How close to a Laser Hair Removal treatment should I shave? I am thinking about just letting them shave me right before the laser--will this affect the laser's efficacy?
When to Stop Shaving Before Laser Hair Removal?
Doctor Answers (10)
Depends on Individual Hair Growth Cycle
In our office, we prefer that you shave the day of your treatment. This is because the less hair that is on the surface of the skin, the more energy that can be delievered into the source of the hair - the follicle. Shaving the day of will only increase the efficacy of the laser.
Shave 24-48 hours prior to your laser hair removal session
As a patient you can shave anytime throughout your laser hair removal sessions. For best results we highly recommend for you to not wax, tweeze or use any hair removal creams during your laser hair removal sessions. When using any of those laser hair removal techniques it affects your results with the laser and you may not get the desired laser hair removal results you were seeking. We inform our patients to shave the area being treated 24-48 hours before their laser hair removal session.
You should shave the same day of your treatment.
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Shaving before laser hair removal
It is important not to have hair on the surface of the skin, otherwise, that hair will absorb some of the laser energy. The objective is for the laser energy to go directly to the rot of the hair. This is a reason to select the ideal laser for your skin type. The alexandriite laser is best for light to medium toned skinned individuals. The long pulsed nd yag is best for dark skinned types
Cleanly Shaved Before Laser Hair Removal
Laser Hair Removal Prep
When having Laser Hair Removal, we want you to be as clean shaven as possible. We recommend doing it in the morning before you come. If you shave immediately prior to the laser, you can possibly have increased inflammation/redness after the treatment.
Dr. Grant Stevens
Shaving prior to laser
We use the Laserscope laser in my office. The technique is painless as long as the laser does not encounter hair above the skin. So, my patients are advised to shave or use depilatories just before the appt time. No later that the night before.
We don"t take the time to shave you. That is something that the patient is expected to do before their appt. Good luck!
Just be sure to shave before laser hair removal
Laser hair removal relies on transmitting energy to the hair follicles to destroy them. It only works with dark hair because the laser targets the pigment in the follicle. If there is hair above the skin, the light energy will be absorbed by the hair and not the follicle and the treatment will not be effective. The best bet would be to let the physician shave the treatment area just before your treatment.
Laser hair removal - less is more
With laser assisted hair removal, the hairs must be in the skin so the laser has a target to destroy. Usually I recommend patients shave either the day of treatment or the day before if they need to leave a little bit of stubble so it is easier for the laser operator to see all areas where hairs are located. I would not leave the hairs too long, however, as this may increase the risk of a burn as the relatively longer hair shaft may burn the surface of the skin as it is heated.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.