Technology has been a great thing for our beauty industry. People are now, more than ever, able to enhance the way that they look and fix certain conditions.
Take laser hair removal, for example, which is used to remove unwanted hair. The process has been used to permanently get rid of hair in the legs, armpits, upper lip, chin, the bikini line, and many other parts of the body.
It’s a pretty expensive process, especially since you have to go in up to six times. However, when you calculate all the waxing sessions you go to, it may just turn out to be cheaper in the long run.
Even so, here are 7 things that you should know before walking into a laser hair removal session:
1. The laser is specific for black skin
Just like with many other things, laser technology for black people wasn’t always available, but now it is. Laser hair removal is different for blacks. Before you decide on the place where you’ll get it done, ask about whether they have experience for black people. They need to have a laser with an ND YAG 1064 wavelength, according to Tiara Willis, a licensed esthestician and certified laser tech.
The wavelength of this laser goes deeper into the skin than a diode, so it successfully bypasses the pigmentation present in the skin. It’s the safest option for medium to dark skin.
2. Your hair will shed within a few days after your first session
In case you were wondering how soon you’ll start to see results, then here goes the answer. You will need to wait a few days before you see your hair shedding, it’s completely normal. Hair will begin to shed 7-14 days after treatment. Exfoliating frequently will help speed up the shedding process. Hair growth will be less after each treatment. On the contrary, what’s not normal is going in for a second and third result and not seeing any changes.
3. The room will smell like burnt hair
There’s nothing rosy about the laser hair removal process except the end result. It’s normal for the room to smell like burnt hair. So if you were expecting a floral scent during the process, then I’m here to deem down your expectations. In fact, the smell of burnt hair is a way to know that the laser is doing its job. Why does this happen? A laser removes hair by vaporizing it. This causes small plumes of smoke that have a sulfur-like smell.
It’s important to note that research has found these fumes to be hazardous. Their analysis identified suspected carcinogens and environmental toxins, exhibiting strong absorption peaks.
4. You should see full results by your sixth session
By the time you are going for your 2-3 session and you still can’t identify obvious results, then something is definitely wrong. By the sixth session the hair should be patchy, thinning or almost completely gone. Your results will be obvious as your hair begins to fall out, and while you may see hair regrowth after the first few sessions, you should notice that hair is growing back more slowly than before. If this isn’t the case then you definitely need to start asking questions.
5. Redness and swelling is normal
After each of the sessions, you’ll probably start seeing redness and swelling around the area. Don’t panic, it’s completely normal. What’s the science behind it? A condition called perifollicular edema occurs. This swelling in the hair follicles indicates that energy was sufficiently absorbed and the follicles are slowly being disabled. Along with swelling, itching and stinging may last for a day or two. The good news is that it’s tolerable pain.
6. You’ll need to discontinue antibiotics beforehand
Two weeks before each of your laser sessions, you will need to discontinue antibiotics completely. Why? The UV laser can activate the chemicals in the medication, which have already been absorbed into the body’s system. The pain and irritation are mild and temporary, but can get worse over time and even damage the skin if you continue treatments without stopping the medication.
7. You can’t do it over a tattoo
Thinking of getting laser hair removal over a tattoo? Sorry to burst your bubble, but that won’t entirely be possible. Why? It might affect your tattoo. You’ve probably heard of laser for tattoo removal, and essentially laser hair removal will affect your tattoo in almost the same way. Thus, when laser hair removal is done on top of a tattoo, the laser is unable to differentiate the pigment in your hair follicle or the pigment in the ink. This can cause the pigment of your tattoo to scatter. This can can potentially lead to burns, blisters or skin damage.
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