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What Happens After Your First Laser Hair Removal Treatment

Posted By: Lic. Silvia Derasner | April 25th, 2018 | Blog

Few cosmetic procedures for hair removal show immediate or soon effects, but laser hair removal has proven itself to be one of the most effective methods. Although this treatment can leave your body smooth and hair free, it is important to have a realistic understanding of what effects to expect, and why the hair elimination process may take some time. Here’s what you need to know about the treatment, and what you need to do after laser hair removal.

laser hair removal


Image Source: istockphoto.com/inarik


What Is Laser Hair Removal?

We pay a lot of attention and care to our hair, but, it is nothing more than dead protein. Hair is no more alive than our nails! The part that is important for laser hair removal is the follicle or “root”. This is the part that the laser targets and is what determines the overall effectiveness of the removal treatment.

At any given time, about 20% of your follicles are in the growth phase. During this period, melanin builds up in the follicle as it goes about creating new strands of hair. Melanin, being a dark pigment, happens to be very good for absorbing the light of a laser. This is the basic idea behind laser hair removal; the laser is absorbed more readily by the pigment in growth-phase follicles, thus causing the follicles to heat up and die.


What to Do after a Laser Hair Removal Treatment?

This focus on follicles is why, when you look at yourself following a visit to a laser hair removal clinic, you won’t see any immediate difference besides some redness from the laser. The hair is still present, but the factor that would make it grow is fried and gone. Without the follicles to anchor them, the affected hairs will fall out on their own over the following days. It can be tempting to try and scrub or tweeze your skin to speed the process along, but this is inadvisable for two main reasons:

1.You can’t tell if what you’re pulling out is a regular hair or one that has had its follicle fried; meaning, you could be wasting the effort.

2.Your skin needs to recover from the laser treatment. Even after any initial swelling fades, your skin is still going to be a bit raw and sensitive.

It’s best to avoid scrubbing or applying pressure to the skin for three to five days and only pat dry after showers.


What Happens Next?

After a few days, you may notice what seems like new hair growth at the site of the laser removal treatment. This is a sign that the procedure is working, paradoxical as it seems. Not all the hair removed by your laser treatment was above the skin. Some of it was still inside the follicle at the time and had not grown enough to be visible. These hairs have now been pushed out of the skin and can be removed. Be gentle and careful when removing these surface hairs. If it feels like the hair is still attached to something, leave it alone and let it finish shedding. Two days is a good waiting period between attempts.


Remember that only about 20% of your hair is affected by a laser treatment at any given time. It will take a few more visits to the clinic to achieve the full hairless effect you desire. The exact number of laser treatments you’ll need will depend on your skin type and the size of the area to be treated.


FAQ about the Hair Removal Treatment


Can you shave after laser hair removal?


There is no need to grow your hair out between laser hair removal sessions. If you prefer not to have any hair, feel free to shave as often as you need, but wait about 10 days after your treatment. Be sure to shave 24 hours before your hair removal session.


When does hair fall out after laser hair removal?

The amount of hair that falls out after each session and the timing can vary. If hairs are in the correct phase (growing), they should be permanently reduced. Some hairs are immediately rejected from the follicle, while others may take time to fall out over the next few weeks. If hairs are in one of the other two phases of growth, it may take another try to target the follicle and yield more hair removal.


Can you wax or tweeze after laser hair removal?

You will need about four to six hair removal sessions for optimal results, so tweezing and waxing between sessions is not a good idea. Hair growing back may be uncomfortable, but for the treatments to work, the laser needs to be able to target the hair. Waxing and tweezing removes the hair roots, which the laser needs to target. Avoid waxing or tweezing until you are completely finished with your laser hair removal treatments. If you want to remove hair before your next session, or in between sessions, you may shave.


When can you exercise after laser hair removal?

It is not recommended to do any activities that would cause sweating, at least 24 hours after your laser treatment. This break also gives you time to make sure your skin is calming down. Keeping your body cooler, especially the treated area, is vital to reducing irritation and pain.


