While you can shave your hair in between appointments, do not shave the hair before your appointment. Let the hair grow out at least one week prior to your treatment. The hair must be above the skin for it to be treated.
Drink plenty of water the day before, the day of and the day after the treatment. Dehydrated follicles are more difficult to treat. Hydration will also help your skin heal more quickly as well as helping with pain tolerance.
The night before your appointment, consider a light exfoliation of the area to be treated and moisturize after. The exfoliation will help to diminish dead skin cells that are blocking the follicle. This will help for an easier insertion into the follicle.
Do not use Retin A, Tazorac or any serious retinoid for at least 1 week prior to your electrolysis treatment.
NOTE: If you have been on Accutane in the past year, you must wait a minimum of 6 months after your Accutane treatments have been completed to begin electrolysis.
Once you have had any of the treatments below, please wait the suggested time to come in for electrolysis if we will be working in the same general area:
- Filler: 7 days
- Botox: 7-10 days
- Fraxal laser treatment: 6 weeks
- Facial with extractions and peels: 7 days
- Microneedling: 7-14 days
You must work as close to your pain threshold as possible for the most effective treatment. Pain or the fear of pain should not keep you from getting hair permanently removed if you really want it. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the treatment and manage your appointments with ease and comfort:
- Get as comfortable as possible during the treatment. If you are having work done on the body, wear comfortable loose clothing so the skin is not constricted after the treatment.
- Find the time of day that works best for you to come in. Early or late, awake or tired, everyone is different.
- Eliminate as much stress as possible on the day of the appointment. Exercise is wonderfull! We love it in all forms! It also helps to increase your pain threshold. Just make sure that on the day of your appointment, that you exercise BEFORE vs. AFTER your treatment.
- Your diet can affect your sensitivity. Avoid stimulants like caffeine, chocolate or sugar on the day of your appointment.
- Hygiene – Personal hygiene is a must. Taking a shower the day of your electrolysis is highly encouraged with particular attention paid to the area in question. Personal hygiene will make the electrologist’s job a bit easier too.
- Avoid sun exposure 48 hours prior to your treatment to avoid dilation of the blood vessels. Schedule your treatment in advance of a vacation where you will be in the sun for prolonged periods.
- Female clients may find that they are more sensitive during or right before their menstrual cycle and may want to avoid making appointments during that time.
- Coming in for your treatment on an empty stomach can make the treatment less tolerable. Some find that a snack or a meal before treatment helps reduce discomfort.
- Many clients find that taking their favorite pain reliever 30 minutes prior to their appointment makes their treatment more comfortable.
- There are many topical creams that are available either with or without a prescription. EMLA (by prescription), Anesten (non-prescription) and LMX (non-prescription) are the most popular. EMLA should be applied an hour before treatment. You should apply generously and cover with a piece of saran wrap. Use medical tape to keep in place. Hose or bike shorts over the bikini area will help keep saran in place and warm the area. Heat will activate the numbing cream even more. A stronger option is BLT (20% Betacaine, 8% Lidacaine and 4% Tetracaine, by prescription only)
Following your treatment, do not touch or scratch the area treated! Bacteria are on everything and by touching your skin you are transferring bacteria from door knobs, etc. to the treated area. This can cause a breakout (whiteheads).
When possible, do not wear make-up over the treated area for 24 hours. Translucent powder is permissible but the ideal is to not apply any kind of makeup.
Avoid perfume or alcohol-based products. They will dry out your skin. You can wipe the area with witch hazel, if needed.
Keep your skin moist after the treatment. Zap! staff will suggest what is best based on your skin type. This may include aloe gel, antibacterial ointment or other creams that you would apply to the treated area the night after your treatment and the next day. This will help your skin heal even faster, especially facial areas. Always apply with Q-tips or clean hands. If your skin is still irritated on the second day, we may suggest you apply a Hydrocortisone cream (Cortisone, Cortaid, anything with 1% hydrocortisone or hydrocortisone acetate). It is anti-inflammatory and will reduce redness and swelling. Also works on pimples!
Avoid excessive sweating if having work done below the neck. Sweat can cause bacteria to enter into the open follicles and cause white heads to develop. As noted in the pre-care section, exercise before your electrolysis appointment instead of afterward is okay.
Avoid the sun for the next 72 hours to avoid the formation of brown pigment spots. Your skin defends against UV rays by producing pigment, which will deflect some of the harmful rays. If your skin is injured or traumatized it can over-produce pigment in those areas. This can result in hyper-pigmentation. ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN (and a hat if needed). Remember: if you apply sunscreen in the morning – it will absorb into the skin and not be effective at noon – so reapply as needed)
Do not swim in a chlorinated pool for the first 48 hours following treatment. That also applies to jacuzzis and saunas.
If small scabs appear, do not scratch them away. This can cause scarring. Allow them to fall off naturally. This is nature’s way of healing the follicle that we have treated. (the scabs are lymph fluid that has drained out of the follicle and dried up) Keeping the area moisturized will often curtail the formation of scabs. The more moist you can keep the area after treatment, the less likely you will have scabs.
If discomfort should occur in closely treated areas, apply an Epsom salt compress: Add 1 tsp. Epsom Salt to 1/2 cup warm water, mix and soak up with a washcloth. Lay washcloth over treated area for 10 minutes and repeat until discomfort subsides.
If you are prevented from coming in as soon as you would like for your next treatment, DO NOT TWEEZE! The offending hair can be clipped off with small scissors, shaved, bleached or you can use a depilatory such as Nair.
Remember: Some re-growth is to be expected. If you will return when the first re-growth occurs, the roots are shorter and weaker and therefore can be treated more effectively.
- For Brazilian and Bikini waxes, please trim any long hair to minimize discomfort. Hair should be no longer than 1/2″ and no shorter than 1/4″ of growth. Ideally the hair will be the length of a grain of rice so the wax can securely attach to it.
- Female clients may have heightened sensitivity during the week prior to or during menstruation.
- Limit your caffeine and sugar intake the day of your waxing service. They both stimulate the nervous system and increase sensitivity.
Before your wax, please DO NOT…
- Use Retin-A/Renova or antibiotics for at least 30 days. They increase the skin sensitivity and thin the skin’s protective barrier and are not compatible with waxing.
- Use Accutane for at least one year.
- Use peels (glycolic, AHA, etcetera) or dermabrasion on the area for at least 24 hours.
- Consume excessive amounts of alcohol or sunbathe for at least 48 hours.
- Use self-tanners, exfoliants or moisturizers the day of the service – they can cause irritations to the sensitive hair follicles that are open after waxing.
- Do not shave or wax for at least 2 weeks prior to your treatment.
What about after I get waxed?
- Minimize skin irritation by applying aloe vera or hydrocortisone cream to the treated area.
- You may wash the waxed area, but refrain from using harsh cleansers or creams for 24 – 48 hours.
- Stay away from hot tubs, hot showers, hot baths, sunbathing and tanning for at least 24 – 48 hours.
- For ingrown hair, try PFB Roll-on. You can purchase it from us!
- Prevent ingrown hairs by avoiding exfoliation for 2 – 3 days and then exfoliating the area regularly.
- Avoid shaving in between waxing treatments.
We recommend getting waxed every 3-4 weeks.