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Diode Laser Hair Removal: What You Need to Know Before Your Session
So, you’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and try laser hair removal. The world of laser treatment, when looked upon at a distance, can be complicated and its effects a little vague. But there’s a reason diode laser hair removal has shot up in popularity over the years. Many young women and men prefer this method of hair removal for its speed, safety, and effectiveness. Price point aside, those who have had negative experiences with other cheaper hair removal methods will realize that a laser treatment is more cost-efficient in the long run.
But that doesn’t mean you can just walk into the clinic and have a go right away. Laser hair removal treatment requires a few weeks of preparation in order to achieve the best results. If this long-term solution is what you prefer, then read on as we show you everything you need to know before your diode laser hair removal session!
Is diode laser hair removal painful?
Not all laser treatments are the same. Some laser treatments are more painful than the other, and it depends on the technology and machinery used in the process. Clinics that use single pulse lasers often attempt to reduce the pain with a numbing cream for a more comfortable procedure.
This is because a laser hair removal treatment slows down hair growth by targeting hair follicles, disabling their ability to grow further. Because a laser uses an electrical current to target hair follicles, one will naturally experience some pain and discomfort. The level of pain, however, will vary on the specific technology used.
SkinStation, a local skin clinic, uses a different type of technology called rapid-pulsing diode laser, an alternative that is said to be less painful than the convention laser. The latter treatment uses low energy lasers, compared to the single-pulse laser which is more high-energy, albeit still effective. Rapid-pulsing diode lasers use more precise technology to selectively hit the melanin in each hair follicle without affecting the outer area.
Is diode laser hair removal effective?
The biggest selling point of a diode laser hair removal treatment is, by far, its effectiveness. Those who have accumulated dark underarms or chicken skin due to plucking, shaving, or waxing turn to lasers to solve their hair removal problems.
However, a diode laser hair removal is not a one-time event. For upper body hair removal, such as underarm and facial hair, one usually needs 8 to 10 sessions, without accounting for other factors like hair coarseness, skin types, etc. On the other hand, lower body hair removal such as bikini and leg can withstand only 5 to 6 sessions. The point is, permanent hair reduction will take a few sessions to achieve.
Another factor to consider before getting a laser treatment is skin tone. Typically, diode lasers are best for Filipino skin tones, which range from medium brown, light brown, and fair or light skin. Some diode laser treatments are not optimal for people with darker skin tones, so it’s best to consult your target clinic if you’re of the dark skin type to see if their technology is updated.
How to prep for your laser hair removal session
Now that you’ve finally decided a diode laser hair removal method is the best way to remove hair from your skin, it’s time to get into prepping. Make sure you’re serious about this treatment, because the before-preparation starts a month before your actual appointment. Here are some things you should know:
1. No plucking allowed
Permanent hair reduction via laser means your already-sensitive skin is going to be even more sensitive. It’s imperative one avoids plucking or waxing at least one month before the scheduled procedure in order to strengthen the area. Shaving is likewise prohibited for at least 5 days before your appointment.
2. Goodbye, Sun!
Another downside of a laser hair removal treatment is they cause your skin to be more photosensitive. As such, it’s best to avoid unnecessary sun exposure on the area you intend to have treated, whether it’s the upper lip, underarm, legs, or bikini area. This goes for your post-procedure care as well, so you’ll have to avoid those much-awaited beach trips for a few weeks. Sorry!
3. No peeling
While you’re at it, resist the urge to get any kind of peeling facial treatments or use creams that cause peeling like retinol. These creams will cause the skin to become over-sensitive to the laser energy.
No procedure is without its side effects! After all, proper care is required before and after your appointment. So, what exactly should you expect after your session?
One of the main side effects after a laser hair removal treatment is redness. You might notice your skin becoming sensitive and red after your session, but these don’t usually last long and are as temporary as the irritation you may feel after physical hair removal procedures like waxing.
Another thing to prepare for is change in pigmentation; people with light skin have reported mild hyperpigmentation in the affected areas, while those with darker skin appeared to have lighter spots. Again, this isn’t really a cause for concern, as it usually disappears after a few days.
And that’s it! We hope this guide has been helpful in your preparation for your upcoming treatment. Just follow the steps above and you’ll be golden.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which laser hair removal machine is best?
Different laser hair removal treatments offer varying benefits. Here, we outline which one is the best for your hair color, skin tone, coarseness, and more.
- IPL or intense pulsed light. IPL is perhaps one of the most popular hair removal methods in the Philippines next to a diode laser treatment. However, this method is actually not considered a laser treatment, as it uses a broad spectrum light technology on the hair and skin area. Critics believe that the unfocused energy can cause more harmful side effects such as blisters, as the light does not zero in on the hair follicle, unlike a diode laser. They’re also more typically suited for people with lighter skin tones, albeit also being great for people who have thick, dark hair.
- Diode. As we mentioned above, a diode laser can cater to a wider range of skin colors and hair color, from dark hair to lighter hair.
- At-home hair remover. Did you know you could achieve semi-permanent hair reduction right at your own home? And no, we don’t mean simply shaving. There are some great at-home hair removal devices that use IPL to reduce hair growth and prevent melanin production within the follicles over time. If you’re one of those people who is confident in their ability to perform the hair removal themselves, then we say go for it.
Joey is an AB Psychology graduate of the University of St. La Salle – Bacolod. Her life’s passions include writing, film, and spending hours on end binge-watching fashion vloggers on Youtube.