Laser hair removal process and treatment takes time. I am often asked “when is the best time of the year to begin laser hair removal”? That depends on you. Keep in mind laser hair removal is a process. It will take, on average, 4 to 6 sessions for at least an 80% reduction. It will take at least 6 months for any treatment site on the face and at least 8 to 12 months for sites on the body. Those time frames do not factor in any missed appointments or rescheduled appointments, so it may take even longer than the time frames mentioned above.
When should YOU start the Laser Hair Removal process?
1. Do you have a deadline?
For some clients they want to be finished with their laser hair removal treatments in time for their wedding day. For other clients, they may be foreign students and will only be in town for another year. And then for other clients they want to be ready for the summer time.
If there is a deadline for when you would like to be finished with your laser hair removal process and treatments, you must plan ahead. Give yourself ample time because you may need more than the average 4 to 6 sessions and therefore more time.
2. Will you be getting any sun exposure during the treatment?
NO sun exposure throughout your laser hair removal sessions:
Sun exposure is a factor in your laser hair removal treatments. Once you begin with your laser hair removal treatments your skin will become sensitive to sunlight. For many clients doing laser hair removal they will not have any sun exposure. If it is the summer time, the treatment site will not be exposed to the sun. Or if it’s a beach vacation in the winter, there will not be any sun exposure on the laser treatment sites. For this client you could begin your treatments at any time of the year. The client who will not be getting any sun exposure on their treatment site could begin their treatments in June and treat throughout the summer or begin in the winter, even though they have a beach vacation planned.
For the client who will not be having any sun exposure on their treatment site(s) we do not have to worry about their site getting a sun burn, hyperpigmentation (brown spots), and/or a sun tan.
YES there will be sun exposure during the laser hair removal treatments:
For the client who knows they will get sun exposure on their treatment site, whether it is the summer time or a beach vacation, the time of year you begin your laser hair removal treatments is important. For the client who is a sun worshipper you should factor this into the time of year you begin your laser treatments.
Let me explain why sun exposure is an issue with laser hair removal treatments. The best candidates for laser are those with light skin and dark hair. The laser targets color; color in the skin and color in the hair. As soon as you add color to the skin (a sun tan), the laser will see that color, target it, heat it, and now you are at a higher risk for an injury to the skin. As soon as you add color to the skin (a sun tan), the energy of the laser must be adjusted and it WILL add to the number of treatments you will require. Also, as soon as you begin your laser hair removal treatments your treatment site becomes “light sensitive” so if you are going to get a lot of sun exposure you risk getting a sun burn and/or hyperpigmentation (brown spots).
Sun exposure is going to affect your laser hair removal treatments in many ways:
- You will require more treatments than the average person
- With a tan your skin is at a higher risk of injury
- Exposing your treatment site to the sun, you risk a sun burn, blistering, hyperpigmentation (brown spots)
- If you come for a laser treatment with a golden tan, you run the risk of hypopigmentation (loss of color on the skin)
With that said, if you will be getting sun exposure during the summer, you may want to begin your laser hair removal treatments in October, after your tan has faded from the summer before. This will give you at least 9 months (until June) where you will not be exposed to the summer sun. When the summer months arrive, you may choose to take a break from your laser treatments and resume again in the fall.
Read more about skin sun damages and facts about sun exposure.
3. Are you pregnant or breast feeding?
If you are pregnant, you would want to start your laser treatments after the pregnancy and after you have finished breast feeding.
4. Do you have a surgery or medical procedure planned in the near future?
Keep in mind that if you have a surgery or medical procedure planned you may require medications afterwards that could be light sensitive. And/or you may have an incision on the site you are planning to treat with the laser. In this case, you would either do your laser treatments before the surgery or after you have recovered from the surgery and are no longer on any medications (if they are light sensitive).
The things for you to keep in mind when you are considering when the best time of the year to start your laser treatments is; Do you have a deadline? Do you anticipate sun exposure? Do you have a medical procedure planned? Are you pregnant or breast feeding?
After you have taken all of this into consideration, and factor in the time, the laser hair removal process can take at least 6 months for the face and 8 to 12 months for the body you will be better able to determine when the best time of the year to start is.
I hope you found this article on laser hair removal process and treatment valuable.
If you are curious about laser hair removal, read our article about 5 most frequently asked questions about laser hair removal treatments.
If you have any questions about laser hair removal or if you would like to book your consultation, I invite you to contact us at the clinic. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions.
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