Top 12 Tips on What to Do Before and After Laser Hair Removal

A step-by-step guide on what to do before/after laser hair removal is in our article. Explore it and find out how to make your epilation more effective and safe.

Are you new to laser hair removal, or did your last session cause discomfort? Either way, you should find out what to do before engaging in laser hair removal. Otherwise, you may have to hide not only hair but burns or other side effects of the procedure under your clothes.

We have explored many sources, read the most frequently asked questions, and collected answers to the following:

Let’s get started with the tips!

💡 Note:
Do you know that laser hair removal is possible even at home? Explore our article and find the seven best laser hair removal devices and a guide to choosing them.

What Is Laser Hair Removal?

Laser hair removal is a non-invasive medical procedure that uses a concentrated beam of light, also called a laser, to eliminate unwanted hair. Now let’s see how it works:

  • The laser penetrates the epidermis to the hair follicles, which regulate hair growth.
  • The laser energy is absorbed by melanin, which protects the skin’s DNA from the harmful effects of sunlight.
  • The laser energy turns into heat and damages the hair follicles.
  • Damaged hair follicles die off and can no longer regulate hair growth.
The process of hair removal using laser treatment

Now let’s get acquainted with its efficiency. In a recent study, 948 patients took part, of which 574 received 3–16 treatments on different body parts – breasts, abdomen, back, face, lower and upper limbs, and bikini area. As a result, 74% of patients experienced 75–100% hair elimination [1].

Laser hair removal is an effective way to eliminate unwanted hair for every three out of four patients [according to clinical studies].
In 2010, a study was conducted which involved 22 people. The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of laser hair removal at home using IPL devices. Participants did two treatments a week for two weeks and then took a break for a week. As a result, after a month of treatment, 78% efficiency of hair removal without negative consequences was noted, and after three months 72%. Therefore, IPL devices for laser hair removal are an effective and safe method of treatment at home [2].

How Many Sessions Do I Need to Achieve Results?

Laser hair removal requires several treatments to achieve maximum effect. According to one of the studies described earlier, a different number of patients reported various hair removal efficiencies depending on the body part and the number of procedures.

With more than three procedures, the following number of patients noted 75-100% effectiveness of the procedure:

  • On the axilla, 98% of patients
  • In the bikini area, 82% of patients
  • On the lower and upper limbs, 79% of patients [1]

Laser hair removal on the face and abdomen showed 66% and 62% effectiveness after three treatments. However, after five sessions, patients noted 75-100% effectiveness in the following areas:

  • On the face, 79% of patients
  • On the chest, 80% of patients [1]

It is worth noting that up to 70% of the results of laser hair removal can last at least one year [3].

Hair removal on the axilla, bikini area, and lower and upper limbs requires a minimum of three treatments. A minimum of 5 sessions are required to remove facial and chest hair.

Dos and Don’ts Before Laser Hair Removal

 What to do before a laser hair removal

Laser hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that can cause both positive and negative results. Therefore, you should know about dos and don’ts before laser hair removal, as they will help you avoid the negative consequences of the procedure and increase efficiency.

In addition, you should also visit your doctor to know whether you can attend this procedure. Only a medical professional can give an objective verdict.

💡 Note:
After consulting your doctor and reading our tips, you can consider removing hair even at home. JOVS devices use IPL, which is a completely safe and effective laser hair removal method.

Avoid Alcohol and Coffee

Avoid Alcohol and Coffee

Alcohol and coffee are diuretic products. Therefore, after two cups of coffee or two glasses of beer, you go to the restroom more often than after two glasses of water. This, in turn, will lead to skin dehydration.

You may experience soreness due to dehydrated skin during laser hair removal because the body will lose the layer of fluid that protects the skin from cracks and burns. Therefore, we do not recommend drinking coffee and alcohol the day before a laser therapy session.

☝️ Tip:
Dehydrated skin does not stop producing oil for hydration. Therefore, if you apply too many moisturizers, the pores can become clogged and cause acne. However, you can eliminate them effectively, as blue light therapy devices are used to deal with these problems.

Avoid Treatment After Dermal Fillers or Botox

Avoid Treatment After Dermal Fillers or Botox

You should wait about ten days after Botox injections, as swelling or bruising may occur after the procedure. Because of heat from the laser beam, they may increase and take longer to recover.

As for dermal fillers, you should also refrain from laser hair removal for two weeks after them. This procedure concentrates the body’s moisture in one place, and the laser can reduce the amount of water and worsen the procedure’s effectiveness.

Avoid Sun Exposure

Avoid Sun Exposure

You should wait two weeks after tanning or tanning beds as your skin will be more at risk of re-burning. Melanin is released when tanning to protect your skin from UV rays. Laser hair removal will also stimulate the skin to release melanin to protect it from the beam, which can eventually lead to dark spots.

💡 Note:
If you are experiencing dark spots, you should consider LED light treatment. You can even do this at home with the LightStim device, which is based on this technology and is reviewed in our article.

Clean Your Skin

 laser hair removal

Before laser hair removal, you should shower to remove any remaining skin, skin care products, deodorant, or lotions. They can interfere with the laser, so it will not reach the hair follicles, and its effectiveness will be much lower.

No Waxing! Only Shaving!

Only Shaving!

You should not wax for six weeks before treatment. This procedure removes the hair from the root, so laser hair removal cannot affect the hair follicle to destroy it and prevent growth.

In this case, you need to shave the treatment area. It is necessary because you will reduce the number of hairs when shaving that could interfere with the laser. You should do this two days before the procedure, so that the irritation will be over by then.

Use Only Permitted Medications

Use Only Permitted Medications

Some medications can increase sensitivity to laser treatments. It can lead to undesirable consequences such as redness or burns. Therefore, you should refrain from taking these drugs or postpone laser hair removal until the end of treatment [6].

