Laser Hair Removal What You Need To Know!

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I have been having laser hair removal in Urbana Dublin for the last year or so and I am thrilled with the results. So, if you are thinking of having the treatment yourself, I have some guidance! I chat to Paula Cuddihy, owner of Urbana all about laser hair removal and what to expect!

Having had laser hair removal completed, what should a client expect in terms of results?

Clients should expect to see sporadic, light, fluffy hairs regrowing after a period of time, by this stage most of the thicker heavier hairs will be gone but some hairs may remain. You should be experiencing extended hair free periods and only really require top up treatments 1-2 a year. Hairs that remain should be easy to shave and maintain.

What should a client do after a treatment, is there any after care needed?

We would always recommend the following

Clients wear loose cotton clothing directly after their laser treatment, this will avoid any excess heat becoming trapped in the skin.
You can apply aloe vera to the treatment area and would recommend you avoid applying creams, lotions, oils, deodorant or any perfumed products for 48hrs after treatment.
You can apply mineral make up after treatment and would not recommend applying normal make up or concealer after treatments as these may cause breakouts or irritation on the delicate facial area.
Avoid shaving the area for a least 4-5 days after treatment
We recommend lightly exfoliating the area but would recommend waiting at least 3-4 days after treatment before doing this.

Top tip Store your aloe vera gel in the fridge for an added cooling and soothing effect after treatment

What do you think are the most common misunderstandings about laser hair removal?

You only need 6 sessions – There is a perception that laser is this magical treatment that you only need to do 6 times in your life and 100% of your hairs will never grow back, this is completely untrue, while results are amazing laser is not a miracle cure, the majority of people do need more sessions to achieve long lasting results.
It is really painful – While it’s not without sensation laser should not be excruciating, we would always tell clients on a scale of 1-10 they should feel about a 5, if they are feeling a sensation above this we would always adjust the laser settings to get them to this point. The more treatments you have the easier they become.
It’s really expensive – The cost of laser has dropped considerably over the last few years, this is because laser is becoming so popular because it really works. When you factor in the long term gains from this treatment it really is money well spent. At Urbana we offer pay per session treatments so you don’t need to pre pay a large lump sum to start your sessions.

If someone has never had the treatment before what can they expect from their first session?

We would always do a test patch before we perform a full treatment, this really takes the fear factor away for clients just starting with us, they get to sample what it feels like for themselves and are much more relaxed when they come in for their first session, we also establish a setting that they are comfortable with. I’m not going to lie you will feel the sensation of the laser, we take the first session really slowly for new clients and we completely understand that is is a big deal for them and want them to feel as comfortable as possible. We know the areas in the body that are more sensitive and give clients regular breaks in order to make sure they are comfortable. You can expect to see erythema (redness) and follicular oedema (swelling) immediately after treatment but this does go away a couple of hours after treatment. It usually takes the treated hairs approx 7-10 days to shed after treatment.

I’ve had a full course on my lower legs now and they are completely hair free! When the treatment ends, is a “top up” needed?

Absolutely, we would normally see clients 1-2 a year for top ups, although this does depend on the person. In situations where hair growth may be due to hereditary or genetic factors or for clients who may have hormonal issues like PCOS more top ups may be needed more frequently especially on the facial area, men would typically need more top ups due to their hormone profile.

How do you need to prep your skin before your treatment?

Lightly exfoliate 3-4 days before your session
If you use fake tan ensure all residue has been removed from the skin
Close shave the treatment area 24hrs before treatment, the closer the shave the less of a sensation you will feel from the laser
If you don’t want to shave we would recommend using a hair removal cream 48hrs before your session
Do not apply any moisturisers, creams, oils or gels on the treatment area on the day of treatment

Are there any skin types that should avoid the treatment?

Laser is suitable for all skin types, we have different types of lasers that we can use depending on the colour of your skin.

Clients who have had recent sun exposure are at risk of developing pigmentation and should avoid laser treatment for a period of 8-10 weeks after sun exposure. This is because when you develop a tan the melanocyte cells within your skin creates a pigment called melanin this substance protects your DNA structures from being damaged from UVA and UVB rays. When we laser this type of skin the laser cannot tell the difference between melanin pigment in your hair and skin so targets both resulting in changes in pigment in the skin. We would always recommend that clients try not to tan while undergoing a course of treatment and ask them to apply SPF50+ and cover their treatment areas where possible to avoid developing a tan. Having laser doesn’t mean you can’t expose your skin to the sun for the rest of your life, it just means that while you are undergoing treatment you try to keep your skin as pale as possible.
Clients who are prone to pigmentation also may not be suitable for treatment or may need more session as the amount of energy that is used during their treatments will need to be kept to a minimum.

Who is the ideal candidate for laser hair removal?

Clients with pale skin and dark hair will see the best results in fewer sessions, laser hair removal will work on all skin types but results will be slower on darker skins. The most important factor or laser is that the hair itself contains brown or black pigment as laser uses this pigment as a target. Clients with blond, red or grey hairs are not suitable candidates as there is no pigment present for the laser to target.