laser hair removal TALK


Laser Hair Removal - Where to start?

Lucy Brooke

Laser Hair Removal may seem like the magic solution to the annoying problem of unwanted hair but there are many things to be considered before just rushing in for a session.

The most important things you need to know are:

1. How does your skin type affect the possible outcome of the treatment?

2. How does your hair colour affect the outcome of the treatment?

3. Do you have any medical conditions, particularly skin conditions that may make it unwise to have laser hair removal treatments?

4. What are the possible side effects?

5. How high is the risk of those side effects?

6. Could you live with those side effects, if in fact they happened to you?

7. Is the practitioner you have chosen suitably qualified?

8. Have you checked their qualifications are genuine rather than just take their word for it?

9. Has the practitioner given you a list of do’s and don’ts prior to treatment eg have you been told not to tan your body prior to a session?

10. Does the practitioner recommend a small test session to ensure your skin will not react badly to the treatments?

11. Were they willing to give you names of previous clients for you to speak with about the quality of their work?

12. Did you speak to those clients?

13. How many treatments are you likely to need to achieve the effect you want?

14. What is the maximum total cost of the treatments likely to be?

15. Does the practitioner demand the full price up front, or do they work on a “pay by the session basis”

16. What guarantee does the practitioner give for their work?

17. Does your practitioner want you to sign any contract for a number of sessions or are they happy to proceed on a session by session basis, allowing you to stop at any time you wish?

Why do you need to know these things?

Well firstly, your skin and hair type are crucial factors in the outcome of your treatments. In a nutshell, laser light energy is attracted to dark colors and repelled by light colors. Therefore the ideal candidate for laser hair removal has dark hair and light skin. This results in the hair absorbing maximum laser energy and the skin absorbing a minimum amount, thereby giving the best result.

Secondly, some medical conditions make the skin ultra-sensitive, which of course in turn means that you are more likely to suffer skin damage from the treatments.
Thirdly side effects can range from burns, through to skin discolouration and patchy or peculiar patterns of regrowth. One of the decisions you need to make is, whether or not you live with one or all of these side effects should they occur, and are you prepared to take the risk? Sometimes the side effect can be worse than the initial problem!

Fourthly, preparation for your treatments can make a huge difference. For example if you top up a tan just before treatment, which of course darkens your skin, you could make your treatment much less effective, and even more importantly increase the risk of a burn. This is because the laser light is attracted to the darker skin. Skin brushing however can help get a better result because it removes loose skin thereby exposing the hair to the laser.

Fifthly, obviously using a qualified and experienced practitioner is very important. Not only do they need to know what they are doing but you need to be confident that they do. Any practitioner who is not willing to allow you access to previous clients has to be suspect. Photos in a book could be anyone and are often not even clients of that practitioner. You are putting your body in the hands of someone with equipment that has the power to burn you - please take all possible measures to ensure they know how to use it safely.

And lastly, having to stop treatments half way through because you run out of money, can put you in a difficult position. Imagine having one arm treated successfully and one not - not the end of the world but certainly not a preferred outcome. Knowing what your costs will be, and how you can fit treatments into your budget can make the whole process a lot more enjoyable. And of course, putting yourself under financial pressure can dampen what could otherwise be a life-enhancing exercise.

The bottom line is that as with everything in life, doing your homework before starting laser hair removal sessions can give you a much better chance of the outcome you desire.

Lucy Brooke, a staff writer for is an experienced patient of laser hair removal practices and has enjoyed the rewards of smooth skin for a number years.

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