Drug typeName of the drug
Acne medicationAccutaneRetin-A
Anticancer drugsFluoroplexDTIC Dome
Cardiac medicationsVasotecCardizem

Use Right Skin Products

Use Right Skin Products

Scrubs, lotions, and other skincare products may contain substances that sensitize the skin. It can also cause redness and burns. Therefore, you should refrain from using products that contain the following components at least five days before treatment:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Retinoids
  • Alpha and beta hydroxides

Dos and Don’ts After Laser Hair Removal

Dos and Don'ts After Laser Hair Removal

After laser hair removal, the process is not over yet. You have achieved the desired result, but you also should consolidate the effect. With improper aftercare, you risk the following negative consequences:

  • Crusting
  • Blistering
  • Scarring
  • Graying of treated hair
  • Increased hair growth around the treatment area.

To avoid this, you need to observe the simple rules of aftercare, which we will list below.

Do Not Be Afraid of Redness and Bumps

Redness and Bumps

Laser hair removal has several minor side effects that you should not worry about:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Discomfort

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, these effects will end after one to three days [4]. You can help speed up healing if you use a cold compress, as it constricts blood vessels, reduces fluid inflow and outflow, and reduces swelling.

You can keep ice or a cold washcloth on the swellings for up to 40 minutes to avoid hypothermia. Afterward, you need to take a 20–minute break. You can repeat this procedure four to five times within four to five hours after laser hair removal.

💡 Note:
If you are experiencing problems with swelling, acne, burns, psoriasis, or dermatitis, you can use cold laser therapy devices, the best of which we have listed in our article.

Do Not Use Skin Products for 24–72 Hours

Do Not Use Skin Products for 24–72 Hours

After laser hair removal, your skin will remain sensitive for 2472 hours, which will show up as redness. Therefore, you should not use skin care products, as their ingredients can cause rashes, burns, swelling, irritation, and even skin discoloration when applied to sensitive skin.

We specifically discourage the use of the following skin care products:

  • Tanning lotions
  • Lotions with perfumes or fragrances
  • Deodorant (if the treatment area was the underarms)
  • Scrubs

Do Exfoliate

Do Exfoliate

Five to thirty days after laser hair removal, you will notice stubble from the dead hair. During this period, dead hair breaks out of the hair follicles. You can help them fall out by washing them with a washcloth or an exfoliating cloth.

Moreover, you should exfoliate your skin to avoid ingrown hairs, as some follicles may be damaged but not eliminated, which is the cause of ingrown hairs, swelling and redness.

Do Not Tan

Do Not Tan

After laser hair removal, the skin becomes very sensitive, as this is a natural reaction of the body to the destruction of hair follicles. It makes the skin more exposed to UV rays, which can cause hyperpigmentation or burns.

Therefore, you should not tan for two weeks after laser hair removal to avoid the negative consequences.

Extra Tip: Avoid Heat

Extra Tip: Avoid Heat

Avoid all types of heat for 24 hours after laser hair removal, so to not affect the skin. You should not take hot showers, or visit a sauna or steam room, to avoid excessive irritation.

Moreover, you should skip the gym sessions within 48 hours after laser hair removal. Sweat and clothing rubbing against sensitive skin can cause blisters, rashes, or even infections.

Is Laser Hair Removal Painful?

Laser Hair Removal Painful

Laser hair removal can cause discomfort, which is similar to the sensation of pinching your skin with a clothespin. It is worth noting that the thicker the hairline on the treatment area you have, the more sensitive the skin will be during and after the session.

However, in most cases, laser hair removal is an almost painless procedure. Discomfort during the session will be much less than during a wax.

Can Laser Hair Removal Lead to Cancer?

Laser hair removal is a completely safe procedure that does not cause long-term health problems. In a recent study among 948 patients, only one got a scar on the face, and three developed herpes, which is <0.3% of participants [1].

It is worth noting that laser hair removal does not increase cancer risk because the procedure does not use UV rays. Moreover, medical research confirms that there is no link between the development of cancer and the use of lasers and IPL [5].


Laser hair removal allows you to achieve 75 to 100% of the desired result, which will last for at least one year. However, you should consult your doctor and follow a few tips for pre-care and post-care. In this case, you will prolong the result and be able to avoid negative consequences.

In short, you need to know and adhere to the following dos and don’ts before laser hair removal:

  • Avoid alcohol, coffee, treatment after dermal fillers or Botox, sun exposure, and waxing.
  • Clean your skin.
  • Do shave, but don’t wax.
  • Use only permitted medications.
  • Use the right skin products.
💡 Note:
We mentioned earlier that you can do laser hair removal at home. Therefore, we have gathered a detailed guide on how to choose the best home laser hair removal machine.


💲 Do I need to tip after laser hair removal?

Whether you have tipped or not, the quality of service you will receive during laser hair removal will not change. Therefore, tips are optional.

2️⃣ Are 2 laser hair removal sessions enough to achieve results?

According to a recent study, you will need more than three hair removal sessions on the axilla, bikini area, and lower and upper limbs, and more than five hair removal sessions to remove facial and chest hair.

🕔 Why do I need to attend hair laser removal every 4 weeks?

You should consult a specialist to find out the exact schedule for visiting laser hair removal because it depends on the hair growth rate. Usually, experts recommend attending sessions once every six to eight weeks.

✅ What are the benefits of laser hair removal?

The main advantages of laser hair removal are the long-term results (typically lasting one year or more), the absence of pain and side effects, and the possibility of treating a specific area.

🪒 Can I shave right before laser hair removal?

Shave the treatment area two days before laser hair removal. Otherwise, the skin will be sensitive, which can increase irritation and discomfort.

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