Can you shower after a laser hair removal treatment?

You can shower after your laser hair removal treatment, but make sure you use cool water, and avoid scented soap if possible. You should take lukewarm showers for the first week. The fragrances in scented products can irritate your skin and the heat from hot water will make your skin more irritated and sore.


Can you spray tan or use sun beds after laser hair removal?

Tanning, using sun beds, or spending time in the sun is not recommended between laser hair removal sessions. These can cause pigmentation in the treated areas. If you do need to go into the sun, make sure you wear SPF 30 or higher. You should also avoid spray tans or tanning lotions—anything that changes the natural skin colour.


When can you wear makeup after laser hair removal?

Applying foundation or concealer is not recommended after a laser hair removal session. This is because your follicles will be sensitive to irritants, and by clogging the pores, you could cause reactions or breakouts on the skin. If you must wear makeup, mineral makeup can be worn 24 hours after the session. Be sure to remove the makeup in the evening, so the skin can breathe. When cleansing your skin, use lukewarm water, a fragrance-free cleanser, and a clean towel to pat the skin dry. Aloe vera can be applied before bedtime to reduce redness.


How long does it take for hair to grow back after each laser hair removal session?

As with most skin care treatments, it may take a few treatments before you notice results. Since the hair has a staggered growth cycle, in which some hairs are actively growing, while others are not, you may need four to six treatments, spread out between four- to six-week intervals for optimal results. Between those sessions, some hair may grow back as it normally would, but the growth may become patchier as you have more sessions.


Can you use deodorant after laser hair removal?

Using any kind of scented product after your laser treatment should not be done for 24-48 hours.


When can you use body lotion after laser hair removal?

Some clinics allow aloe vera gel to be applied to the treated area after treatment to sooth and moisturize the skin. It would be better not to use any other kind of lotion on the treated area for 24-48 hours after laser hair removal.


Will I be sore after laser hair removal?

During the laser treatment, patients report a sharp snapping feeling on the area being treated. Modern laser applicators have a cooling system that provides comfort and protects the skin while a section is treated, which quickly eases the hot sensation. Some patients notice itching, redness, or swelling in the area after the treatment, which subsides within a few days.


When will I see results after laser hair removal?

You will notice results soon after your first session. Your hair growth will be less, and the hairs will be finer and weaker. Your skin will also become smoother, and your pores will be less visible after each session. With each following session, your results will become more noticeable.


Get Laser Hair Removal from the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic

If you’ve decided that laser hair removal is right for you, you should contact a trusted laser hair removal provider to get you started. Experienced providers will always walk you through the process in detail, answer your questions, provide you with specific information about pricing, and give you expert advice so you can get the most out of your treatments. If you want smooth, hair-free skin, call the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic. We pride ourselves on using the latest clinical methods to give clients the anti-aging skin and body care that they deserve. To learn more about our laser hair removal services, contact us at (416) 546-4664 or info@AntiAgingToronto.ca. Our skincare specialists can give you more information and help you book your free assessment so we can determine the best way to administer your treatment and give you the smooth, youthful skin you deserve.


With an MBA in computer science, Silvia started out in the IT field with proven success working on strategic initiatives with executive leaders to align an organization’s culture, capabilities, and structure, with business strategies. This career has lead her to a business path founding the Anti Aging Toronto Clinic in 2012. Silvia now holds a diploma in medical esthetics with interests in anti-aging skincare, evening out skin tone and texture, scalp hair regrowth, body contouring and laser hair removal treatments. Silvia believes in the importance of building open, trusting relationships with her clients and prides herself on excellent customer service. Whether it’s developing the business or awarding her clients with significant results, Silvia is committed to offering only the best. Silvia is the finance director and a medical esthetician at Anti Aging Toronto Clinic. She is fluent in both English and Spanish.

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