BFF (Beauty Find Friday): Shave Time off Your Beauty Routine with Laser Hair Removal
We’re all veterans of shaving, waxing, tweezing, and that horrible smelling Nair. All of these work (for like two days) and some are painful (for like two hours). Never optimal. Always unavoidable.
There are too many things to worry about when you’re planning your wedding and honeymoon, and shaving should not have to be one of them.
Helena Cohen, owner Ardan Medspa + Salon in Wellesley gave us the lowdown on staying fuzz-free with laser hair removal.
“A bride will save time with no more shaving, and she won’t have any dark shadows from shaving in her pictures,” she says. “The best part is she’ll have smoother, softer skin.”
The most popular areas for this treatment are full leg with bikini line, underarms, and upper lip, so Cohen suggests starting treatments long before your big day.
“On average, laser hair removal will take five to seven treatments, with four to six weeks between each treatment. The bride should start the process a year before she gets married. That way it allows for the full number of visits,” she explains.
Here’s how it works: Laser hair removal gently zaps hair follicles deep down with a low-energy concentrated beam of light aimed at the hair. The heat from the laser is absorbed by the melanin (pigment) in each hair follicle, damaging it and preventing the hair’s regrowth.
The laser heats its target slowly and works below the surface, so this treatment is safe and effective on the coarsest of hair and the fairest of skin. But there is a caveat—since light is absorbed better by darker objects, brown or black hair absorbs light more effectively than red or blonde hair. This means laser hair removal treatment works best on dark hair.
“Light skin with dark hair works best,” says Cohen, noting that brides with blonde or white hair won’t see any results because there’s no pigment in their hair.
Cohen suggests that if you’re going in for laser treatment, you stop use of any topical vitamin A (retin-A, tretinoin) for two weeks in the area you’re getting treated. She also recommends to avoid self-tanner.
“You shouldn’t use self-tanner before the treatment because the laser works best when there’s a big contrast between your skin and hair color,” she explains.
You should also avoid unprotected sun exposure, plucking, and waxing in the weeks prior.
Laser hair removal has a bit of an ouch factor, but definitely not much. “The laser feels like a rubber band snapping on the skin,” says Cohen. “Numbing cream can be applied to the area for a more comfortable treatment, although it’s not essential.”
The laser Cohen uses at Ardan blows cold air on the area being treated, which will give a numbing effect. A typical session takes only 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the area of the body being treated.
After treatment, the area may be a little red and swollen for a few hours, but it’s nothing a topical cream or lotion won’t help. After, you’re as smooth as a baby—just in time for the wedding and honeymoon.
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