October 10, 2014
Am I Suitable For Laser Hair Removal?

What Makes Me Suitable For Laser

Most Importantly, Dark Hair

Hair must contain some level of brown pigment (melanin) to respond to laser, blond, grey or red hair will not respond therefore cannot be treated. It is important to allow some hair to be present in the treatment area on the day of your consultation to ensure your hair is suitable for treatment.

Laser will work best when thick, brown/black hair is present in the treatment area as there is a bulk source of melanin contained within the hair making it easier for the laser to successfully target the hair.

Skin Type Doesn’t Matter But

And there is a but, it does take more sessions to achieve a result on a darker skin.  Because a darker skin will contain Melanin the laser will absorb into the skin and hair at the same rate and cause the skin to pigment and darken if too high an energy is used.  A person with a darker skin will typically need more sessions than someone with a paler skin.  People with pale skin and dark hair will typically achieve the best results in a faster time frame.


Many medications are suitable for use when receiving laser treatment.  Some medications cause the skin to become photosensitive (sensitive to light) and cause changes at a cellular level within the skin so therefore cannot be taken while having laser treatment.  If you are currently taking any medication and would like to know if you are suitable please contact us by clicking here and we can confirm if you are suitable or not.   In certain circumstances we may advise you to inform your GP that you are starting treatment and ask for a letter of consent to begin treatment, this is to ensure we are 100% safe to proceed.  We operate under strict guidelines and if your medical circumstances change during the course of your treatments we may ask for written consent from your GP to ensure we are safe to proceed with further treatments, this depends on the severity of the treatments that would be prescribed by your doctor.

We are proud to hold a 100% safety record and at no stage do we ever compromise your safety – at Urbana your safety comes first.

Here is a list of just SOME medications the increase photo sensitivity and if taking them would make you unsuitable at this time.

Ro-Accutane, Minocycline (Acne Medications) St John’s Wort, Dianette (Oral Contraceptive).

No Tan Present, Real Or Fake

Your skin must be free from Tan (including fake tan) to be safely treated with laser. This is essential to ensure you receive a safe and effective treatment.

When we tan our skin cells produce Melanin, this is a very important process as it protects our internal DNA structures beneath our skin.

The light, heat and energy omitted by the lasers we use targets and absorbs into Melanin,  the Laser cannot tell the difference between Melanin in the hair and stimulated Melanin (from tanning) in the skin, the laser will attract to the pigment in the exact same way and will heat up the two structures to the exact same temperature causing damage to the fragile skin structure.  Melanocyte cells are located in the basal or deepest layer of your skin where the hair is also located, if a treatment is performed when melanocytes have been activated (from tanning) the laser will stimulate the pigment and bring it to the surface of the skin causing the surface of the skin to darken and become pigmented. It will also heat the water content in the skin up and cause the skin to blister.

If you are undergoing a course of treatments with us and happen go on holidays in-between your treatments we will insist on a re-patch test approx 8-12 weeks after you return from holiday.  For safety reasons we will not continue with any further treatment unless this patch test has been done and is deemed safe after a 3-4 day period depending on the depth of tan.    As laser penetrates deep into the skin it does sometimes take that period of time to show on the surface of the skin.

Sensitive Skin Can Be Treated But

Sensitive skins can be treated very effectively but with lower laser energy settings.  Because we would always insist on a patch test before starting laser we are able to establish a suitable setting for your skin type, this will put your mind at ease to as it will determine if your sensitive skin is suitable or not.

If you have this skin type you may notice that you will be sensitive for a little longer than the usual 24-48hr, but any side effects from the laser mainly erythema (redness) or follicular odema (swelling of the follicles) should subside over the subsequent days after treatment.  It is important if you notice any changes or prolonged effects from laser lasting on your skin that you make us aware so that we can ensure your skin safety.

Waxing, Say Goodbye Forever

If you are thinking about starting laser treatment you will need to say farewell to your monthly wax.  You will need to allow the follicles in the treatment area to fill with hair for approx 6 weeks before starting treatment.  When you wax or pluck the hair is completely removed from the follicle in order for the laser to be effective hair follicles must have hair present so that they can be targeted.  If you have waxed or plucked the treatment area you would have to wait 6-8 weeks for follicles to produce a new hair.

I know it probably goes against everything you have ever been told when getting waxed but you do need to shave before laser, shock horror.  It’s a bit tricky to start but after 3-4 sessions the amount of hair dramatically reduces and this process will get so much easier.


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