While eliminating body hair is by no means a requirement of a beautiful bride, many brides-to-be turn to laser hair removal as part of their big-day beauty checklist. For expert insight into the world of laser hair removal, Brides chatted with board-certified dermatologist and Clinical Assistant Professor Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine Dr. Shari Marchbein.
Whether you're looking for silky smooth honeymoon legs or perfectly hairless underarms without razor bumps and burns, here's what you need to know.
Marchbein explains that lasers in general work via selective photothermolysis, whereby a wavelength of light targets a specific color target, thus resulting in hair removal. Essentially, the highly concentrated light is beamed into hair follicles which will then eradicate the hair.
The treatment is typically sought out by clients looking for a more permanent solution to hair removal within common areas of concern. Marchbein says, "The most common areas I treat are underarms, bikini, chin/jawline/upper lip, and sideburns," adding, "I think everyone is basically tired of waxing or shaving." Here, here!
When to Start?
Marchbein recommends starting laser hair treatments about six to 12 months before the wedding day, as it can take at least six months to see full results. Once you begin, she says you can typically plan for, "Three to six sessions spaced every four weeks," though for finer or lighter hair, more treatments may be needed.
Before You Book
It's imperative to know that before a treatment, "You cannot wax, thread, or use any method of hair removal other than shaving for four weeks prior," says Marchbein. She also advises clients to keep in mind that laser hair removal results are not immediate, and that multiple treatments will be needed.
Who is Eligible?
Not everyone is a prime candidate for laser hair removal. For starters, Marchbein advises it should never be performed when tan or sunburned, or if there is an active infection. She adds, "It does not work well on blonde or red hair and extreme caution needs to be taken with those with darker skin. Specific lasers (such as the NDYag) need to be used on individuals with more pigment in their skin, and I would recommend seeing a board certified dermatologist who has significant laser experience for this."
For any brides considering laser hair removal, Marchbein warns, "There are many offices and spas offering inexpensive package deals. However, those performing the laser treatment are often not trained well. I have seen many complications from inexperienced providers including burns which can lead to permanent scarring." She stresses the importance of seeking out a board certified dermatologist to perform these treatments.