April 21, 2017
Can Laser Hair Removal Work On Light Hair
Can I take Ibuprofen before my session of laser hair removal?
Please do not take Ibuprofen before your laser hair removal session, this medication may cause bruising after laser for certain people. We would ask that you stop taking any products containing Ibuprofen 48 hours before your session, this time will allow the body to flush out this medication so that it won’t affect the outcome of your treatment. If you experience bruising after laser please know that this is a temporary reaction and your skin will return to normal after a few days.
You may take a mild pain reliever before your session, please just make sure it doesn’t contain Ibuprofen.
If you have taken Ibuprofen 48hrs before your session we will have to reschedule your appointment for safety reasons.
Medication and laser hair removal
Some medications may cause your skin to become photosensitive, this basically means sensitive to light. As we are using light and heat when we are performing laser it is important that we do not perform any treatments if you are taking medications that may cause your skin to be sensitive to it, doing so would result in pigmentation on your skin.
Most medications that are taken to treat Acne cause photo sensitivity, it is not possible to have laser while taking these meds. There are recommended time frames that you would have to wait until we could safely proceed with treatment. To find out more about laser if you are taking medication please contact us and let us know the name of the medication you are taking so that we can advise you on how long you would need to wait.
If you have any questions or are concerned about any medications you may be taking please call our friendly team so that they can check them for you.
Why is it important to shave before your laser appointment?
Shaving before your laser appointment is really important, 24 hours before or the night before your session is recommended. Shaving on the day is dangerous and should be avoided completely. When you shave the razor may lift a layer of skin off as it passes over your skin, the fresh skin that has been exposed will be fragile for a period of time after you shave. In the hours that pass after you have shaved a layer of skin will develop causing this skin to be less sensitive. If we perform a treatment on freshly shaven skin i.e.. skin that has been shaved on the day of treatment, we run the risk of causing damage to your skin with our lasers. As you are progressing through your course of treatments your laser settings will be increased, this will cause a greater risk of pigmentation as more heat will be delivered onto the skin so it is important to adhere to this rule for the duration of your course.
Immediately after shaving your skin will dry out temporarily and it may take some time for the oil glands to replenish the oil content in your skin. If we perform laser treatment when your skin is dry it may become extremely itchy and irritated directly after your treatment, this reaction will be uncomfortable and may take a few days to dissipate.
Please allow yourself adequate time in order to shave properly, if you rush you may have nicks and cuts that we will have to avoid with the laser during your treatment. You may find that you are left with some areas that have been untreated after your session, this is because we cannot laser over broken skin and will have to avoid these areas. Some people will develop regrowth overnight, this is normal and will not interfere with your treatment, it is not necessary to remove this hair on the morning of your session.
To avoid any adverse reactions from the laser it is essential that you follow these guidelines. Please inform your therapist if you have shaved on the day of your session as your appointment will need to be rescheduled for safety reasons.
How to prepare for your laser hair removal appointment?
To prepare for your appointment please follow these steps
- Lightly exfoliate 3-4 days before your session, this will help remove any dead skin cells from around the opening of your hair follicles
- Close shave your treatment area 24 hours before your session, this is extremely important
- Don’t apply moisturisers, oils or creams to you skin after showering on the day of your session
- Stop applying fake tan 7-10 days before your session and make sure all tan residue has been removed
- Do not take Ibuprofen 48 hours before your laser session
If you are unsure about any aspects of shaving throughout your course of treatment please contact us for advice, our team of laser hair removal specialists are on hand to answer any of your questions.
What would happen if you had laser hair removal while using fake tan?
The most common complications that can occur when fake tan is present on the skin is prolonged erythema (redness) and pigmentation which sometimes leads to temporary discolouration of the skin. Risks of using fake tan while having laser hair removal are serious and should not be ignored.
Laser is safe for all skin types, from pale white skin to dark black skin. Different lasers are used to treat varying skin tones so it is important that you try to keep your skin colour as stable as possible throughout your course of treatment.
