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Preparing for Perfection: The Do’s and Don’ts of Prepping for Laser Hair Removal

By Nancy H, PharmD
May 20, 2023
8 minutes

Proper preparation is the key when it comes to successful laser hair removal. Before you undergo the treatment, you should know how to prep for laser hair removal, so make sure you research, consult with the right people, and follow all the safety guidelines.

As you take these steps, you will ensure your treatment experience is safe and effective, with you getting your desired results. Following, we will talk about the importance of prepping yourself properly for laser hair treatment, with the possible consequences if you don’t do it.

Research and Consultation

Before you schedule a laser hair removal session, you better research and find an experienced and highly reputed clinic known for providing safe and proper laser hair removal. You can find the right treatment provider by:

Approaching Different Well-Reputed Clinics

You better look for clinics in your area that have numerous positive reviews, are certified, and have an impressive track record in providing laser hair removal treatment.

Schedule a Consultation

Once you come across clinics or practitioners that are up to your standards, book consultations with them. You can assess their expertise and see their staff and equipment. You can discuss your goals, what you want to achieve, and your medical history and share any concerns about the treatment in these sessions.

Doing so will help you pick the practitioner you feel comfortable with.

Patch Test

If the consultation deems you fit for a patch test, meaning you are not tanned and have no lifestyle or medical concerns, you will undergo a patch test. This test performs the laser hair removal treatment on a small area of your body and monitors the result. Usually, this test is performed 24 hours after the main treatment, but some people prefer to undergo it right after the consultation to evaluate the clinician.

Even if you went through a patch test before, you would still need to undergo this test for every part of your body, or because your condition is changed or treatment circumstances are different, It’s also compulsory as skin is more sensitive in some part of the body as compared to others. Also, performing the patch test helps create a personalized treatment plan according to your needs, thus moving forward with your appointment.

Getting Ready for the Laser Treatment

Free Smiling young ethnic female applying sheet mask on face after shower Stock Photo

Get yourself acquainted with key pre-treatment measures to get the results you want. We are covering everything you need to know for prepping your skin, understand the session and make the most out of it.

Prepare Your Skin

Prepping your skin ahead of the laser treatment helps fight off complication risks and promises the best results. Follow these best practices for laser hair removal preparation:

Don’t Go Under the Sun

Avoid going under the sun and tanning bed at least a month or 4 weeks before the treatment. You see, sunburns and tanning can increase the risk of complications.

Avoid Wax and Plucking

Don’t use wax, plucking, or any other way you remove hair from your body (creams, etc.). Leave the treatment area alone 6 weeks before the session. The laser will target hair follicles, so you better preserve your hair for this treatment.

Shave The Treatment Area

A day or night before the treatment, you need to shave the treatment area. This way, the laser will better target the hair follicles beneath your skin, thus minimizing surface hair.

Cleanse and Exfoliate

Gently clean and exfoliate the treatment area a day before the treatment. This way, you eliminate dead skin cells and help the laser penetrate your skin more effectively.

Treatment Day

On the day of your treatment, follow this step-by-step guide to preparing for laser hair removal:

No Topical Products

Don’t use any cream, lotion, or makeup on the treatment area. These products will interfere with the treatment and cause serious side effects. So don’t use any of these products on your treatment day.

Drink Lots of Water

It will help if you stay hydrated for the treatment. Drinking water right before your treatment will keep your skin hydrated; hydrated skin responds better against laser treatments. So, you better drink lots of water.

Wear Lose and Comfortable Clothes

When going for the laser treatment, you should know one of the effective ways to prepare for laser hair removal is by wearing loose-fitting clothes made from soft fabrics. Wearing soft and loose-fitting cloth helps you with the treatment as they prevent friction or irritation on the treated area.

Say No to Caffeine and Alcohol

Stay away from caffeine and alcohol the day you are undergoing laser hair removal. Both caffeine and alcohol can make your skin more sensitive, which can lead to some unforeseen complications. So, better control yourself.

What to Expect During Treatment?

Understanding what happens during the laser hair removal can help you prepare, both mentally and physically:

Free Woman Having a Facial Treatment Stock Photo

Protective Measures

The clinician will give you protective eyewear or goggles to keep your eyes safe during the treatment.

Sensations and Pain Management

Laser hair removal can lead to some discomfort with a snapping or stinging sensation. You can manage your pain with the help of some cooling methods, such as cold gel, air, or ice pads. Any of these will help you to alleviate your discomfort.

Session Duration

The duration of each session depends on the size of the treatment area. For example, small areas can be treated within a few minutes, whereas a large area can easily take up an hour.

Post Treatment Care

Once you are through the hair removal session, make sure you follow these post-treatment care guidelines:

Cold Compresses

If there is any redness or irritation after the treatment, you better apply cold compresses to soothe the affected area.

Don’t Go Under the Sun

Just like before the treatment, you should avoid going under the sun for at least a week following your treatment. Even if you must go, you better use high-SPF sunscreen with protective clothing.

Don’t Take Hot Showers

You better avoid hot showers, steam rooms, saunas, and intense physical activity that can lead to excessive sweating. These activities or profound sweating can lead to skin irritation, so stay safe. You better avoid sweating for at least 48 hours after the treatment.

