Why Shave Before Laser Hair Removal?

Why Shave Before Laser Hair Removal featured photo

Going hairless is becoming more and more popular. Many turn to various methods like shaving, waxing, plucking, and even the popular hair removal method of laser hair removal. Many get confused and ask, “Why shave before laser hair removal?”.

You should be shaving before your laser hair removal treatment schedule as this will increase the efficiency of the treatment. Having shorter hair in the treatment area will lessen the distance the lasers will have to travel to destroy the hair follicles. Additionally, it will also help decrease the risks of burning your skin.

Of course, your number one source of information will always be your healthcare provider. This is why consultation should always be the first step in any cosmetic treatment or procedure. This will let you know what to expect and how you could help maximize each session.

Below, we’ll go over everything you need to know about shaving before (and after) your laser treatment procedure. We’ll also walk you through when and why you should be doing this.

What is Laser Hair Removal?

Suppose you prefer to go hairless and find yourself shaving, waxing, plucking, epilating, and more to remove unwanted hair in several parts of your body. In that case, you will enjoy all the benefits laser hair removal treatments offer.

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that removes unwanted hair. It offers longer-lasting results than most hair removal methods like shaving, waxing, or plucking.

Laser hair removal treatments use pulses of laser light to kill and destroy the hair follicle in the treatment area. The emitted light kills the follicles, preventing hair from growing back at its regular rate.

The hair’s pigment or melanin absorbs the laser light energy. Where there is pigment or melanin from the hair follicles, laser hair removal can delay hair growth.

Should I Shave Before My Laser Hair Removal Appointment?

Laser hair removal treatments are a popular cosmetic procedure across the country. And it doesn’t come as a surprise as it is an effective and safe alternative to remove unwanted hair growth.

Still, many of those who decide or are deciding to go through with it are confused and asking if shaving before their treatment is necessary.

The answer is yes, you should shave prior to your laser hair removal treatment to maximize the results from your session and make it much safer for you as well.

Why Shave Before Laser Hair Removal?

Part of many patients’ confusion stems from the question of why shaving before a laser hair removal session is essential.

During a laser hair removal procedure, the laser will seek out and locate the hair follicles of the target treatment area. The energy from the laser lights will travel the length of the hair from the ends to the roots of the follicle.

Shaving the area just above the surface of the skin lessens the distance the lasers will have to travel to get to the follicles and destroy them. The lesser the distance traveled, the more effective the procedure is.

Additionally, shaving the hair down to the skin’s surface would reduce the risks of the laser lights burning the surrounding skin.

Because remember, if the hair is too long above the skin’s surface, it will have a long distance to travel to reach the hair follicles. And this will attack the closest source of melanin or pigment – your skin.

Attacking the skin would also mean less energy travels to where it needs to – to the hair follicles. This could decrease the effectiveness of the treatment altogether.

If the hair on the treatment area is shaved short enough, the light travels fast, increasing efficiency and reducing the risks of pain and skin burning.

When Should I Shave Before My Laser Hair Removal?

Now the next important question is when should patients shave before their laser hair removal treatment.

You should shave about 24 hours before your scheduled laser hair removal treatment. This gives your skin enough time to recuperate and recover, so it’s ready for the laser treatment.

When you shave, the razor may lift a part of the skin’s topmost layer. This means your skin becomes fragile and could result in damage or increased pain during the treatment. This could be dangerous and is a considerable risk for you.

Having that 24-hour gap between shaving and your laser treatment will give your freshly-shaved skin time to heal and develop a new layer of skin on top, reducing skin sensitivity.

This is also the reason why you should never shave your treatment area right before your laser treatment session.

Tips for Shaving Before Laser Hair Removal Treatment

  • Shave at least 24 hours before your laser hair removal treatment schedule.
  • Never shave on the day of or right before your treatment schedule.
  • Use a new or at least newer razor for clean and sharp blades.
  • Utilize a shaving foam to keep your skin moisturized while shaving.
  • When shaving, don’t use too much pressure on the razor to prevent any more unnecessary skin sensitivities. Glide the razor lightly on your skin.

What Happens If You Don’t Shave Before Laser Hair Removal?

Shaving before undergoing laser hair removal treatment is highly recommended and for very good reasons.

If you don’t, you may not maximize the effects of the treatment and the money you paid for it. Moreover, you might be risking increased pain during the treatment and burning the treatment area. This can be painful and may take a few days for it to completely heal up.

Can I Wax or Pluck Before Laser Hair Removal Treatment Instead?

Do not wax or pluck before your treatment schedule. Both these hair removal methods will remove hair follicles. And as we’ve discussed above, laser light treatments seek out and target follicles to delay hair growth.

Without the follicles, there is nothing to catch the laser lights. For the best results, stick to shaving.

Can I Shave After Laser Hair Removal?

Yes, you can definitely shave after your laser hair removal treatment. In fact, it is recommended to shave in between your appointments, especially before your next one is scheduled.

How Long After Laser Hair Removal Can I Shave?

While you can shave after your treatment schedule, you should wait and not do it immediately after.

Typically, you should wait at least three to four days after the treatment before you think about shaving. This gives the treatment area enough time to heal and recover so it’s not too sensitive. Waiting before shaving will reduce the risks of irritation and further sensitivities.

Some would also suggest that you wait until shedding of the hair on the treatment area occurs. This would typically happen in a few days after treatment.

Regardless, make sure you don’t shave too soon, especially when the treatment area is still sensitive to the touch.


Laser hair removal sessions are popular across the country thanks to their efficiency and safety in getting rid of unwanted body hair. Though many are getting these treatments, many still get confused about whether they should be shaving before the scheduled treatments or not.

It’s recommended that you shave about 24 hours before your scheduled laser hair removal treatment. Shaving is recommended before your treatment because it will lessen the distance the laser light beams will travel to destroy the hair follicles. Additionally, shaving will reduce the risks of pain during the treatment and the risks of burning the surrounding skin.

And that was our detailed answer to the query, “Why shave before laser hair removal?”. You can hit us up below if you have more questions you’d like us to address!

Michelle Jackson
Michelle Jackson