Laser Hair Removal is a procedure that uses a laser light to remove unwanted hair. It may be done on various parts of the body and is generally considered permanent (to some extent) for people who suffer from excessive hair growth.
More and more people are turning to laser treatments because they’re less invasive than other ways of removing hair such as electrolysis or waxing.
People with strict grooming duties, such as those in the military, are also opting for laser hair removal because it’s a lighter duty.
Here’s the scoop on can you shower after laser hair removal!
What Is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser Hair Removal works by emitting short pulses of intense light which pass through the skin and are absorbed by melanin, a coloring agent present in all humans.
Laser hair removal work targets sensitive areas of hair during the growth phase to permanently remove hair.
When the light hits the melanin, it is absorbed and dissipated as heat which destroys hair follicles. The laser targets dark hair on lighter skin such as brown or black because they contain copious amounts of melanin whereas light-colored hair does not absorb enough energy from lasers.
A good candidate for laser hair removal is someone who has light skin and dark hair follicles.
A laser hair treatment is also great for treating ingrown hairs and preventing new hair growth. Depending on your skin type, hair colors, and hair type everyone responds differently to hair removal methods.
While a skincare product like hair removal cream can help with unwanted body hair its nothing like hair removal services that give you permanent optimal results.
What Does Laser Hair Removal Feel Like?
The treatment itself can vary in pain level, depending on the doctor, your pain threshold, and how experienced you are with a laser treatment in general. However, most people say that it’s not nearly as bad as waxing or shaving in terms of actual pain.
Many report feeling a slight sting when the laser hits the skin, but nothing really painful. Some describe it more like a very quick pinch or a bee sting.
It’s nothing that you can’t endure for just a few minutes at a time, and your doctor will apply numbing cream to the area before starting the laser hair removal treatment. The cream will take away much of the pain, but don’t expect it to make things completely pain-free!
The first week after your first laser hair removal session the dead hair and stray hairs will begin to fully fall out.
What Happens Right After My Hair Removal Treatment?
After you’ve had your laser hair removal treatment, your doctor will probably recommend that you bring an ice pack or cold compress with you, or stop by the local convenience store on your way home to pick one up.
You’ll place it on your skin for about 10 minutes at a time (the more often, the better) until the skin stops stinging and burning.
Do not try to remove any dead skin right after treatment. The skin has only just been opened up, and if you scrub at it too early, you risk injuring your skin more.
After the initial burning stops, the affected area of the skin will start to swell up a bit. It’s completely normal for your newly lasered skin to get dry patches or flaky skin around the treated areas for the next few days.
The best way to help it heal is not to pick or scratch at the dead skin but to use a generous amount of moisturizer around the treated area until it starts to heal.
You should always avoid a hot tub, harsh chemicals, sun beds, direct sunlight, and topical beauty products. By starting away from these things it is an effective way for the treated hair to go through the healing process.
After your laser hair removal appointment, your body temperature needs time to cool down so avoid the use of heating pads and any sun damage.
How long does laser hair removal last?
Laser hair removal sessions are effective for up to 6 months, so get your next treatment 6 months after your current laser session to make sure you get the best results.
The laser targets the growth stage of the hair follicles to help get rid of hair permanently but not every strand of hair is on the same growth cycle. This is why you will need multiple treatments.
Makeup can be applied after 24 hours of treatment if necessary, but wait at least 5 days before waxing or shaving again. Thankfully, your skin’s surface will likely bounce back like a rubber band after treatment.
Can I Shower After Laser Hair Removal?
In short, the answer is yes. You should wait a couple of hours or until the next day to shower. This is due to the fact that dead skin cells will stick to living skin cells which will need to slough off.
After treatment, patients must avoid exposing the treated area to water for a few hours. Water can interfere with the treatment and reduce effectiveness.
Activated charcoal is sometimes used before laser hair removal, which helps prevent infections from forming. It is perfectly safe to shower after going through the laser hair removal procedure as long as it does not come into direct contact with the skin or open wounds.
What If I Have Been Itching After Laser Hair Removal?
Don’t scratch because it will make your skin red and inflamed. If scratching makes you feel better, try giving yourself a little massage in between laser hair removal treatments.
Skin redness is not uncommon on the surface of the skin after the day of your appointment. If your skin is extra sensitive after your first session uses a steroid cream.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one who is itching. It’s perfectly normal for people to get a little carried away after laser hair removal with their scratching habits.
If it gets too bad, just head into your doctor’s office and get some hydrocortisone cream or something similar to help with the itchiness.
Hot Or Cold Water Showers After Laser Hair Removal?
Choose a cool shower. You’ll heal faster! Cold water is better than hot water after laser hair removal because it reduces swelling and redness.
Hot showers or hot baths can irritate and burn the treatment area while cool water helps alleviate the pain and itchiness especially if it’s your first time.
The temperature of the water should be bearable but not too hate. You want to take care of your skin so a cold shower is the best option.
Can I Use Lotion After Laser Hair Removal?
A common question is “can I use lotions after laser hair removal?”. Yes, but choose your lotions carefully. Lotions that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are fine, as well as those containing lactic acid.
Avoid lotions with scents and other ingredients you might be sensitive to, including fragrances, dyes, and other chemicals.
After your first hair removal procedure, you may have sensitive skin and you can use aloe vera gel to take care of yourself after.
What Do I Need To Do After Laser Hair Removal Treatment?
You need to be EXTREMELY careful with the skin that has been lasered. This means:
- No tight clothing (especially avoid wearing pantyhose and jeans)
- No sitting directly on the treated areas for a few weeks after treatment…it will go numb and cause bruising if it is pressed too hard.
- Avoid any situation where someone will rub your neck – your skin is likely very sensitive and can be irritated by a neck massage.
- Don’t even think about using any tanning beds, sunbathing, or steam rooms for at least two weeks after treatment. You do not know how much damage sun exposure could cause until it’s way too late.
- Don’t shave (or wax) right after your laser hair removal treatment, but you can do it before if you must. However, know that your laser hair removal results will not last as long as they should. We recommend shaving at least a week before your next treatment.
- Do NOT use any exfoliating products. Not only will they irritate your skin, but you don’t know if there is a chance that they could have been diluted with alcohol after the removal process. That’s just asking for trouble.
It may seem like a lot to do, but just remember that if you want permanent hair removal, then it’s all for a good cause!
How often should I have a laser hair removal treatment?
Most doctors recommend going back for a few treatments until you reach your desired level of hairlessness. It can take 4-8 treatments for this to happen, and a few more sessions to make sure all the hair is gone.
The number of laser hair removal services you need varies from person to person – but 8+ treatments seem to be the average.
Some people have an allergic reaction to the laser itself, others may experience an allergic reaction to medications that are applied before the cosmetic procedure to reduce infection.
If this is the case, it’s important not to ignore the itchiness. If itching occurs, medications are available that may provide relief.
If you have questions or concerns about laser hair removal you can always contact a dermatologist who specializes in lasers. Or ask your doctor if an allergy test is right for you.
Although laser hair removal is a great way to get rid of unwanted hair, the itching and discomfort may be more than you want to put up with. If you have darker skin tones, laser treatments are not recommended as the high levels of melanin in your cells will absorb more light energy from your treatment.
It’s a good idea to consult with a dermatologist before getting laser hair removal so you can be properly informed.
If you have severe skin irritation or anything from your medical history that could affect the risk of side effects you should let your laser technician know before your next appointment. Skin care laser therapy is great for a number of things.
It is an effective option for getting hair-free skin. The good news is your skin’s surface will feel great!
If you are interested in learning more contact your local esthetician to book a free complimentary consultation.
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