How Long Does Your Hair Have to Be For Treatment?

I have herd that in order for the laser to pick up your hair that your hair needs to be the length of a grain of rice. So like 3 days of not shaving. Is this correct?

Doctor Answers 5

Laser Hair Removal Treatments

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Thank you for your question.

We ask our patients to shave the area prior to laser treatment. Our Gentelase Laser targets the pigment in the hair follicle not the hair that you see above the skin.  We do not recommend waxing or tweezing the area prior to treatment.

I hope this helps.

Laser Hair Removal

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There are many different laser hair removal devices on the market - some more effective than others. However, all devices only are effective on darker hair- from deep blonde to black. We recommend that our patients shave in the areas to be treated, but never to wax, tweeze, thread, or use depilatory creams. The number of treatments to destroy follicles during the different growth cycles greatly is reduced when the laser can easily target hair's pigment at skin's surface. Bottom line, just shave for the most effective treatments.


Allison J. Stocker, MD
San Antonio Dermatologist

Hair Removal

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We tell our patients to shave prior to their appointment.  My understanding has always been that no hair in area to be treated is preferable. 

Length of the hair being treated by LHR

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I would disagree that the hair has to be any specific length. I ask patients to remove the hair as close to the time of their appt as possible. It makes for a much more comfortable session.

Good luck to you!

Beverly Johnson, MD
Silver Spring Dermatologic Surgeon

Shaving before your laser hair removal treatment

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Prior to laser treatment I feel it is important to shave the area. Otherwise hair gets pressed to the surface of your skin during treatment. When the hair shaft is destroyed by the laser it can injure the surrounding skin. Shave a day prior to your appointment, so if you nick yourself, the area will not be bleeding during your procedure. Any method of hair removal such as waxing or tweezing will remove the deeper portions of the hair follicle which contain the "target pigmentation" and will render laser hair removal ineffective for at least two weeks. Either shaving or depilatory creams can be used up to the day of the laser treatment as they do not remove the entire hair shaft.

Mitchell Schwartz, MD
South Burlington Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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