Laser hair reduction is a popular cosmetic procedure for many men and women. It’s a noninvasive and virtually painless method for removing unwanted hair from various parts of the body, including the face, arms, chest, legs, and bikini area.
If you’re considering this treatment, here are a few things you should know to prepare for the process, including when to stop shaving.
What Is Laser Hair Reduction?
Laser hair reduction uses laser energy to target and destroy the hair follicle. The energy of the laser is absorbed by the pigment in the hair and is then transmitted down into the bulb of the hair. The heat from the laser energy damages the root of the resulting in the permanent reduction of hair growth.
In order to be effectively treated, the hair follicle must be in the ‘active growth’ stage. Sadly, not all hair follicles are in the active growth stage (anagen phase) simultaneously. Only a certain percentage of follicles are actively growing hair at any given time, and these active follicles are the ones the laser targets during the treatment.
This is why multiple treatments are needed to target all the hair follicles in the treatment area. Repeat treatments about 4 to 8 weeks apart ensure that all hair follicles are eventually targeted during their active growth stage, leading to significant hair reduction.
How Does the Treatment Work?
During treatment, your aesthetician will use the Vectus® Laser to target the active hair follicles in the desired area. The laser selectively heats the pigment within the follicles, leaving the skin’s surface unharmed. This controlled heating damages the follicles, preventing future hair growth.
Treatment time depends on the size of the treatment area and can range from a few minutes to an hour.
Treatment with the Vectus laser offers several advantages:
- Significant hair reduction on the face and body
- Enhanced patient comfort during the procedure due to the sapphire cooling tip
- Superior outcomes for a variety of skin tones and hair textures
- Quick treatment sessions, even on larger body areas like the legs, chest, and back thanks to the large handpiece
When Should I Stop Shaving Before Laser Hair Reduction?
It’s generally recommended that you shave the treatment area 1 or 2 days before the procedure. This is to make sure the laser targets the pigment in the hair follicles, not the surface hair. Shaving too close to the treatment date can increase the risk of irritation or damage to the skin, so it’s important to give the area time to heal.
To ensure the root of the hair is intact, we also require you to stop any plucking or waxing a minimum of 6 weeks before your laser treatment.
What Does the Treatment Feel Like?
Some patients report feeling a sensation of heat, snapping of an elastic band, or mild discomfort during the treatment, but most people find the procedure relatively painless and easily tolerated.
What Should I Expect Following Treatment?
After your treatment, you may experience some redness or swelling in the treated area. Applying a cold compress can help. Your aesthetician will provide specific aftercare instructions based on your needs.
Is the Treatment Permanent?
While laser hair reduction results are long-lasting, the treatment isn’t entirely permanent. You may require follow-up treatments to maintain the results. The number of treatments needed varies depending on the individual and treatment area.