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Should You Shave Before Laser Hair Removal? (Detail Guide)

July 30, 2023
7 minutes

Do you sometimes feel as though shaving is a burdensome part of your skincare routine? or do you feel like you are being forced to get rid of hair from those areas that require taking off hair? Or maybe you feel hair removal is too repetitive and boring to keep up with.

Well, let’s get to it, almost everyone has felt this way before and so you are not alone. It is a pain point itself to always think of the necessary items to purchase for shaving let alone standing or sitting for minutes to do the actual shaving.

Let’s cut to the chase, hair removal is one topic many would not easily embrace as it sometimes feels like a herculean task. But thanks to advancement in technology that has helped simplify the whole process.

Now with several options available, you do not have to rack your head for how to go about hair removal. Permit us to say that the process of hair removal has become so easy and enjoyable. Perhaps, you are not doing something right during your hair removal routine and this makes you shrug off anything that has to do with shaving or hair removal . But then, it doesn’t have to be that way, we can help you.

So, if we have to reiterate this for clarity, several amazing hair removal options are available to ease the whole process of hair removal.

So, in this article, we discuss a frequently asked question of whether you should shave before having laser hair removal. However, before then, we give a refresher on the different types of hair removal there are, and discuss briefly on shaving and laser hair removal. Also, we touch on the pros and cons of laser hair removal. In the latter part of the article, we discuss what happens when you don’t shave before having laser hair removal therapy.

Hair removal methods

methods Away from the traditional means of getting rid of hair, there have been several types of hair removal methods that could help achieve the same task. While this age-long practice of hair removal is still very much in use, however, technology has helped simplify the whole process. Now you do not have to struggle or get tensed to get a hair removal treatment.

Here are 10 different hair removal methods you can choose from; Shaving, waxing, plucking , electrolysis, laser, epilator, chemical depilatory, intense pulsed light ( IPL ), and hair removal creams. Even better, there is a special option that lets you remove your hair long-lastingly so, you don’t have to bother about removing hair every other day.

It is worthy of note that these hair removal methods have their pros and cons so, each comes with its side effect. You have to find one that suits your type of hair and the sensitivity of your skin too. Amongst these methods listed, two methods are examined for this article, the shaving method and the laser hair removal method.


shaving The shaving hair removal method is one in which hair is removed by using a razor or a type of blade. There are two types of shaving instruments, the shaving razor and the electric shavers.

However, the most common tool is the shaving razor. Well, you could attribute its usage to its availability. Walk into any store and you can pick up one at the skincare section. Also, its lightweight and ease of use make it a go-to option for most people.

While there is no particular time to shave, however, we suggest that you shave immediately after having your shower. This is because your skin pore is moisturized and would be dilated and blood flow to the skin is at its optimum thus making it easier for you to remove hair without any hitch. However, if you choose to shave at other times of the day that is not shower time, you may want to consider a form of shaving called wet shaving to help ease the process.

On the other hand, not everyone loves the idea of having moist skin before shaving. So, if you fall into this category, an option is available for you too – dry shaving. Overall, you need to consider some other factors before you decide on the type of shaving you would stick with for your hair removal routine.

Laser hair removal

laser Just as with every other type of hair removal treatment, the main aim of laser hair removal is to get rid of unwanted hairs in different areas of the body including the face, chin, upper lip, armpits, back, bikini line, and legs. The laser light concentrates a certain amount of light beam (also known as laser) to get rid of unwanted hair.

What happens during the laser hair removal procedure is that the light emitted from a laser is absorbed by the pigment (melanin) present in the hair. Now, this light energy is transformed and then converted to another form of energy, heat, which then impairs and damages the hair follicles the tube-shaped sacs that is within the skin (hair follicles) responsible for producing hairs. The result of the damage is seen in the inhibition or delay of hair growth.

Although this hair inhibition is only temporal, however, it is agreeable that is very effective, especially for people who do not like to shave frequently. If you need a long-lasting solution, then you would need to schedule multiple laser hair removal treatment appointments. In addition, you may need to also schedule maintenance treatments alongside the laser treatment.