Keep Your Skin Moisturized

After the treatment, keep your skin moisturized to help it heal. Find a gentle and non-irritating moisturizer on the treated area, keep it hydrated, and help it heal.

Don’t Scrub or Pick

Following laser hair removal, you better avoid scrubbing, exfoliating, or picking the treated area. This way, you can prevent irritation or even scarring.

Follow Your Practitioner’s Advice

You should know laser hair removal needs a couple of sessions for the best results. Therefore, you must follow the recommended treatment schedule provided by your practitioner. If you don’t follow their advice, you might as well start seeing adverse effects. So pay heed to what they say to you.

What Happens If You Don’t Prepare for the Treatment?

red and yellow pear on white surface

If you fail at how to prep for laser hair removal, you might see some adverse side effects. As you understand the risks, you can take the proper steps to ensure your treatment remains safe and successful. We will look at the possible consequences of not equipping yourself with laser hair removal.

  1. Increased Discomfort/Pain

If you don’t prepare yourself, you might face discomfort and pain during and after the treatment. But why? Let us explain:

Longer Hair Will Need More Energy

If you don’t shave your hair before the treatment, you should know longer hair will need to absorb more energy from the laser, which can lead to an intense and rather uncomfortable treatment experience.

Skin Sensitivity

Not following the pre-treatment guidelines, like avoiding the sun or irritating products, will make your skin more sensitive. The heightened sensitivity will only intensify the sensations during treatment, making you uncomfortable.

  1. Hindered Effectiveness

Not preparing properly for laser hair removal will undermine the treatment’s effectiveness. Don’t believe it, read these:

Improper Hair Growth

Laser hair targets hair follicles, so if you wax, pluck, or use creams before the treatment, there won’t be any hair left for the laser to get rid of. This will only ruin the treatment.

Imbalanced Energy Absorption

Suppose you get sunburned or tanned right before the laser treatment. In that case, your condition will interfere with the laser’s ability to target hair follicles, and it might leave you with unsatisfactory results.

  1. Higher Risk of Side Effects

Not prepping properly for a laser treatment also increases the risk of side effects related to the treatment. In the case of laser hair removal, you might as well expect these potential consequences:

Skin Irritation

If you don’t properly cleanse and exfoliate your skin, the session will lead to clogged hair follicles and irritation. This can further develop into redness, swelling, or temporary bumps.

Hyper Pigmentation

If you don’t protect yourself from going under the sun, then you are at higher risk of developing hyperpigmentation following the treatment. This means the skin in the treated area will get dark.

Skin Burns

If you don’t bring up any recent sunburns or use photosensitizing medication, the risk of skin burns during the treatment will increase.

  1. Prolonging the Treatment

If you don’t prepare, you will only prolong the laser treatment; here is how you will do it:

More Sessions

Thanks to your lack of preparation, bad treatment will call in for more sessions to help you achieve the desired results. This will add up to the treatment process and overall costs. Not to mention, first, you will spend weeks fixing the damage before resuming regular treatment.

Late Results

If you don’t prepare properly, you won’t achieve the desired results, even if you paid a lot of money for this treatment. This will only leave you dissatisfied and frustrated. Not to mention, the money you spent on this treatment has gone to waste, plus you need to pay more for the additional follow-up sessions.

Moreover, if you develop a skin issue, you must pay for its treatment separately. So, not following the prepping instructions will affect your health and finances.

Incurring Costs

Neglecting the prepping instructions will also bring in additional incurring costs. First, you are prolonging the treatment as you will need more sessions to fix the damage. Second, thanks to unsatisfactory results, you will have to pay for additional sessions to achieve the results you want.

Lastly, if you develop a skin issue due to your lack of preparation, you will also bear the expenses of treating this condition separately.

A Convenient Alternative to Expensive Clinics

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If you are tired of jumping in-between clinics and paying for expensive treatments, all for getting your body hair removed by laser treatment, then there is a far more convenient and affordable option waiting for you.

Check out Ulike’s range of IPL laser hair removal devices . They let you remove hair in the comfort of your home without extensive preparation or the risk of any adverse effects discussed above.

So, say goodbye to long waiting lines and complex instructions/treatments. You don’t need to break the bank to get smooth, hair-free skin; you can easily get it at home with Ulike for a small fraction of the price.


Preparing yourself properly is crucial for a successful and satisfying hair laser removal. Do your research, and consult with the right professionals, following pre- and post-treatment care guidelines. You will optimize the effectiveness of your treatment and minimize the risk of any possible complications.

If you don’t prepare yourself properly, you will only face increased discomfort and reduced effectiveness with a higher risk of side effects and prolonged treatment. So, you better take the necessary steps to prepare yourself and set yourself up for a successful laser hair removal. Doing so will result in long-lasting hair reduction.

If you feel this is too much for you and need something simpler, we have already mentioned an alternative: try Ulike’s IPL Laser Hair Removal devices. These devices let you remove hair and get clinic-like smooth skin from the comfort of your home.

Nancy H, PharmD
I am Nancy a licensed pharmacist with extensive knowledge in the healthcare industry. I enjoy writing on a variety of topics including; disease management, dietary supplements, nutrition, fitness, functional medicine, and lifestyle changes for optimal health. Below is my Linkedin profile
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