Why does pigmentation occur on the skin when fake tan is present?
Laser will respond to fake tan in the exact same way as it responds to a real tan. Lasers used for hair removal cannot distinguish between them.
Sunlight, sunbeds, spray tan and self-tanners will all alter the natural colour tone of your skin so it is important to try to avoid these when undergoing a course of laser treatment. Self-tanners temporarily change the colour of your skin so it is important that the skin is free from these products and all residues they leave behind before your laser session.
When you start your laser treatments your skin tone is evaluated and a baseline laser setting is selected to match with this tone, after each session the settings gradually increase to coincide with your skin’s reaction to this setting and to your results. If however you happen to go on holiday to the sun, use sunbeds or apply a self-tanner in between your sessions this will alter your skin tone and will cause the skin to react differently to the laser setting used on your previous session.
Why does laser react to self-tanners in this way?
Self-tanning products cause the skin to look like it has developed a tan, this makes the surface of the skin appear darker in colour, like the skin’s natural melanin has been stimulated and has come to the surface of the skin.
Lasers used for hair removal are specifically designed to absorb into melanin (brown pigment). If melanin is present in both the skin and hair it creates a competing target for the energy delivered by the laser. The primary goal of a laser treatment is for the majority of the laser energy created to be absorbed by the hair follicle, if this energy is being distracted away from its target then the treatment will not be as effective as it should be. By creating a dark layer of false pigment on the skin more energy will be attracted to this during treatment and it may cause the skin to become pigmented.
The more melanin (brown pigment) that is present in your skin the more the laser will target and absorb into it. This is why clients who have very pale skin and dark hair see the best results in fewer sessions because higher intensities of energy will not cause their skin to react, while clients with dark skin and dark hair typically need more sessions and see slower results because lower intensities of energy will be needed to prevent they’re skin from reacting.
Fake tan may be used during your course of laser hair removal treatment but with extreme caution, it is essential that you use it in the right way in order to prevent any adverse and unwanted reactions.
If you are unsure about any aspects of using self-tanners throughout your course of treatment please contact us for advice, our team of laser hair removal specialists are on hand to answer any of your questions.
Can you wear fake tan after laser hair removal?
Yes, you can wear fake tan after your session but we would recommend waiting 4-5 days after your session before applying this to your treatment area.
Why can’t you use fake tan directly after laser hair removal?
The skin and the hair follicles will remain sensitive for a time after your laser hair removal session, erythema (redness) and follicular oedema (swelling) are normal side effects from laser and normally disappear within a few hours but may last a few days depending on your skins sensitivity. It is important that the skin remain free from all irritants at this time to minimise the possibility of an adverse skin reaction. If tan is applied to the skin while it is recovering from laser treatment the chemicals within the tanning formulation may cause the skin to become irritated resulting in a rash or infection.
If you will be using fake tan on your treatment area throughout your course of treatments we would recommend test patching a small section of skin with tan 4-5 days after your second session of laser to check for any reactions. Wait 24 hours after this has been applied and if no reaction occurs you know that it is safe to apply your tanning solution to your entire treatment area.
How long after your laser session do you have to wait before applying fake tan?
We would recommend you wait at least 4-5 days before applying fake tan to your treatment area please ensure skin has completely calmed down before using fake tan. Please note that clients with extremely sensitive skin should wait an extra day or two if necessary until their skin has completely returned to normal before applying any topical product on their skin.
Please note that the restrictions for use of fake tan during your course of treatments only relate to your treatment areas, you can continue to apply fake tan to all other areas of your body as you normally would. You will need to stop applying fake tan to your treatment area 7-10 days before your next treatment is due.
Can you get a spray tan after laser hair removal?
Yes, but the same rule applies to spray tan, wait at least 4-5 days to avoid any adverse skin reactions.
If you have any further questions regarding the use of fake tan before or after your laser session, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our dedicated team of hair removal experts are on hand to answer any queries you may have.