Summary: Patients who want to be permanently free of unwanted facial hair are seeing excellent results with laser hair removal. This procedure works by using a gentle but concentrated beam of light that passes over the treatment area and is absorbed by melanin (pigment) in hair follicles. The intense energy from the laser disables the follicle, preventing future regrowth. When preparing for laser hair removal on the face, here are a few dos and don’ts that patients should keep in mind in order to get the best results.
Facial Laser Hair Removal Dos
- Do choose an experienced laser technician from a reputable cosmetic surgery center or medical spa for your laser hair removal. Experience counts even for this fairly common procedure, and it’s always smart to choose the most skilled practitioner available.
- Do protect skin from the sun after and between laser hair removal treatments, as this process works best on patients with lighter skin. For this reason, it is important to protect skin from the sun by using a high-quality, full-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above during the two weeks before and after each session. Of course, all patients should be in the habit of using sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful rays, but this is especially important during the laser hair removal process.
- Do exfoliate skin during the weeks following each treatment in order to help shed treated hairs. Significant shedding in targeted areas means the laser has effectively disabled the follicles. Use a gentle exfoliating scrub or device to encourage the shedding process and get the best results.
- Do expect some regrowth. Remember that each treatment session only targets hairs in the growth phase, so any hairs that were in the resting phase during a previous treatment will continue growing. That’s why multiple appointments are required to effectively treat all the hair in any given area. Seeing some regrowth doesn’t mean laser hair removal isn’t working, so don’t get too discouraged.
- Do prepare for a long-term commitment. Even very small areas on the face will require multiple treatments spaced a few weeks apart for the longest-lasting results.
- Do report any medications you’re taking to your laser technician and make sure to let him or her know about your existing skincare regime. You should also notify any other medical personnel about your laser hair removal treatments so all your caregivers are fully informed.
- Do ask your laser technician any questions about laser hair removal you might have before starting treatment.
Facial Laser Hair Removal Don’ts
- Don’t use retinoids for approximately a week before each appointment. These topical creams can cause dryness and sensitivity to sunlight, so their use needs to be limited.
- Don’t tweeze or wax during treatment. It’s fine to trim or shave any hairs that may regrow in the targeted areas, but waxing or tweezing removes hair at the root, interrupting the laser hair removal process.
- Don’t visit the tanning bed or excessively expose skin to natural sunlight. Again, the treatment works best on light skin, so patients should avoid sunlight – natural or artificial – for the highest level of effectiveness.
- Finally, don’t miss any sessions. Laser hair removal requires a commitment to the completing the required number of appointments for the longest-lasting results. Skipping a treatment can interrupt the effective treatment of hair in all growth phases. Plan to stick to a treatment schedule in order to get the best outcome.