Ask the Expert: The Best Time to Start Laser Hair Removal Treatments
It’s typically during the warm summer months—when bikinis, shorts, and skirts are the clothing of choice—that women begin to think about going hair-free with laser hair removal. Ingrown hairs, razor burn, excess body fur…nobody wants to deal with that, especially when it’s too hot to use layers of clothing to shield it from the public eye. So while you might think laser hair removal is a viable option in the summertime once it’s time to don your newly-purchased swimsuit, it’s actually not the best time to start. The fall and winter months are when you should kick start your laser hair removal sessions. Here’s why:
YOUR SKIN SHOULDN’T BE TAN
Beach trips, BBQs, lounging by the poolside with friends. These activities are the epitome of summer fun. Another thing they have in common? They all take place outdoors under the beating sun. Even if you religiously apply (and reapply) broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher—which you 100 percent should do, by the way—there’s a chance that your skin could still pick up some color. And if there’s one thing your bronzed skin should not get anywhere near, it’s a laser machine. According to board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Michael Kaminer, a laser designed for darker-skinned patients can in some cases be used when a patient is tanned, however it’s not typically recommended. Veer on the side of caution and don’t go in for a session when your skin is tanned. It’s just not worth the risk!
SUN EXPOSURE SHOULD BE KEPT AT A MINIMUM
Not only should sun exposure be kept at a minimum before your session, but afterwards as well. After the procedure, your skin may experience some temporary redness or swelling, as well as increased sensitivity to sunlight. You’ll have to protect exposed areas as much as possible with liberal and frequent coats of SPF and do your best to avoid the sun entirely for at least two weeks. Again, not so easy to do when ocean waves are calling your name.
YOU CAN EASILY COVER UP IRRITATED AREAS
You shouldn’t experience any pain or discomfort once the procedure is over, but there could be some temporary irritation to treatment areas. If this happens to be on your legs or arms, it’s much easier to cover it up during the fall and winter when you’ll be wearing pants and sweaters.
YOUR SESSIONS WILL BE COMPLETE IN TIME FOR SUMMER
You won’t see any permanent results from laser hair removal after one session. In order for it to effectively remove unwanted hair, you’ll have to commit to anywhere between 4-10 sessions (sometimes more!) that are spaced out by about 6-8 weeks. If you begin in the fall, you should be finished with your sessions by the time spring and summer roll around. By then, your skin will be ready to flaunt your shorts and swimsuits!