Before Treatment | 7 December 2017

Am I suitable for laser hair removal?

Most importantly, do you have dark hair?

Hair must contain some level of brown pigment (melanin) to respond to laser. Blonde, 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 for the laser to successfully target.

Skin type doesn’t matter … but …

And there is a but, it does take more sessions to achieve a result on a darker skin.

A darker skin will contain Melanin so 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 sensitive to light (photosensitive) or cause changes at a cellular level within the skin. These 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 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.

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 that increase photo sensitivity. 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 target 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. This can take a 3-4 day period depending on the depth of tan.

Sensitive skin can be treated … but …

Sensitive skins can be treated very effectively but with lower laser energy settings.  We 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 redness (erythema) or swelling of the follicles (follicular odema) should subside over the subsequent days after treatment.

It is importantafter laser, if you notice any changes or prolonged effects 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 it can be targeted.

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

If you have any further questions regarding laser hair removal, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our dedicated team of hair removal specialists are on hand to answer any of your questions.