Laser Hair Removal FAQs
Q: What does a laser hair removal appointment look like?
A: You’ll arrive having recently shaved and cleansed the area (skin should be lotion-free). Your treatment will take place in one of our private rooms, and everyone in the room must wear protective eyewear (provided by PFAM) during the procedure. To perform hair removal, the skin is held taut and the skin is treated with the laser. Clients rarely feel anything but at times may feel a sensation similar to a light rubber band snap or pin prick. Since the laser removes hair by vaporizing it, a light sulfur-like smell may be present.
Q: What are the most important things to know before I get laser hair removal? How to prepare for laser hair removal?
A: To prepare for laser hair removal, make sure to shave the treatment area the day of your treatment. Make sure you have not had a tan/sunburn or spray tan in the 4 weeks prior to treatment. Finally, no oils, lotions or products should be on the treatment area.
Q: How long does laser hair removal treatment take?
A: The length of your treatment will depend on the size of the area being treated. Treating the underarms takes 10 minutes. However, if you are having a large area (such as full legs) or multiple areas treated, your appointment may be an hour or so.
Q: What are the most important activities to avoid pre- and post-laser hair removal?
A: It is very important that the area to be treated is protected from sun exposure. Avoid direct sunlight and prolonged sun exposure in the area to be treated for 4 weeks prior. Do not use a tanning bed, sun lamp, or any other indoor tanning equipment or spray tan for 4 weeks before laser hair removal.
Q: Is there downtime? What will my skin look like after laser hair removal treatment?
A: Generally there is no real downtime. Immediately after having laser hair removal, the treated skin may be a bit red and swollen. Despite this, most clients return to their everyday activities. Other temporary side effects can include sensitivy and mild irritation. Typically these are short-lived and resolve within a couple of days.
Q: What post-care is required after laser hair removal?
A: Less is more! No creams or ointments need to be applied afterward. Avoid makeup and skincare products for 12-24 hours. An aloe vera gel can be soothing, but is not necessary. If there is any minor skin irritation, wait until it is resolved and then begin exfoliating the area in order to decrease risk of ingrown hairs. Avoid sweaty exercise for 24 hours.
Q: When will I see the results after having laser hair removal?
A: You can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first couple of treatments. Results can vary depending on the color and thickness of your hair, area treated, and the color of your skin. To almost fully remove the hair, most clients need up 6 laser treatments.
Q: How long will the results of laser hair removal last?
A: Most remain hair free for years. When hair regrows, it will likely be much thinner, patchy, and significantly reduced in density. To stay free of hair, you may need anywhere from 1-3 maintenance laser treatments depending on your skin and hair type.
Q: Do I need a consultation to get started?
A: Not at PFAM. As long as the hair you’d like to treat isn’t blonde, and you are not tan (natural or spray), you should be good to jump right into your first session. Our technology is highly customizable, so we’re confident we can treat you if you meet the above criteria.
Q: How much is laser hair removal? Is your pricing competitive?
A: PFAM laser hair removal is the most efficient and effective route to removing hair, and is priced very competitively for the San Diego area. Beware of pricing and promotions that seem "too good to be true” because they often are. Always read the fine print, and be sure you are in the hands of a well-trained provider who understands how to customize your treatment based on your coloring and hair type (there is a science to it!) without additional risk to you or your precious skin.
Q: Why are single sessions priced so expensive compared to packages of 3 or 6 sessions?
A: We want you to have the best possible results with your laser hair removal and that requires dedication to a series of sessions. Depending on your skin and hair type, first time hair removal clients can expect to require on average 6 sessions. Those who have done laser hair removal in the past and only require maintenance treatments, often will still require 3 sessions. It is extremely rare to ever need only a single session of laser hair removal. We have priced our laser hair removal treatments very competitively for the San Diego area and we know that you will not be disappointed with your results, or your experience at our office. Members of our Perfect Vault are able to use their 10% service discount on all options for laser hair removal including a-la-carte single sessions and packages.
Q: Are there side effects of laser hair removal?
A: Side effects are rare when laser hair removal is performed by a skilled provider. Possible side effects may include: blistering, herpes simplex (cold sores) outbreaks, infections, scarring, skin lightening or darkening. Skin color typically returns to normal. Some changes to skin color, however, can be permanent. This is why seeing a skilled provider who has in-depth knowledge of the skin is key.
