Here’s Why You Should ALWAYS Shave Before Laser Hair Removal

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Here’s Why You Should ALWAYS Shave Before Laser Hair Removal Here’s Why You Should ALWAYS Shave Before Laser Hair Removal

One of the reasons laser hair removal is so compelling? The thought of never shaving again. 🤩🤩🤩


Yes, laser hair removal can make that dream a reality. But you should know: it’s CRUCIAL to keep on shaving for a little bit longer in preparation for each laser hair removal treatment.


Laser hair removal requires the skin to be hair-free for treatment, to avoid burning the skin. But it also requires the hair follicle to be intact, to allow the lasers to target and destroy it. Shaving before laser hair removal helps reduce pain, improve safety, and make treatment more effective overall.


Here’s everything you need to know about shaving before laser hair removal.


When to Shave Before Your Appointment

Plan on shaving 24-48 hours before your laser hair removal appointment, or as directed by your clinic.


Longer than that, and you risk the hair growing back – any shorter, and your skin might be red and irritated right before treatment.


We’d also recommend shaving in the weeks leading up to your appointment, too. Keeping your hair follicles intact in time for your next laser hair removal is a must for best results – waxing, epilating, tweezing, or utilizing other hair removal methods that remove hair at the root could mess up the timing. 

Why Shave Beforehand?

Shaving removes hair at the surface of the skin while leaving the hair follicle intact. This is necessary for effective laser hair removal treatment.


Lasers target the contrasting melanin in hair follicles. When hair is only present under your skin, the laser bypasses your skin straight to the hair follicles beneath. It typically feels like a rubber band snap – a jolt of pain, but typically without any burns or skin damage.


If hair is present on the surface of the skin, the laser will zap it, which can cause serious and painful burns on the skin.


If hair isn’t present underneath the surface, the laser won’t be able to damage hair follicles and inhibit future hair growth.


Laser hair removal isn’t without its risks, but proper preparation including shaving can reduce the risk of irritation and burns and make treatment more effective.

How to Shave Properly

If you’ve been shaving since you were a tween, you’re probably good here: there’s no real need to change up your shaving routine or do anything super different than you’re used to. 


But avoiding irritation and razor bumps is especially important in preparation for laser hair removal, since your technician may not be able to treat broken or irritated skin. As a refresher, here are a few shaving best practices:

  • Use a fresh, clean razor.
  • Use shaving cream.
  • Consider upgrading to an electric razor like the 4D Shaver for an especially close shave.
  • Moisturize immediately following with a soothing lotion like Aloe Coco Body Lotion.
  • Exfoliate gently to remove dead skin cells, before shaving and in between shaves.

Avoid Other Hair Removal Methods

When it comes to hair removal, our attitude is usually… you do youDon’t feel like shaving? Don’t do it. Prefer waxing, tweezing, or epilating? Go for it. Sick of removing body hair? Let it grow.


But if you’re getting laser hair removal done, shaving is a non-negotiable. 


Using the wrong hair removal method beforehand is one of the biggest laser hair removal mistakes you can make.


So, in preparation for laser and between sessions, avoid waxing, epilating, tweezing, sugaring, threading, and any other method that removes hair at the root. (It’s for your own good – if the hair follicle isn’t intact when you show up to your appointment, laser hair removal treatment is a waste of your time and money!)


Note: If you really can’t shave, depilatory creams may be a suitable alternative, since they also only remove hair from the skin and leave the hair follicle intact. Ask your laser hair removal technician.


What If You Forget to Shave?

Hey, it happens! 


Some providers will shave any excess hair before starting treatment. (Note that this may add additional time and $$ to your appointment – it might be worth it in a pinch, but you may as well plan on shaving beforehand whenever you’re able.)


In other cases, the technician may ask you to reschedule your appointment.

Pain-Free Alternative to Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal offers great results – but even when you shave beforehand and practice proper laser hair removal prep, it’s painful. It also comes at a significant cost. According to the latest 2022 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of laser skin treatments like laser hair removal is $582. What’s more, it takes 4-10 sessions and up to a year to see full results.


IPL handsets like Lumi make a great pain-free, low-cost alternative to laser hair removal. Like laser hair removal, they use light technology to get rid of unwanted body hair for good. However, IPL uses broad-spectrum light pulses to target larger areas at once, making treatment way less painful, more efficient, and safe to do on your own at home.


The Lumi Permanent Hair Removal Device costs $229. It lasts up to 30 years and works on just about any body part. You’ll see noticeable results in 3-4 weeks and full results in 8-12 weeks. Like laser, you’ll need to shave beforehand to prep your skin for IPL permanent hair removal… but after a full treatment regimen, shaving will be a thing of the past! 🌹