Spring has just started, the sun’s beginning to shine and it seems like everyone is already starting to plan for their summer beach trips. Along with that planning often comes the sudden realization that your legs will need to come out of their winter hiding sometime soon, but if you’re like most of us, hair removal probably wasn’t the first thing on your mind during those winter months. But now that shorts season is just around the corner, is this the best time to begin the laser hair removal process? If you’ve been thinking about getting LHR before summer rolls around, there are a few things you should consider to make sure you still have plenty of time to enjoy the sunshine.
How Laser Hair Removal Works
Although it may seem like LHR is just a quick zap and your hair’s gone, it’s actually a medical procedure that needs to be prepared for and properly cared for afterwards. During LHR, a certified technician will apply pulses of laser light that are absorbed by the melanin, or pigment, in the hair follicle, which permanently prevents your hair from growing back in that area. Because LHR targets hair in its active growth stage, the entire procedure can take anywhere from 6 to 9 treatment sessions to make sure that the hair in the desired area is targeted and removed.
How to Prepare
Before you begin your LHR sessions, you’ll want to make sure you have enough time to prepare to ensure you get the most effective results. Because the lasers target actively growing hair follicles, your technician will likely recommend that you don’t wax or pluck hairs in the area from which you wish to have hair removed for at least 6 weeks prior to treatment. This is because waxing and plucking actually remove the entire follicle, so the laser will not have anything to target. However, shaving is usually encouraged in the few days before getting LHR, as that will trigger regrowth, providing the perfect target for the best laser hair removal results.
It’s also important that you don’t visit a tanning bed or expose your skin to too much sun in the weeks before your treatment, because LHR is most effective on lighter skin and darker hair. Although new laser technology does allow for safe LHR for darker skin tones, your treatment can be much more effective and safer if you limit tanning and sun exposure prior to your LHR.
Making Time for Aftercare
As with your preparation for LHR, once you’ve completed your full round of treatment sessions, you should plan on staying out of the sun for about 6 weeks. It’s also important to limit sun exposure during and in between sessions so that no complications arise. Keep in mind that around 6 to 9 sessions spaced several weeks apart are generally needed to complete treatment, so you’ll want to schedule your first session in enough time to allow for these additional treatments.
That said, if you begin planning and consulting with your certified LHR technician, you could be well on your way to enjoying a carefree, shave-free summer. Just be sure that you choose a reputable med spa and technician who will be able to answer any questions you might have, walk you through the process and help you to plan a realistic timeframe for a safe and effective procedure.
Dr. Joseph J. Castellano is a native Floridian who grew up in the Tampa Bay area. During medical school and his 5 years of training in General Surgery, Dr. Castellano developed a strong interest in Cosmetic Surgery. He followed his residency training with an elective year of specialized training with the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. From 2010-2011, he completed a fellowship in Indiana focused entirely of cosmetic surgery of the face and body. During his fellowship, he received specialized training in facial rejuvenation, breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, and body contouring. Dr. Castellano received his board certification from the American College of Surgeons in 2010.
Dr. Castellano focuses on breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, liposuction, facelift, and eyelid rejuvenation. Additionally, he operates on numerous skin cancers, scar revisions, spider veins, and specializes in the management of aging skin with chemical peels and laser resurfacing.
Request a consultation to meet with Dr. Castellano and learn more about all his practice has to offer.