Q: What if I can’t squeeze all my sessions from a package purchase into one year? Will I lose the remainder of my package?
A: We highly encourage you to stay on schedule, in which case you’ll be able to complete 6 sessions in one year. But if unforeseen circumstances arise, we’ll always do our best to work with you.
Q: How long should I wait to do laser hair removal, after waxing?
A: It is best to wait at least 3 weeks from waxing before proceeding with laser hair removal. It is important that the root of the hair is present for laser hair removal.
Q: If I don't see hair falling out a few days after laser hair removal, is it still working?
A: Yes! Usually you will not notice the hair falling out. More commonly, you will notice over time that less hair is growing back, it is less dense, and there’s more patchy areas.
Q: Is it safe for me to do laser hair removal at PFAM, even though I've gotten laser hair removal at another facility before?
A: Yes. We will assess your skin and hair type to determine the safest and most effective settings in order to help you achieve the best results possible.
Q: Is laser hair removal permanent?
A: No. There is no such thing as permanent hair removal. Maintenance treatments will be required in order to maintain optimal results. However, in most cases, the reduction in hair from laser hair removal is permanent.
Q: When can I get a spray tan after laser hair removal?
A: Clients can spray tan 2 days after hair removal as long as there is no sensitivity or broken skin.
Q: How often do I need to repeat treatments? How many sessions for laser hair removal?
A: The hair cycle for areas below the clavicle is anywhere from 4-8 weeks, and above the clavicle typically 4-6 weeks. As long as there is new hair growth, treatment can be performed as early as every 4 weeks.
Q: Is laser hair removal safe for pregnant mothers?
A: There are no studies that evaluate the safety of laser hair removal during pregnancy. It is best to avoid laser hair removal during pregnancy because of the lack of information regarding safety.
Q: Is laser hair removal safe for breastfeeding mothers?
A: There are many hormonal changes immediately after pregnancy and with breastfeeding that often affect the skin and hair. For these reasons and in order to have the best results we do advise to wait until you are done breastfeeding before beginning laser hair removal treatments.
Q: What is the difference between a Bikini and a Brazilian laser hair removal treatment?
A: Treatment of the bikini area involves hair removal from the outside areas seen in a bathing suit or underwear. A Brazilian laser hair removal treatment, on the other hand, gets rid of all the hair! This includes the full bikini area, plus everything down from the pubic area, the labia, inner sides of the bum and butt crack. For either area, shaving the day of treatment is necessary.
Q: What medications do you have to discontinue for laser hair removal and for how long?
A: Certain medications can make the skin more sensitive to laser hair removal such as topical retin-A or retinols. They should be stopped if being used on the area to be treated a week before laser hair removal. Those on Accutane/Isotretinoin should only do laser hair removal once they have been off that medication for 6 months. Some antibiotics can cause photosensitivity such as ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, levofloxacin, ofloxacin, tetracycline, trimethoprim and minocycline.
Q: Can you use laser hair removal on areas that not only have hair, but also acne?
A: Yes, laser hair removal can be done if there is acne present in the area. In fact, laser hair removal may even help to improve acne.
Q: Will I breakout after laser hair removal?
A: Breakouts can happen after laser hair removal on the face, especially after the first couple sessions when the hair is at its thickest. This effect will reduce dramatically after 2-3 sessions. In order to help decrease breakouts there are things you can do before and after your treatment:
- Use a clean razor to shave the night before or day or your treatment.
- Do not touch your skin or apply any makeup or skincare for 12-24 hours afterwards.
- Begin light exfoliation a couple days before your treatment and 2-3 days afterwards to help the shedding process.
- Do not sweat excessively for 24 hours afterwards.
- Do not pick or squeeze the skin which can increase the risk of long term damage.
Q: If a minor would like laser hair removal and a parent is present and consenting, are they able to proceed with the service at PFAM in San Diego?
A: In many cases, yes, as long as the minor is deemed a good candidate for treatment. It is best to wait until the teen is through puberty and, if female, has begun her menstrual cycle. Females should be hormonally stable and should not have medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Keep in mind results may be very temporary in the early teen years, since hormones are changing so rapidly that hair growth is rampant. More treatments than usual will likely be needed, resulting in higher costs. Once hormones have regulated (usually between ages 17 and 19), treatments are much more effective and long-lasting.
Q: Can laser hair removal affect tattoos?
A: Yes. Areas with tattoos cannot be treated.