Laser hair removal at home sounds scary. Things like allergies, rashes, and other potential complications on sensitive skin come to mind. If you have these concerns, don’t worry! We have a complete guide to laser removal at home with everything you need to know about it.
Who can use laser removal at home?
Though pretty effective on hairs, the home-based hair removal laser machines are less powerful than the ones used in clinics. These laser machines work best on people with light skin and dark hair.
The laser needs a high contrast between the skin and the hair to target the hair follicles effectively. Because of this, it is not as effective on darker skin or lighter hair. Lighter skin also has less melanin, so it is not easily harmed by the heat of the laser. Darker skin, on the other hand, has a risk of being burned due to the higher melanin.
How to Use It
The laser light is aimed at the desired area of skin, and depending on the surface area and the type of hair, a certain number of zaps or pulses are aimed at the spot. After this, the laser is directed at the next spot. It takes a lot more time to complete treatment with a home laser than with the clinic-based lasers due to their low intensity, so patience is the key when doing laser hair removal at home.
Things to Remember Before Treatment
Before starting the laser treatment, here are a few important things to take care of:
1) Clean the area- Do not use strong soaps or hand washes, as they may irritate the skin. Wash it with water and soap with a mild ph for best results. Avoid scrubbing the skin, and wash as gently as possible.
2) Gently shave the area - Use a skin-friendly razor to ensure that you do not get rashes or razor burns.
3) Do a patch test- Testing the laser on a small part of skin first will let you know whether or not you are sensitive to the laser pulses. Some people have very sensitive skin which is not suitable for laser or any kind of hair removal.
The patch test will let you know whether you are a suitable candidate for the laser and whether you will need to keep the energy level lower than others during the process.
During Laser Removal
Here are the steps to be followed during your home laser hair removal procedure:
Select the energy level you want on your skin. Most laser devices have multiple energy levels ranging from mild to high.
People doing it for the first time should start with the lowest energy level and increase it as necessary if it is appropriate for their skin.
Put the device at a 90° angle and ensure that it stays this way throughout the process. The angle of the device will affect the intensity of the laser.
Putting it at a lower angle will increase the intensity of the beams, and therefore increase the risk of burns, while inclining it at a higher angle will reduce its efficacy.
Decide the number of zaps or pulses that you want to emit in a particular area. Some devices record the number of zaps for that particular part of the body. That way, it becomes easier to keep track of the number of zaps required for other parts of the body.
Start with the areas requiring the smallest number of pulses and then move on to the more complex areas.
Apply the pulses in a circular motion for smaller areas and a gliding motion for the larger areas. All you have to do is follow the instructions given in the manual.
After treating one hand or leg, repeat the process for the other hand or leg, in the same way, using the same number of pulses. Sometimes using more zaps can cause temporary over pigmentation in that area, so be careful with the number of pulses.
Repeat the process every few weeks to get the best results at home using a laser device.
Areas Not Suitable for Laser Removal at Home
Any areas that have tattoos, moles, or skin lesions should not be treated at home without the supervision of a dermatologist.
The areas around the eyes should be avoided. We risk serious damage to the retina if the laser gets misdirected into the eyes. Such risks should be avoided, and areas near and around the eyes should only be treated by professionals.
Things to Avoid After Laser Removal Treatment
Whether you do laser hair removal at home or have it done in-clinic, there are a few things to avoid after the procedure.
1) Avoid taking a shower for a whole day after the laser.
2) Avoid intense activity for at least a few days after the laser.
3) Avoid using retinol cream for at least 2-3 days after the laser.