Lasers and IPLs are attracted to pigment
Laser and IPL hair reduction treatments work by emitting heat which travels to the root of the hair follicle. Removing the hair from the surface of the skin by shaving a day prior, makes sense as the heat is forced to focus on the root of the hair follicle and not ‘wasted’ heating up the tip instead. Since laser and IPLs are attracted to pigment, this means that the light emitted is also attracted to the pigment in the skin as it cannot tell difference. So fairer skin in winter due to a weaker sun and more clothes means the skin will be at its fairest best.
Does that mean that the laser machine cannot tell the difference between fake colour and real colour in the skin? Yes. Sun tans, spray tans and any other activities that result in darkening the skin colour should be avoided for at least two weeks prior to starting on the laser or IPL treatment.
The root of the hair needs to be present for lasers and IPL to work. If the root of the hair has been removed either by waxing or tweezing, plucking or electrolysis, this will render the treatment ineffective.
Heat is generated through the treatment so any other additional heat such as coming in from the gym or sauna, sweating prior to a treatment is not advised. Staying cool will minimise discomfort and the cooler months help with removing heat from the area to be treated. After each treatment, keep the treated area cool, apply a topical anti-inflammatory gel or anti-bacterial gel if needed.
The procedure generally works better on thicker and darker hair. Obviously, since they provide more pigment for the laser to be attracted to. Hair removal on the LEGS and BIKINI area often has the best results because the hairs are thicker and darker. Results can be seen as quickly as 4 treatments and as the course of treatments continue, some clients are able to go longer between each session.
Facial hair removal requires more frequent treatment sessions and may take longer to visibly see results because the hair here is thinner and lighter than on other areas of the body. Additionally, the face usually has a higher percentage of hairs that are in its resting phase of the growth cycle which means more sessions are required to target the hairs as it comes into the anagen (growth) phase.
Hair on the underarms fall somewhere in between. Differing thickness on underarm hairs stretches results out slightly but this also means a slightly longer duration between each treatment session.
At least 3 or 4 treatments must have commenced to start seeing satisfying results from a series of laser or IPL hair removal treatments. With an average of a month apart each treatment, this means there is a wait of 3 to 4 months before being somewhat hair-free. To be summer-ready, the best time to start a series of IPL or laser treatments would be in the winter months.
So, knowing all that, what are you waiting for? Find your Local Salon to get started today!