Best Season to Get Your Hair Removed - Winter or Summer?

Doctor Answers 10

Least tan is best season

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Some lasers (ex. Alexandrite) specifically seek out the dark pigment in hair. These work well when the skin is light, because there is less risk of damaging the surrounding skin.

Other lasers (ex. Yag) do not have such an attraction for the pigment, and can therefore be used with slightly darker skin tones. These typically may be slightly less effective, and may require more sessions.

Bottom line: Your best bet is to avoid tanning if you are interested in laser hair removal. Of course tanning ages the skin prematurely anyway......but that's a whole other topic.

Hope this helps

Chris Peers MD

South Bend Facial Plastic Surgeon

Best season for hair removal is one with least sun exposure

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Laser hair removal depends on the laser seeing the difference between the color of the hair and the color of the skin.  The closer those are, the more difficult for the laser to tell the difference, and the more risk of complications.

The recommendations are no sun exposure for 4 weeks before and 2 weeks after laser hair removal.  In addition, no self-tanner, as that will also affect the laser's ability to see the hair follicule.

When the skin has more than its natural, untanned pigment, as in a tan or even self-tanner, the risk of a burn or scarring is much higher.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

No best season for laser hair removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

No one undergoing laser hair removal should get a tan in between the sessions because that will change the settings needed during the next treatment and increased energy can be deposited on the surface of the skin causing a problem. That said, there are many people who live in sunny climates year round and get laser hair removal. In the colder climates, people are more reluctant to ruin the nice days by having a treatment which can leave them spotted red for a few days

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Months that have LIMITED sun exposure are best...

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Many of our patients aren’t aware that the season or time of year is an important factor when deciding when to start laser hair removal so that is a fantastic question!

Winter and fall months are the best time to start and complete LHR. The less sun exposure, the better. We recommend 6 sessions for optimal results so keep that in mind when scheduling your appointments. You should space these sessions out so that you have approximately 4-8 weeks in between each.  If you are targeting the armpits, bikini line, or areas that aren’t exposed to sun, then it wouldn’t matter too much when you decided to follow through with LHR. 

It's important to be assessed by a professional either way to ensure you are the proper candidate for this. 

The best candidates for LHR have fair skin and dark hair. The laser needs to be able to detect the hairs so if you have grey, blonde, or red hair, LHR may not be the best option for you. You’ll also want to avoid tanning beds if you use them in the winter months.

Paul L. Leong, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

When To Get Laser Hair Removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Laser hair removal works best when there is contrast between the skin and hair, so untanned skin will be best. You also never want to have laser removal on sunburned skin and the more tan you are there is a higher chance you may have reactions with the laser. So the best time is when you will have the least amount of sun exposure on your skin. Always let your provider know if you have had recent sun exposure or sunburns prior to each treatment.

Laser hair Removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Laser Hair Removal can be done any time of the year based on what works best for your schedule. Be sure to follow the instructions given to you.

Michael Sullivan, MD
Columbus Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 112 reviews

Laser hair removal season doesn't matter: just avoid tanning.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Any tan on the area of treatment will not only increase the risks of burning and decrease the effective target for the laser, but will change the settings that should be used, and therefore increase the risks of problems even further. This means, in winter, going on a sunny vacation should be avoided, and in summer, getting any sun should be avoided, while the entire course of laser hair removal is still going on.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Laser hair removal anytime, as long as you are not tan

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Laser hair removal can be done anytime of the year-- as long as your skin is not too tan.  Hair removal lasers work by selectively targeting the dark pigment of the hair follicles, while avoiding the pigment of the skin.  This is why it works best when patients are fair skinned with dark hair.  If your skin tends to get tanned in the summer (which is a no-no anyways!), it is best to avoid hair removal lasers during that time of the year.  You are more likely to get complications such as redness and even blisters if your skin is tan.  My practice is in California, and it is sunny year round.  I tell my patients to avoid the sun about 1 month before treatment and during the duration of their treatment series.  The less tan you are, the better the laser will target the hair, and the better the results. Best of Luck!

-Dr. Mann

Margaret Mann, MD
Cleveland Dermatologic Surgeon

Winter and Spring are the best seasons to have laser hair removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Winter and Srpring are the best seasons to have laser hair removal, especially if you are treating an area that receives sun exposure.  Because the sun stimulates melanin production in your skin, thus tanning your skin, sun exposure is a major contraindication for laser hair removal.  This is due to the laser's affinity for dark color.  If you have laser hair removal when your skin is at its lightest, it minimizes the chances of any skin color changes and also allows the physician to treat you at the optimal setting for your skin type and hair characteristics.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Season for hair removal

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The seasonal timing of when you do your hair removal really doesnt matter.  For the first 48-72 hours after laser hair removal you need to protect from direct extended sun exposure to avoid pigment issues regardless of the season. Sunscreens with zinc will do well to protect and you can treat anytime.  For those wanting hair removal so that they will not have to shave for bikini lines, men's backs etc for the summer it is best to start your treatments at least 4-6 months before so that you will have optimal results come summer.

Shawn Allen, MD
Boulder Dermatologist

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.