Will I get a dark shadow or 5'o'clock shadow if I shave my face?

I have to shave my face for my laser hair removal procedure and I have dark skin and dark hair. I'm nervous to shave because I fear I will get a dark shadow along my jawline like a guy does after he shaves. Does this happen often? Are there ways to prevent it if it does?

Doctor Answers 2

Shaving face before LHR

It is essential to shave before LHR. The laser will be ineffective if you don't because it will not penetrate deep enough. Its energy will be absorbed by the superficial hair only (the hair above the skin surface), and not go down the shaft to the hair follicle. You don't have to worry about stimulating the hair by shaving. Shaving by females is a good way to exfoliate, similar to dermaplane.

Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Shaving Before Laser Hair

It is essential to shave the skin before laser hair removal.  Otherwise, the laser will just singe the hair and not burn the "root" of the hair and your removal will not be permanent.  You don't have to worry about a permanent "shadow".  Please consult an expert.  Best, Dr. Green

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

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.