When should you stop shaving before laser hair removal?

Do you need to shave before laser hair removal?

Yes. It is critical for the success of the laser hair removal treatment to shave before the procedure. The laser is targeting the pigment in the hair. The laser energy is channeled down the shaft of the hair follicle and zaps the stem cells making the hair, killing the follicle.

The laser can “see” the shaved stub of the hair, sending its energy into the follicle. Any extra hair sticking out of the skin is burned away by the laser. This does not help kill hair follicles. This wastes the laser energy, only contributes to burning hair smell and a bit of smoke.

How long before laser should I shave?

It is best to shave the night before or the morning of the appointment for laser hair removal. For more information about how laser hair removal works, visit our recent blog post.

What happens if you don’t shave before laser hair removal?

Please shave the area to be treated before you arrive! This will save a lot of time and effort. Most offices that offer laser hair removal can shave the hair for you if you miss a spot, but usually there isn’t time to shave a large area and also complete the laser hair removal session. Some places will turn you away and you’ll need to reschedule. Others have a shaving fee (that can be quite expensive for something that you could have done yourself!)

Can you shave after laser?

Since you will be cleanly shaved before a treatment, you should not find the need to shave right after a session of laser hair removal. We do not advise shaving right after a session, as the follicles are often a bit red and raised immediately after the treatment.

As long as this has resolved, the area could be shaved as soon as the next day. However, this is usually not necessary. The hairs may appear to be growing, but ultimately they should fall out of the follicle within a few days to a week after the treatment.

Can you shave in between treatments?

Yes. Over time, as you go through a series of laser hair removal treatments, you will find less and less hair remains. On average, about 15 to 20% of the hair follicles are killed each session.

It is a good idea to shave in between sessions as needed. It is not recommended to ever tweeze, pluck or wax the hairs. Removing them from the root will make it impossible to kill with a laser.

What to do before laser hair removal on the face?

If you are having laser hair removal treatments to remove unwanted facial hair there are a few extra steps to make sure the treatments are successful. First, stop any retinol products at least 5 days prior to your appointment.

Please come to your appointment without any tinted makeup or moisturizer on your skin. Shave the area the night before or morning of your appointment.

Never pluck! Hair on the face tends to grow back thicker and darker (unlike other areas of the skin). Any plucked or waxed hair will not be able to be targeted by the laser.

Prep for laser hair removal:

  • Stop any retinol topicals at least 5 days before treatment
  • Shave the area to be treated the night before or morning of the appointment
  • Cleanse the skin before treatment, do not apply makeup or any tinted product to the area
  • Wear comfortable loose clothing that allows easy access to the skin. You may be asked to remove clothing depending on what area is being treated.

Before and after pictures:

If you're interested in finding out the cost of laser hair removal visit our pricing.

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