Should I Shave Before Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is one of the most effective ways of getting rid of unwanted body hair as it kills hair at the follicle, preventing the hair growing back in the future.

This means that you don’t have to carry on shaving, waxing, or threading your body hair for the long term, and it removes the risk of irritation by ingrown hairs on the laser treatment area.

However, laser hair removal treatment is a cosmetic procedure and therefore requires more planning and care than any of the above hair removal methods do. Making sure you are prepared for your appointment in advance is important to ensure you receive a safe and effective treatment.  

How should I prepare for my appointment?

First things first, you should attend a consultation with one of our fully trained and experienced team members to discuss whether laser hair removal is the best option for your goals/budget. They’ll discuss laser hair removal cost, answer any questions you have and talk you through the process.

If you wish to proceed with the procedure, then we will carry out an initial patch test. This is to identify the most effective laser hair removal method for your hair and skin tone in each treatment area. It also allows you to see if you will have any reactions or side effects to the treatment without undergoing the full procedure.

The consultation and patch test are free of charge at The Beauty Barn, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are considering laser hair removal in Liverpool.  

When we see the patch test results come back clear, then it’s time for you to prepare for your first session!

How long before my laser hair removal appointment should I shave?

One of the most important things you can do to get ready for your appointment is shave the treatment area no less than 24 hours before your appointment date. 

Shaving before laser hair removal is important because the hair needs to be the right length for the laser to treat it effectively. The follicle must also be intact and plucking or waxing can often damage the follicle and leaving a poor environment for the laser to treat.

The skin must also be clean, dry, and free of skincare products like oils and moisturisers. We recommend exfoliating to ensure the area is clean, especially after four or five days from your appointments to rid the area of treated hair.   

One thing you must make sure to avoid is sun exposure. There are a few reasons behind this, tanning your skin increases the melanin levels in your skin which can affect how the skin reacts to the laser.

As well as this, exposure to sunlight can cause inflammation in the skin which means no more heat can be applied until the inflammation has faded. Sun burns are even worse and mean you will have to wait for the area to completely heal before treatment. 

This also applies to fake tan on top of natural sun exposure, so be sure to keep your skin clear of any self-tanning products and the residue that they can leave behind before your appointments.

Is it bad to shave right before laser hair removal?

There are a few reasons why shaving immediately before your laser hair removal appointment is a bad idea.

First, the way that laser hair removal works is by heating the hair to cause damage to the hair follicle, destroying the cell at the stem and preventing hair growth in the treatment area in the future.

Therefore, if you shave less than 24 hours before your scheduled appointment then there won’t be enough hair present to burn, and this can cause irritation to the treatment area.

When shaving, if you press down hard enough with the razor blade then small layers of skin will be stripped away. If this skin doesn’t have enough time to heal then it can be sensitive during the procedure which will result in irritation. We recommend using a safety razor to minimise the grazing of the skin.

On top of this, the act of shaving removes oils from the skins surface and leaves it dry. Dry skin during laser hair treatment can lead to itchy, irritated skin. This is another reason why you should leave 24 hours between shaving and your appointment, and you should also take care to use shaving cream or shaving gel to keep the skin on the treatment area moisturised.

Conversely though, if you shave more than 24 hours before your appointment and the hair is too long then the hair can be burnt, singing your skin in the process. It can also make it tricky for the laser to precisely target the hair follicles if the hair is too long. 

Because it will require multiple appointments to completely eradicate unwanted hair, and to give you an idea of the time between laser hair removal sessions we suggest 4-8 weeks. it is also recommended to shave 24 hours before each of your appointments, not just the first one.

You will find the hair that regrows between appointments will be finer and sparser compared to before treatment. This is great news, but you should still keep shaving 24 hours before your appointments for the best treatment success. 

Can you wax before laser hair removal?

Because there needs to be hair present for the laser to target, we do not recommend waxing, epilating, or any other hair removal method other than shaving in the lead up to your appointment. 

Each of these hair removal methods gets rid of hair at the root, leaving nothing to be destroyed by the laser.

By shaving 24 hours before your appointment, you promote just enough hair growth for laser hair removal to work while reducing the chance that the hair will have grown back too much to pose a risk of irritation.

waxing before laser hair removal

Speak with our laser hair removal professionals for free

If you think laser hair treatment may be the hair removal method for you but you still have some questions about the procedure, then please get in touch through the form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

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