Should You Shave Before Laser Hair Removal?


Should You Shave Before Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a popular cosmetic procedure amongst both men and women as it has the ability to reduce hair growth permanently. Laser hair removal targets and destroys hair follicles with laser energy, perfect for those who are looking to reduce hair in the long run. We often get asked by clients, if they should shave before their laser hair removal appointment…

First, it would be important to understand how laser hair removal works. The procedure works by emitting a specific wavelength of light that is absorbed by the pigment in the hair, called melanin. The light energy is then converted to heat, which damages the hair follicle, achieving permanent hair reduction. For the treatment to be most effective, the laser needs a specific, precise target. The hair in the follicle acts as a conduit, allowing the laser’s energy to reach and destroy the follicle. Therefore, shaving before the laser hair removal treatment is actually a crucial step in the preparation process as it removes hair above the skin’s surface, ensuring that the laser’s energy is targeted towards the hair follicles beneath the skin accurately. If the laser targets the pigment in the hair shaft instead, it will likely burn the hair which could cause a little more discomfort. Moreover, unshaved hairs may result in a less efficient treatment because the laser energy is absorbed by the hair way above the skin, preventing it from reaching the follicle straight away.

Whilst shaving before the laser treatment is a crucial step to achieve optimal results, we don’t recommend shaving too close to the time of the treatment. We recommend shaving about 24-48 hours before the treatment, so it’s close enough for a slight stubble to remain, which can help the laser to effectively target the hair follicles without the risk of burning the long hair above the skin surface. However, we do not recommend shaving too close to your laser hair removal appointment either, as shaving will likely increase the risk of skin irritation from the laser, which for some people, could feel a little more uncomfortable.

Before your laser hair removal appointment, use a clean, sharp razor and carefully shave to avoid any nicks or irritation. You could also consider using a gentle shaving cream or gel to protect your skin. After shaving, it would be beneficial to moisturise your skin, but make sure not to use any products that may irritate your skin. Shaving is a necessary step in preparing for laser hair removal treatment, do not wax or pluck your hair at least 4 weeks before the treatment, as these methods remove the hair from the root, leaving no pigment target for the laser.

Contact us to book a free consultation, we will explain everything you need to know in detail and answer any questions you may have about our laser hair removal treatment.

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