Hello! I’m Cherie, and I work with Dr. Thomas Pane as his laser hair technician at Atlantic Coast Aesthetics’ Palm Beach Gardens location. Today, I’m answering a question we actually receive a lot about laser hair removal. The patient asks, “Should I shave every time I do laser hair removal?” This is a great question, because it’s a very common concern among patients.
The short answer is, yes. We recommend shaving with a clean, new razor no more than 24 hours before each laser hair removal session. To understand why this is, let’s take a quick look at how laser hair removal works.
Hair follicles each have their own growth cycle. In the initial phase of this cycle, the hair follicle produces melanin as part of the hair growth process, which is the same chemical which causes freckles and different skin colors. Laser hair removal treatments work by introducing strong doses of directed light into the skin, heating the hair follicles which are producing melanin at the time of treatment and destroying them. Because hair follicles are not all in the same growth cycle at the same time, multiple treatments are required to achieve maximum follicular destruction and check the growth of new hair.
The reason we recommend shaving the day before is to allow us to target the hair follicles beneath the skin, without the hair itself interfering. Shaving 24 hours before gives the skin time to recover from shaving before your appointment, which is helpful in preventing unnecessary or excessive irritation from the shaving action combined with the laser treatment itself.
We strongly do NOT recommend waxing or tweezing before your appointment. These depilatory treatments actually rip hair out by the follicles, which will interfere with our ability to properly target the follicles and catch them in their growth cycle. This can lead to less efficient hair removal and leave patients less than satisfied with the overall results. In addition, as with shaving, these can cause redness and irritation which may be intensified when combined with laser treatment and make the treatments less effective overall.
At ACA, we want all our patients to get the best possible outcome every time. That’s why we welcome your questions about anything relating to cosmetic surgery, including laser and other forms of hair removal and skin rejuvenation. Simply follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter; call us at (561) 422-4116; or email us through our Contact page. Your question might even be chosen as the focus of an upcoming answer session! Remember, at ACA, we believe the only bad question is the one you don’t ask!