Shaving After Laser Hair Removal: Do I Still Need to do That?

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that permanently removes hair from a specific area of the body. It uses light beams to damage the hair follicles, preventing future hair growth. It’s common to see sparse hairs between laser hair removal treatments. Here, we discuss whether specialists recommend shaving between laser hair removal appointments.

Key takeaways:
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    Laser hair removal works by using a beam of light to target the melanin in hair follicles. It then destroys the follicle to reduce or eliminate hair regrowth.
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    Laser hair removal works better on those with dark hair and lighter skin. This is because there is more contrast between the melanin in the hair and the melanin in the skin, which produces better results.
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    Laser hair removal specialists recommend shaving 24 hours before an appointment to maximize results.
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    Shaving after laser hair removal is also recommended and known as the best way to remove hair between appointments.

How does laser hair removal work?

Laser hair removal works by using a small beam of light, known as a laser, to target and damage the hair follicles. The laser only targets the hair follicle and will not damage the surrounding skin.

The laser then emits a wavelength of light absorbed by melanin in the hair follicle. As the melanin absorbs the laser energy, it causes heat, which permanently damages the hair follicles, specifically the cells responsible for hair growth. This will result in a significant reduction in hair growth or permanent hair loss.

Because hair growth occurs in cycles, not all hair follicles will be actively producing hair at the same time; therefore, it can be necessary to require more than one treatment for effective, permanent hair removal.

Does laser hair removal work for everyone?

Laser hair removal will work differently for each person. The laser is more effective for those with darker hair, while those with light or blonde hair will be less responsive to treatments. The ideal candidate for laser hair removal is someone with light to medium skin tones and dark hair because the laser can selectively target hair without damaging the surrounding skin.

Laser hair removal works differently for each individual, and advancements in technology are always changing and providing better results throughout the years.

The benefits of laser hair removal

There are several benefits to laser hair removal for individuals looking to remove unwanted hair.

  • Long-term hair reduction. Laser hair removal provides lasting results for hair reduction. Although the results may vary, most people notice a significant decrease in hair.
  • No skin damage. Laser hair removal targets hair follicles only and does not damage the skin around the hair. This reduces the risk of skin damage, such as burns, skin breakdown, or bleeding.
  • Versatility. Laser hair removal can be performed on almost any area of the body, including the face, arms, legs, underarms, bikini area, back, and chest. It can even work on small areas around the face and neck.
  • Time. Laser hair removal is a quick procedure that can cover a large area in a short time and lasts much longer than other hair removal methods.
  • Reduction in ingrown hairs. Because laser hair removal destroys the hair follicle, it can help prevent ingrown hairs, whereas other methods can cause ingrown hairs.
  • Cost-effective. Laser hair removal can be more cost-effective over time than other hair removal methods. Although the initial investment is generally higher, long-term hair reduction means fewer visits for other treatment methods.

Cost of laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is typically priced per session or as a package deal. On average, you can expect to pay around $200 to $500 per session, depending on the treatment area size, the location, and the experience level of the medically-trained professional.

People typically have laser hair removal treatments anywhere from four to eight times, depending on their hair color. The cost can go up if more appointments are needed.

How long to wait between shaving and laser hair removal

Unlike other hair removal procedures, specialists recommend shaving 24 hours before a laser hair removal appointment.

The hair follicles should not be damaged or disrupted; therefore, it is not recommended that you pluck or wax before or between laser hair removal treatments.

Another important note is to avoid sun exposure before a laser hair removal treatment. This is because tanning will increase the melanin around the hair and can affect the quality of the laser treatment.

Shaving after laser hair removal

It is recommended that shaving be the preferred method of hair removal between treatments as shaving is less likely to cause damage to the hair follicles like waxing and plucking can.

Shaving can be used to provide a clean and hair-free aesthetic between treatments. It can help the hair removal specialist identify regrowth patterns, which can help you understand the best time between treatments.

Each hair removal specialist may have different guidelines, so it’s essential to check their recommendations before shaving between appointments.

Best products to use after laser hair removal

After laser hair removal, it's important to take care of your skin to promote healing and minimize potential side effects. Be sure to use mild, gentle products on the skin to avoid irritation. Some great, gentile products are:

  • Aloe vera gel
  • Scent-free moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Mild cleanser
  • Gentile exfoliation, such as a warm sponge or loofa
  • Cold compress

What to expect after laser hair removal

After having a laser hair removal treatment, it’s normal to experience some temporary effects in the treated area.

  • Redness and irritation. The treated area may appear slightly red or pink and can be irritated immediately after the procedure. This is normal and will subside within a few hours to a few days.
  • Sensitivity. The treated area may be sensitive to touch or when clothing touches the area. It is recommended to avoid excessive heat and sweating, hot showers and saunas, or activities that can cause rubbing after treatments.
  • Swelling. Some mild swelling or puffiness is normal to see after laser hair removal treatments and will resolve within a few days.
  • Changes in hair growth. As the hair follicles are now damaged or destroyed, you should expect to reduce hair growth gradually. This can vary from person to person.
  • Shedding of hair loss. You may notice hair shedding within a week or two after laser hair removal treatments. This is normal and indicates the hair follicles are being affected by the treatment. Do not pluck or pick at these hairs and let them fall out naturally.
  • Sun sensitivity. The treated area can be more sensitive to sunlight, so applying sunscreen to the area and wearing proper, protective clothing to avoid sun damage is recommended.

Laser hair removal is an effective way to remove hair from unwanted areas and eliminate the side effects of other hair removal treatments. It can be cost-effective in the long run and help to reduce visits to a hair removal specialist. Shaving is recommended before treatment but no later than 24 hours to reduce the risk of side effects. It’s always a good idea to book a consultation before treatment to determine if laser hair removal is right for you.


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