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The Effect of Waxing Versus Shaving on the Efficacy of Laser Hair Removal

Al-Haddab, Mohammed MD, FRCPC; Al-Khawajah, Nour MBBS; Al-Ala'a, Amal MBBS; Al-Majed, Hadeel MBBS; Al-Shamlan, Yafa MBBS; Al-Abdely, Maymonah MBBS

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000001025
Original Article

BACKGROUND Excessive hair is undesirable and represents both a social and emotional burden, especially among females. Laser hair removal (LHR) has gained popularity in the past 2 decades. It is a common practice to instruct patients not to pluck or wax their hair before undergoing LHR; only shaving is allowed to improve the efficacy of the LHR.

OBJECTIVE To compare the percentage of hair reduction in preshaved versus prewax epilated axillae after LHR in healthy adult Saudi females.

METHODS AND MATERIALS This study is a quantitative experimental pilot clinical trial. Twenty female volunteers were enrolled into this study; all underwent 3 laser sessions using a long-pulsed alexandrite laser. Their left axilla was prewaxed and right axilla was preshaved immediately before laser treatment. Hair was counted manually before and 6 months after the third laser session.

RESULTS The right and left axillae both showed significant hair reduction, between the first session and the hair count 6 months after the third laser session. However, there was no statistically significant difference between these 2 means (p = .44).

CONCLUSION There is no statistical difference in hair reduction after LHR whether the area is preshaved or prewax epilated.

*Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia;

College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Mohammed Al-Haddab, MD, FRCPC, Department of Dermatology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, P.O. Box 89885, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 11692, or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2017 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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