Here in Tucson, it sometimes feels as if summer temperatures are a constant. But real summer is on the horizon, and rising temperatures mean fewer clothes. With laser hair removal, you don’t need to spend another summer dealing with unwanted hair. Read our easy-to-follow dos and don’ts to be sure you get the most out of your session and the smoothest results possible.

DON’T use tanning lotion for 2 to 3 weeks beforehand.

While the results of fake tanner often look great, the results of darkened pigmentation can decrease the effectiveness of the laser. Sunless tanners can trick the laser to treat the “tan” pigmentation, rather than the hair follicle. It is best to undergo laser hair removal 2 to 3 weeks after a sunless tan. The same fact is true for tans from tanning beds and laying out in the Tucson sun — yet another reason to use sunscreen and protect your skin!

DO shave the day before.

Yes, you read that right. It’s not necessary to let the hair you want to remove grow all the way out. You can continue shaving it right up to the day before your treatment. In fact, keeping your hair on the shorter side makes it easier to treat. Keep in mind that shaving means only that. Waxing, plucking, and depilatories are all no-nos before a treatment since they remove hair below the skin’s surface, making them impossible to access with the laser device.

DON’T assume dark skin makes you a poor candidate.

In the past, laser hair removal relied on a strong color contrast between hair and skin in order to get ideal results. This is because the laser energy is absorbed by the pigment in hair. While modern lasers still work this way, they are much more efficient and can better treat patients with light-colored hair or darker skin tones.

DO be patient.

Hair grows in cycles, and each hair keeps its own cycle. Only hairs that are treated during a specific time in the cycle are responsive to laser hair removal, which is why multiple treatments are required for the best results possible. If you hope to be smooth by summer, now is the time to get started!

DON’T block out your entire day.

Although the time you spend in our office depends on how much hair you want to treat, even the most significant procedures don’t take longer than a couple of hours. Afterward, you can go right back to work or any of your normal activities.