Put in the leg work for laser hair removal

Hannah Leigh's picture

Once I started my laser hair removal treatment, I never looked back. That’s because like so many of you, I started shaving and waxing my legs as a teenager. After years and years of fighting that endless cycle of regrowth and feeling self-conscious about what I could and couldn’t wear depending on when my next waxing appointment was, it was so liberating to be finally fuzz-free! But to get to that point, I had to put in the leg work (excuse the pun!) Read on to discover why following all the advice of your aesthetician and fully engaging with your laser treatment plan is how to guarantee the best results… 

Fighting the battle against the fuzz

For me, shaving my legs was such a laborious task and I was always frustrated that within a day I could already feel the hair growing back. Waxing just didn’t work for my lifestyle, I found it tricky to fit regular appointments around my busy work and social life. And there was no room for spontaneity. For example, if the sun decided to make a rare appearance and I wanted to wear a short skirt, but my next waxing appointment wasn’t for another week, I’d have no choice but to cover up because I didn’t feel confident getting my legs out when I had obvious regrowth. Thankfully, my laser hair removal treatment plan at the clinic changed all that.

A whole different level of hair removal

Firstly to be clear, when we talk about laser hair removal at the DRVICTORIA™ Clinic, it’s on a whole different level to the at-home handheld devices you might see in high street shops. Our medical-grade laser hair removal machines are incredibly powerful. Plus, we can adjust them according to your exact needs.

We’re on your wavelength

At the DRVICTORIA™ Clinic, we recommend the Quanta Thunder MT for laser hair removal. This innovative machine enables us to use either Alexandrite or ND:YAG wavelength technology, or a mixture of the two depending on your skin and hair type.

  • Alexandrite: Can cover larger surface areas and has an excellent penetration rate so fewer treatments may be required. It can be used on coarse hair, but it is most effective on thin hair and is not suitable for patients with dark-toned skin.
  • ND:YAG: This is suitable for all skin tones and is great for removing thick, coarse hair. 

If all this sounds a bit bamboozling, don’t worry. The great thing about the Thunder MT is it allows us to use a mix of both technologies at once and I’m here to make recommendations and adjust the wavelengths throughout your treatment plan to suit you as an individual and to get you the best results.

Please note we are the only clinic in Edinburgh with this advanced laser technology and able to offer dual treatment plans to achieve better results in less time whilst treating most skin and hair types.

The crucial consultation

Before commencing your laser hair removal treatment plan, I’ll ask you to come in for a consultation, which usually takes up to 30 minutes. Here I’ll assess your skin tone, hair and eye colour, and ask questions about your family ancestry, so I can make an informed decision about which of our laser wavelengths will be most suitable for you. 

I’ll also do a patch test to see how you react to the laser wavelengths. (If I’m treating more than one area, such as your legs plus your bikini area, armpits or face, I’ll test these separately because the hair that grows in each of these areas is very different.) I’ll start on a low setting and try a couple of different settings until I see a reaction.

For mixed treatment areas your treatment plan may be separated into different packages with different appointment times - this is because the rate of hair regrowth can differ from area to area for instance the rate of regrowth on the face can be faster than on the legs. Separate treatment plans with the correct time interval between appointments can achieve better outcomes with fewer treatments.

Perfect preparation

I want every single one of my patients to get the best results from their treatment plan. For that to happen, you need to actively engage with your plan. It all starts with the preparation:

  • Don’t wear fake tan: The laser energy will react to any significant pigment, including the pigments in your fake tan. Skin that is tanned, or looks tanned from fake tan, increases the risk of burns or post treatment pigmentation colour changes. It's a major no, no!
  • Come in with fresh clean skin: Don’t wear moisturiser or even deodorant on the areas to be treated which can react with the laser energy. Treatments on clean, fresh skin are safer and more comfortable. 
  • Shave 24 to 8 hours before your appointment:  Don't wax or tweeze your hair because you need the hair root to absorb the laser energy for the treatment to be effective. Shaving too close to your appointment can increase your skin's sensitivity making the treatment less comfortable.
Essential aftercare

To get the very best results, it’s important that you follow all my aftercare advice:

  • Apply soothing aloe vera to calm any redness (it’s perfectly normal to be a little red after a laser hair removal treatment. For some people, this may last just a few hours, for others it may last a couple of days). 
  • Don’t heat the skin while it is still sensitive. That means no hot baths or showers, and steer clear of saunas and steam rooms. 
  • Remember to wear SPF50 on treated areas, whatever the weather, to protect your skin. 
  • Only shave in between appointments, don’t wax, because I need your hair to be in the follicle to treat it. 
The results you’ve been waiting for…

How long you need to wait in between sessions depends on the area being treated and your hair growth cycles. For your face, bikini and armpits I advise you wait 4-6 weeks. For your legs, arms and back where the hair grows more slowly, I advise you wait 6-8 weeks. 

As you progress through your treatment plan, you should monitor the speed and changes in your hair regrowth so that we can discuss it at the start of each treatment and help me adjust your treatment plan to optimise results.

It usually takes a couple of sessions to see a significant difference. Some people notice an improvement right away but that depends on the wavelength we use. With Alexandrite, the hair is destroyed there and then, but with ND:YAG the hair takes a couple of weeks to shed. 

In just 6 sessions, I can typically achieve about 80% hair reduction. Any hair that does grow back will be much finer and will grow back less frequently, which means you get smoother skin for longer. Plus, further treatments can improve results. Be patient and trust the process - a course of 6 sessions is going to take between 6 and 12 months depending on the areas being treated! 

At the DRVICTORIA™ Clinic a consultation costs £35 and is redeemable against any laser hair removal package, which are valid for 12 months. A package of 6 sessions is priced at 6 for the price of 5 - so you can make a great saving by taking out a package at the start to achieve 80% permanent hair reduction. There are many other providers with less skilled staff and less advanced lasers who will offer cheaper prices, but you will find you end up doing 12-18 sessions to achieve any reasonable reduction whilst often experiencing greater treatment discomfort.

Put in the leg work

For you to get the most out of your laser hair removal treatment plan, you’ll need to fully engage with it. You need to monitor your hair growth, check if it is finer or lighter, assess where it is and isn’t growing back, and feed all this information back to me. The more information you can give me, the better and the faster we will achieve the freedom you seek.


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Author's experience

Hannah is qualified in laser hair removal, laser vascular and pigment treatments and IPL laser vascular and pigment treatments. She has a wide experience in treating all skin types for women, transgender women and men using Quanta, Candela and Lynton lasers / IPL.

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Hannah Leigh

Hannah has a dual role in the team providing chairside assistance for our doctors and nurses as a medical assistant, and as an aesthetician helping clients achieve smooth, firm, hair free skin.

Hannah particularly enjoys helping clients reducing that “orange peel” pattern on thighs with our ONDA cellulite treatment, combined with their desired bikini line and hair free legs using with our advanced laser. 

As a qualified Level 4 Advanced Skin Therapist she can help you get glowing, radiant skin with our range of HydraFacial and TIGHTEN+ facials.

Book an appointment with Hannah