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What to Expect During Your First Laser Hair Removal Session

Updated: Jun 16

If you’re considering laser hair removal for the first time, you’re likely curious about what the process involves. Understanding what to expect can help alleviate any anxieties and prepare you for a smooth experience. Here’s a comprehensive guide to what happens during your first laser hair removal session.

Initial Consultation

Assessing Your Suitability

Before your first treatment, you’ll have an initial consultation with a laser technician or aesthetician. This session is crucial for assessing your suitability for the procedure. The specialist will evaluate your skin type, hair color, and medical history to determine the most appropriate laser technology and treatment plan for you.

Discussing Your Goals

You’ll discuss your hair removal goals, including the areas you want to treat and the expected outcomes. This is a great time to ask any questions you have about the procedure, including potential side effects and the number of sessions you might need.

Pre-Treatment Preparations

Skin and Hair Preparation

For optimal results, you’ll need to prepare your skin and hair before your session:

  • Shave the Treatment Area: Shave the area 24 to 48 hours before your appointment. Avoid waxing, plucking, or using depilatory creams, as the laser targets hair follicles and requires the hair root to be intact.

  • Avoid Sun Exposure: Stay out of the sun and avoid tanning beds for at least two weeks before your treatment. Tanned skin can increase the risk of burns and hyperpigmentation.

  • Skip Certain Products: Refrain from using skincare products with retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), or beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) for a few days before your session.

  • No Self Tan: No self-tan or spray tan application 2 weeks prior to treatment.

During the Session

Arrival and Preparation

When you arrive at the clinic, you’ll be taken to a treatment room and asked to change into a gown if necessary. The laser technician will then clean and prep the skin for treatment.

Numbing is not required since laser come with pre and post cooling for minimal discomfort.

The Laser Procedure

  • Safety First: Both you and the technician will wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from the laser light.

  • Laser Settings: The technician will adjust the laser settings based on your skin type, hair color, and the area being treated.

  • Test Patch: A small test patch may be performed to check how your skin reacts to the laser. This helps in fine-tuning the settings for your comfort and safety.

  • The Treatment: The technician will pass the laser device over the treatment area. You’ll feel a series of quick pulses, often described as a snapping sensation or the feeling of a rubber band being snapped against your skin. Most modern lasers have built-in cooling systems to help soothe the skin and minimize discomfort.

Post-Treatment Care

Immediate Aftercare

After the session, your skin may feel slightly warm and look red, similar to a mild sunburn. These effects typically subside within a few hours.

  • Cool the Area: Apply a cold compress or aloe vera gel to soothe the skin.

  • Avoid Heat: Stay away from hot showers, saunas, and vigorous exercise for at least 24 hours to prevent further irritation.

  • Skip Harsh Products: Avoid using perfumes, deodorants, or any products with strong chemicals on the treated area for a few days.

Longer-Term Aftercare

  • Sun Protection: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on treated areas exposed to the sun.

  • Moisturize: Keep the skin moisturized to help with healing and comfort.

  • Hair Shedding: Over the next few weeks, the treated hairs will gradually fall out. Exfoliating gently can help this process along.

Follow-Up and Future Sessions

Scheduling Your Next Appointment

Laser hair removal requires multiple sessions, typically spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart, to ensure growth is present to treat. The exact number of sessions will depend on factors like hair density, growth cycle, and the treatment area.

Monitoring Progress

Keep track of your progress and communicate any concerns with your technician. Adjustments to your treatment plan can be made to ensure the best possible outcomes.


Your first laser hair removal session marks the beginning of a journey towards smoother, hair-free skin. By knowing what to expect, you can approach the experience with confidence and take the necessary steps to maximize the benefits of your treatment. With proper preparation and aftercare, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the long-lasting results of laser hair removal.

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