Can I Opt to Wax Instead of Shave when Going Through Laser Hair Removal Treatment?

I had 6 sessions of laser hair removal last year, where I shaved the areas that were to be treated. I am due to have another course of 6, but the shaving made this worse in certain areas last time. I understand that the laser needs the pigment of the hair in order to work effectively, but my hair grows back so quickly (around a week after waxing), so this time round I would like to wax a week prior to my treatments instead of shave. Is this dangerous?

Doctor Answers 5

Waxing vs Shaving during LHR treatment

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Thank you for your question. Although it is not dangerous to wax, you will not see the best results. You will not benefit from hair removal as much if you are waxing.  Waxing interferes with the stages of hair growth and this will make it more difficult to permanently reduce your hair concentration. Only shaving of the hair will not cause a problem during your laser treatments. Be certain that you do not have any hormonal abnormalities such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, which your doctor can assess. Make certain you are being supervised by a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon during your series for best results and safe treatments. I hope this helps.

You should only shave and not wax in between laser hair treatments

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If you wax in between treatments you are pulling out the hair by the root. You need that root for the laser to zap it and your laser hair removal to be permanent.  Otherwise, you are wasting your time and money.

Laser Hair Removal and Waxing

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No, you should not wax of tweeze while receiving the laser hair removal treatments. The laser targets the pigment in the hair follicle therefore; any procedure that removes the hair follicle will decrease the success of Laser.

Laser hair removal and avoidance of waxing

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You require pigmented hair in the hair follicle for laser hair removal to be effective.  Shave, do not wax, before your treatment or it will be a wasted treatment.

Martie Gidon, MD, FRCPC
Toronto Dermatologist

No waxing before laser hair removal

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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. Prior to laser treatment, it is important to shave the area. Otherwise hair gets pressed to the surface of your skin. 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.

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.