Avoid tanning or using sunless tanner before laser hair removal.

What Prep Work Is Needed for Bikini Laser Hair Removal?

by Hilary White

Modern technology makes it possible to enjoy a smooth, hair-free bikini line for months or even years without shaving or waxing. Knowing what to expect and properly preparing for each session will ensure you get the best, longest lasting results from the costly and time-consuming laser hair removal process.

1. Selecting a Doctor

Find a doctor who is board certified in dermatology or cosmetic surgery with experience in laser hair removal. The process can be dangerous, potentially causing burning, scarring or a permanent change in skin color. You can reduce the risk of harmful side effects by choosing an experienced doctor or ensuring an on-site doctor supervises should a physician's assistant or licensed nurse perform the procedure.

2. Have a Consultation

Have a consultation several weeks in advance of treatment. The doctor will examine your skin to determine whether laser hair removal is a good option for you. The outcome of the procedure depends on factors such as your skin, the location of the hair, the color and thickness of the hair, and its growth cycle. Be prepared with questions about the procedure and expected results. You might ask about how the laser will work with your skin color, how many treatments you will need and potential risk of side effects. Although most people only experience mild discomfort, talk to your doctor or practitioner about the pain of laser hair removal. Find out options of minimizing pain before your sessions, including oral pain relievers or local and topical anesthetics.

3. Avoid Tanning

Avoid tanning of any kind before your session, including indoor and outdoor tanning and sunless tanning products, as they put you at greater risk for side effects like skin discoloration. Some doctors recommend to avoid tanning for as much as six weeks before laser hair removal. Find out how long your doctor recommends staying out of the sun or refraining from usage of sunless tanners prior to your session. If you have a tan, wait until it is completely faded before going under the laser.

4. Stop Waxing

Avoid waxing your bikini area. Plucking, waxing and electrolysis all affect the hair follicle and impede laser hair removal. You may continue to shave, as it doesn't disturb the hair shaft or follicle. You may be asked to shave your bikini area a day or two before your appointment, which studies have suggested may improve results. Avoid applying creams or body lotions on the day of laser hair removal.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images