Although the laser hair treatment is suitable for all skin types, it is mostly suited for those who are light-skinned but have dark hair. As a note, you should consider your hair and skin color before considering it as a hair removal option. If you are dark skin or are unsure of the category you fall into, then be sure to check with a dermatologist to know what treatment plan is suitable for you. Just in case you consider this hair removal treatment option, here are some do’s and don’ts to acknowledge:

Do’s and don’ts of laser hair removal

Do’s of laser hair removal

  • Lighten your skin


Usually, your doctor would advise that you avoid using sunless creams that may tan your skin and then recommend you to use a skin-lightening or bleaching cream (if you do not use one already) to eliminate any skin tan present before the procedure. This is because laser hair removal is mostly suitable for light skin as the laser beam can easily penetrate skin having a lower concentration of melanin than one having a higher concentration.

  • Apply sunscreen daily

It is advised that you apply sunscreen daily to help prevent the sun rays from interacting with your skin. When purchasing sunscreen, be sure to look out for one with a broad spectrum of about SPF30 or higher. This should be done before and after the procedure and used continuously for at least 6 weeks to help protect your skin.

  • Shave treatment area

This is a controversial aspect that this article aims to address in the next section. However, many studies suggest that trimming and/or shaving before laser treatment is helpful as it helps eliminate the hair on the surface that may cause skin damage from burnt hairs.

Don’ts of laser hair removal

  • Avoid other hair removal options

The tricky part of laser hair removal is that some studies suggest that you should trim or shave before the laser procedure. However, these are some forms of hair removal options. We like to state that you should avoid some types of hair removal such as waxing, plucking, and electrolysis which are capable of interrupting the hair follicle. Try to avoid these hair removal methods at least 30 days before your laser procedure.

  • Stay off blood-thinning medications

Some types of medications including aspirin and some anti-inflammatory drugs aids blood clot and this may disturb the hair follicles and cause problems during the procedure. so, you should check in with your doctor to know the type of drugs to avoid before going for the procedure.

  • Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight

Before, during, and after your laser treatment, you should avoid sunlight on your skin (if possible) to reduce sunburns or skin tanning. This makes it easier for the treatment to penetrate the skin to destroy the hair follicles that produce the hair.

Having given a refresher on the two major types of hair removal methods that make up laser hair removal, now we seek to answer the big question of whether you should shave before going for a laser hair removal treatment.

Should you shave before laser hair removal?

shaving The notion of shaving or not shaving before a laser hair removal treatment is a controversial one. Albeit, it is compulsory to shave at least 24 hours before your laser hair removal procedure. This is because when the pigment present in your hair absorbs the laser beam, the resulting heat moves through the hair into the follicles. So, shaved hair allows for effective laser treatment without any after-treatment burn.

While you shave, it is important to also state that you shave many hours say, 24 to 48 hours before your laser hair removal appointment. This is because shaving exposes the layers of your skin as you get the hair off the place. So, shaving too close to the time of your laser appointment leaves you at a higher risk of the ineffectiveness of the whole procedure or even a blood infection if there is any razor cut from shaving. Shaving 24 hours or more (and avoiding dry shaving) before the procedure helps to prevent any accidental cuts, bruises, or tiny razor marks, and peradventure there are any, it allows the skin time to heal before the laser treatment.

What happens when you don’t shave before hair removal?

Just before you decide not to shave before your laser hair removal appointment, here is what happens; the unshaved hair on the surface of your skin will absorb the heat energy that was supposed to penetrate and cause damage to the hair follicle underneath your skin and burn your hair. In turn, these burns leave your skin with scars and marks.

In the case where you dry-shave before your procedure, your skin may be prone to heightened sensitivity and irritation. On the extreme, you may experience adverse reactions and feel super sensitive during the laser procedure.


Laser hair removal treatment is a highly recommended hair removal method provided you have the money for it and adhere to the instructions that come with it. However, if this procedure seems too expensive or uncomfortable for you, please feel free to explore other hair removal options that may be best suited for you. Remember, getting rid of unwanted hair is vital for having healthy skin so, be sure to choose the best hair removal method to achieve this.

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