Wax Before Laser Hair Removal Treatments?

Is it normal to be waxed right before laser hair removal treatment?  Does it make the follicle more receptive to the laser?  

Doctor Answers 20

Laser Hair Removal

Waxing should not be done prior to laser hair removal period. You should not wax for at least 4 weeks prior to your treatment.

Bay Area Dermatologist
3.9 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Waxing and Laser Hair Removal

I would definitely not wax before laser hair removal.  Waxing rips out the root of the hair and you need the root for the laser to be effective.  It is safe to shave directly before laser hair removal. Please consult an expert in laser hair removal for the best cosmetic results. Best, Dr. Green

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

Waxing Before Laser Hair Removal Treatments

You should not wax or tweeze for 3 weeks before laser hair removal. Waxing and tweezing removes the hair roots that are targeted by the laser. You should only shave before and between treatments.

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Waxing shouldn't be done before laser hair removal sessions

I generally advise that patients don’t wax, pluck or sugar before their treatment. Your hair follicle should be healthy, and these hair removal alternatives can cause damage which will make your unwanted hair less responsive to treatment.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Waxing NOT Recommended before Laser Hair Removal

Lasers for hair removal target the pigment in the hair follicle.  Since waxing and plucking remove the follicle, these procedures should NOT be performed before laser hair removal.  Skin that has been waxed or plucked will be less receptive to the laser treatment.  It is fine, and often recommended, to shave prior to your laser procedure.  Your laser hair provider should provide detailed pre and post procedure instructions.

Kent V. Hasen, MD
Naples Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Laser Hair Removal and waxing

Never wax. Never ever wax. Waxing can cause many problems to skin. There have been issues with cleanliness with waxing.
IPL is NOT a laser. It will not be effective for laser hair removal and it may burn the skin. 
Prior to laser hair removal, the root of the hair must be in tact.  The laser energy is looking for a chromophore or a target. The root of the hair is the target. if the hair is not shaved, some of the hair on the surface of the skin will absorb laser energy. 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

No Waxing Before Laser Hair Removal

In all the years that my office has practiced laser hair removal, we have always recommended all depilatory’s, waxing and tweezing stop before laser treatments start. You want the bulb of the hair follicle to be present when you are delivering the energy of the laser so that the hair doesn't return.  It will give you more effective, longer lasting results.

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Do not Wax Prior to Laser Hair Removal

The laser works best when it can identify the pigment in the follicle. Waxing pulls the hairs by the root from the skin which takes the pigment away from the follicle in turn leaves nothing for the laser to treat. For best results do not wax and/or stop waxing at least 2 weeks before laser treatment.Only shave either the night before or the morning of treatment.



Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Waxing before Laser Hair Removal

No, you should not wax for several weeks before laser hair removal.  The reason is that the laser is attracted to the dark pigment in the hair.  So, if the hair has already been removed through waxing, the laser will not have a "target" and will not be effective.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Waxing hair can interfere with laser hair removal

I have never heard of waxing being recommended prior to laser hair removal.  As others here have pointed out, it may removed the pigmented target of the laser.  Also, it can burn and irritate the skin, which the laser treatment can worsen.  I suggest doing what the majority recommends and shaving, not waxing, prior to treatment.

Daryl K. Hoffman, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 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.