July 9, 2018

Home Laser Hair Removal: Tips to Make it More Effective [Before & After]

If you’ve read any of my previous posts on home laser hair removal, then you’ll know I like to consider myself a trailblazer in the Hair Struggle.

I’ve shared my experiences and research on laser hair removal devices for dark skin, the face, a Brazilian, well, for pretty much any body part that generates unwanted hair. I highly recommend reading those posts before purchasing your choice of weapon!

You’ve read the device instructions back-to-front and your laser is charging, so let’s start with the most basic question:

What to do Before Laser Hair Removal?

If it’s your first-time laser hair removal experiment or you just want to learn how to do it better, there are a few expectations you need to set and a few to drop.

Embarking on this journey means being consistent to get the best results. There is no magic to this where you use the device once and then remain hair-free forever. Each hair follicle is on its own mission, in their own growth cycles totally unaware of the guy next to them. It’s a commitment for a few months to really see any noticeable difference. 

One time, I had been lasering myself for about six months and over the holidays, I let it slide (happened once, and never again)...

...I definitely noticed the sparse regrowth and I was super happy with that, so I just got back on track to keep it up. One question that I often get asked about Laser hair removal is, how often to do it? Well, I say keep it at every four weeks (consistently) for up to eight sessions.

So, now your head is in the game for your first laser hair removal session (or maybe you’re just improving your technique), but either way, we are ready to go through my tips for laser hair removal. 

1. The Right Time

Set aside a comfortable amount of time. Don’t think you can laser your body in ten minutes before going out on that date. It’s a pamper, grooming session that needs your time and attention.

I also recommend starting in autumn or winter because it’s easier to be tan-free, which is what you want before (and after) laser hair removal. Another thing to consider is avoid laser hair removal around menstruation as this could heighten any pain you may feel.

2. Know Your Type

Different hair and skin types can react differently to laser hair removal because the laser aims at the hair’s pigment. This is why darker hair follicles are easier to laser off than blonde, grey, or red hair. Most laser hair removal devices have settings for various skin and hair types so as I said earlier, make sure you know every function and setting on the device before using it.

3. Physical Preparation

An important to-do before getting laser hair removal is shaving. Why shave before laser hair removal? Some people are surprised at this, asking, “Should I shave before laser hair removal because surely the hair should be long?"

The opposite is true.

According to my endless research – and practical application – it’s best to shave about eight hours before you have that laser out nuking your follicles. The more visibility the laser has, the more effective the laser hair removal session will be.

4. One Thing At A Time

Before laser hair removal sessions, stop all other hair removal treatments such as waxing and bleaching. Waxing before laser hair removal empties the hair follicle and bleaching lightens it, which makes the laser less effective.

5. Goodbye Sun

I could’ve listed this one first because it is also very noteworthy, but I’m hoping you are going through all these laser hair removal tips as each one is just as important as the other. Tanning before laser hair removal under the sun, sunbed, or using self-tan lotions is highly discouraged both before and after laser hair removal.

My advice is to try avoid the sun about four weeks before and keep applying a high factor sun cream. And remember to follow this advice after the laser hair removal session as well. Saying the words ‘laser hair removal’ and ‘sunburn’ in the same sentence just sounds ouch!

After the Treatment

Now that the first laser hair removal session is done, you need to take note of additional laser hair removal tips for ‘after treatment’ because this is just as important.

Please remember:

Tweezing/plucking after laser hair removal (as well as waxing) should be avoided because you’ll be removing hair from the follicle and the next laser hair removal session is going to be pointless because the laser won't hit the target.

If you need to deforest post-laser, shaving after laser hair removal is actually the best thing to do! Ironically, while you are doing laser to avoid shaving, for a short while shaving will become your best friend.

The good news?

Post-shave, there will be little to no regrowth for a gooood while.

On a completely different note, one surprising thing you need to avoid is working out after laser hair removal. Unfortunately, it is best to not exercise excessively (if at all, for at least a day) because when your body sweats it creates a bacterial festival, which could lead to infection and ingrown hairs.

Don't Add Fuel to the Fire!

I can’t stress this enough:

You need to apply sun cream regularly specifically after laser hair removal as exposure to the sun can irritate the skin and interfere with the laser treatment.

The same applies for about twenty-four hours to avoid hot showers, deodorants, perfumes, and perfumed lotions that can react when applied to skin that has just been exposed to The Force.

Remember, it is going to be sensitive so you don’t want to make it any worse.

The Bottom Line...

If you’re wondering what to expect after laser hair removal, don’t expect too much (right away) and keep at it for at least eight months! During and after the process, use the laser hair removal tips listed above to make it stress-free and comfortable because, well -

I can vouch for the results at the end of it.

It is worth it and I feel victorious that we are winning in the Hair Struggle.

Any thoughts or questions? Share in the comment section below!

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   About the author Alyssa Kaye

Alyssa is a young, professional blogger living in Hoboken, NJ. Thanks to her Middle Eastern heritage, Alyssa is no stranger to unwanted hair. She has tried every laser hair removal product on the market in a quest to find the best!