No matter who you are, traditional methods of hair removal can be a downright pain. With laser hair removal, on the other hand, you can end up saving lots of prep time while still getting that smooth, sleek look you want. So how do you tell if laser hair removal might be worth it for you? Take a look at the characteristics that make the best candidate for laser hair removal.
In the past, laser hair removal could come along with some unwanted side effects on darker skin tones, including scarring, burns and discoloration because of the lack of contrast between the pigment in the hair and skin. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
Because of advancements in laser technology, LHR can now be safe and effective on virtually all skin tones, although certain lasers may still work better than others for darker skin tones.
Although there’s now a laser for pretty much all skin tones, the same is unfortunately not true for all hair colors. Laser hair removal only works for darker hair colors and therefore won’t be effective for blonde, white or light red hair. That’s because LRH works by targeting the pigment in the hair follicle, so less pigmented hair doesn’t have enough melanin for the laser to target and absorb.
Laser hair removal also works best for people with coarse or thick hair, rather than very fine or thin. That said, researchers are in the works of creating a laser that could hopefully one day be able to more effectively target a wider variety of hair colors and types. Until then, though, people with dark, coarse hair are still the best candidates.
During your consultation, your laser technician can assess your skin and hair color combination and let you know if laser hair removal could be a good choice for you.
In addition to having dark enough hair for the laser to target, there are a few lifestyle factors that can determine if you might be a good candidate for laser hair removal.
First, it’s crucial that you’re able to stay out of direct sunlight for the duration of your laser hair removal treatment. Keep in mind that most people require 6 to 9 treatment sessions spaced either 4 to 6 weeks apart for the face or 8 to 10 weeks apart for areas on the body. Throughout this entire period, you’ll need to stay out of the sun, so make sure you plan your laser hair removal accordingly. For this reason, many women and men choose to schedule laser hair removal for the cooler fall and winter months.
Although you can use sunless tanning lotions between laser hair removal sessions, you’ll need to be careful that you give the color enough time to wear off before your next treatment session. Remember that the laser needs to be able to target the pigment in your hair follicles, so the lighter your skin, the more effective the treatment will be.
Finally, you’ll have to avoid waxing or tweezing the treated area for at least 30 days prior to your first LHR treatment and then for the duration of your treatment sessions. However, you can shave your hair throughout the process. In fact, it’s best if you do shave within 24 hours of each treatment to trigger growth.
Caroll Delo is a board certified laser technician at Simply Smooth Laser Center in Tampa, a niche practice that focuses specifically on laser treatments. Simply Smooth Laser Center offers the most advanced options in laser hair removal, laser skin rejuvenation and laser tattoo removal.