Mainly because of a planned vacation in the next few months. "I don’t want to shave or have razor bumps while on vacation" is the common saying. So here’s some helpful information you may want to consider when you start your laser hair removal journey.

Laser hair removal has been around for a while now, but it does not make it any safer, it all depends on the operator and who over-sees these treatments. I recommend you go to practice that has a dermatologist on-site while any lasers are being used by any operator. For example, in our clinic, we have 1-3 medical providers in our practice at all times who oversee all laser procedures. Our operators are all well trained Master Licensed Aestheticians who have years of experience.

Laser hair removal, in most cases, can take 6-8 treatments for 80% to 100% reduction. The more treatments you do, the fewer hairs you’ll have at the end of your journey. For example, hair removal to facial hairs can take six months or so. We recommend that you come in every 5-6 weeks for treatment. We know that hairs grow at different rates on different parts of the body and not all of our hairs grow at the same time (about 70-80 percent of our hairs are growing at any given time, and that’s the only viable time to target the cells with the laser).

You are the right candidate if you have good contrast between your skin color and your hair color. The best-case scenario is that you have coarse black hairs and your skin type I or II. Not very many of us fall in that category, and that is where you can get varying degrees of results. Individuals with light brown, reddish, blonde or white hairs are not good candidates for any laser hair removal.

So you’re coming in for your first laser hair removal treatment to your underarms or bikini; you have not exposed these areas to the sun (no tan); you have stopped waxing, sugaring, and or pull the hairs out by another method, and you have shaved 1-3 days prior. The treatment does not take very long for these areas. Thank goodness because, for the most patient, the procedure is unpleasant. It is painful and I’ll say to you “grin and bear it” because it WILL be worth it!!! We have a few tricks that help mitigate the discomfort: ice, Zimmer chiller (forced air that is extremely cold), and my personal favorite - Pro Nox (50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide, laughing gas). You have completed your first laser hair removal treatment, repeat in 5-6 weeks for 6-8 treatments.

It is important that you avoid tanning or using self-tanners during these procedures. Your treatment will be loads more successful if you follow these few guidelines. If you are thinking about laser hair removal treatment, start now so that you are summer ready!

Janell Bailey, LMA
Licensed Master Aesthetician
Dermatology Associates of Seattle

Janell Bailey, Master Licensed Aesthetician at Dermatology Associates of Seattle is available for secured virtual consultation. For scheduling and information on our virtual appointments, visit us at