the hair within the follicle that needs attending to.
- Your skin may go a little pink, but that’s totally normal and doesn’t last long, making laser hair removal perfectly doable during your lunch break.
- Just got back from two weeks in Marbella? If you picked up a tan, you’ll need to wait a few weeks before treatment. You can’t get laser hair removal if you’re sunburned or tanned.
- The same rules apply if you’ve had a wax recently.
- Laser hair removal usually works best on people with dark hair, so if you have fair, white or grey hair, it’s worth checking your suitability with the salon or clinic before you book.
The sciencey stuff
It’s no secret that dark colours can get pretty hot in the sun, right? Well, the same rules apply to laser hair removal. The treatment uses an intense pulse of light which passes through your skin harmlessly and is absorbed by just the root of your hair follicle, putting that pesky little thing out of action. Much like electrolysis, laser hair removal can only treat hairs that are in the growth period of their lifecycle. This means most people usually need a number of treatments (6 to 8) to achieve the best results, and leaving a few weeks between sessions is advised. It’s also worth noting that while clinics and salons in the UK can’t claim they give “permanent” hair removal for legal results, the results have actually been known to last for many years. In the future, you may need the occasional top-up session as your hormones will occasionally prompt new hairs to grow, but you can expect many happy and hairless years to come. Hallelujah!