Need help with shaving? Read Wellaholic's insider guide to shaving, especially before your hair removal session. Now, some customers prefer to self-shave before coming for their SHR treatments....

Insider Guide To Shaving Before Hair Removal

Table of Contents

TL;DR Summary

  • Shave Gently: Avoid close shaves to protect your skin’s lipid barrier.
  • Prevent Ingrown Hairs: Shave without stretching skin to reduce ingrown hairs and folliculitis.
  • Pubic Hair Shaving Steps: Trim, soften with warm water, apply shaving cream, shave along hair growth.
  • Soften Hairs First: Soak hair with warm water for two minutes before shaving.
  • Shave with the Grain: Reduces skin irritation and ingrown hairs.
  • Use Sharp, Clean Razors: Ensures effective, safe shaving and minimizes skin damage.
The table provides a concise insider guide to shaving, outlining six straightforward steps with tips and their reasons to ensure a smooth, irritation-free shave.
Insider Guide to Shaving

Wellaholic Insider Guide To Shaving Before Hair Removal

Hello there! I’m Serene Chiam, your go-to expert for all things skin and beauty at Wellaholic. With over ten years of experience in the beauty industry, I have seen how proper preparation can significantly affect hair removal. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned pro, getting your skin ready is key to a smooth experience.

Now, let’s talk about that all-important step before you bid farewell to unwanted hair: shaving. It might seem simple, but there’s an art to it, especially when you’re prepping for treatments like laser hair removal.

In the next article, I’ll talk about shaving in detail, discuss the use of hair removal creams, and tell you what to expect from laser treatments.

Think of it as your insider guide to getting the best results and keeping your skin happy. Stay tuned for tips, tricks, and a bit of my personal insight to help you on your hair removal journey.

In 2022, we conducted a straw poll with 40 cherished Wellaholic customers to explore their preferences for hair removal methods.

Understanding the Shift Towards Permanent Hair Removal: Wellaholic Straw Poll

In 2022, we conducted a straw poll with 40 cherished Wellaholic customers to explore their preferences for hair removal methods. The results were eye-opening: 62% of the young adults we surveyed, specifically those between the ages of 18 and 29 in Singapore, expressed a strong preference for permanent hair removal solutions, such as laser hair removal or electrolysis, over traditional methods.

This feedback is a testament to the evolving beauty and self-care trends among the younger demographic, who are increasingly leaning towards more durable and efficient hair removal techniques.

At Wellaholic, we’re committed to meeting this demand by offering state-of-the-art hair removal services that align with our customers’ preferences for effectiveness, convenience, and long-term results.

Even though it’s suggested that you simply stop plucking and waxing the realm being treated, shaving it 24 to 48 hours prior your appointment is crucial

Try to Shave Not So Close to Your Skin

Shaving is like mowing the lawn, but for your skin. Just as cutting grass affects the soil and plant health, shaving impacts the skin barrier. The skin barrier is the body’s security guard, keeping out harmful stuff like bacteria and irritants, while locking in moisture and nutrients.

When you shave, you’re using a razor to glide across the skin, cutting the hair close to the surface. This process can be a bit rough on the skin’s barrier. Imagine a fresh paint job on a wall; shaving can create tiny nicks and scratches, just like a scratch on that new paint. These small cuts can weaken the barrier, making it easier for unwanted guests like bacteria to sneak in and cause irritation or infection.

Shaving can also strip away natural oils that keep the skin moisturized. Think of these oils like a raincoat for your skin. When you shave, it’s like you’re taking off that raincoat, leaving the skin more exposed to the elements, which can lead to dryness or irritation.

To keep the skin barrier strong, it’s like preparing for a gentle journey rather than a rough off-road trip. Use a sharp razor to avoid tugging at the hair and skin, which can cause more damage. Apply a shaving cream or gel to help the razor slide smoothly, like a sled on snow. After shaving, apply a moisturizer to help repair the barrier, like fixing any scuffs on that wall paint.

By understanding the impact of shaving on the skin barrier, you can take steps to protect and maintain it, ensuring your skin stays healthy and resilient.

Key Points to Consider While Shaving

Within the context of this shaving guide, there are a few more important points to consider. If you’re preparing for a Super Hair Removal (SHR) treatment, you will need to shave beforehand. Despite what you may have heard from friends, shaving is a necessary step before this procedure.

However, aim for a smooth shave without going too close to your skin to avoid damaging it. Shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin. Implementing these considerations can help you achieve a safer, more comfortable shave for unwanted hair.

Shaving can also block your follicles the casings that hold each hair potentially causing folliculitis or ingrown hairs. Folliculitis is a common skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed

Shave to Prevent Ingrown Hairs and Folliculitis 

Understanding Ingrown Hairs and Their Causes

When hair is shaved, it is left with a sharp tip. Ingrown hairs occur when this sharp tip grows out of the follicle, curves downwards, and re-enters the skin. Alternatively, the hair can grow inwards, penetrating deeper skin layers. The body perceives this re-entry as a foreign object and triggers an inflammatory reaction, leading to redness and itchiness. This situation can result in follicles resembling a pus-filled pimple. To avoid such scenarios, avoid stretching the skin while shaving. Stretching can cause newly cut hair to retract beneath the skin, making a smooth shave more challenging to achieve.

Shaving and its Impact on Hair Follicles

Shaving can also obstruct hair follicles, the casings that hold each hair, potentially leading to conditions like folliculitis or further ingrown hairs. Folliculitis is a common skin condition characterized by inflamed hair follicles, typically caused by a bacterial or fungal infection.

Identifying and Managing Folliculitis

Folliculitis initially presents as small red bumps or white-headed pimples around hair follicles, the tiny pockets from which each hair grows. This condition can be very irritating, particularly when caused by pubic hairs in private regions. Being aware of these potential issues can help you take preventive measures and manage your skin health more effectively while maintaining a shaving routine.

Steps for Effective Pubic Hair Shaving without Ingrown Hairs

Here are our recommended steps to take for effective public hair shaving without getting ingrown hairs:

Table: Recommended steps to take for effective public hair shaving without getting ingrown hairs

Note: It’s important to use caution and take your time when shaving the pubic area to avoid cuts, irritation, or infection.

Pityrosporum folliculitis is an example of a skin disease that is caused by a fungal infection, has the appearance of acne, but is not a type of acne

How to Treat Folliculitis?

A variety of medications are available for folliculitis. They can be prescribed to treat either bacterial or fungal infections, depending on the cause of the condition. Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be recommended.

Forms of medication include:

  • topical antibiotic creams
  • oral antibiotics
  • topical antifungal creams
  • antifungal shampoos
  • oral antifungals
  • steroid creams
  • oral corticosteroids

Light therapy can also be used to improve the symptoms of deep folliculitis. Light therapy is sometimes used to treat acne, and uses both light and a chemical substance to kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

If you have a follicultis issue, you can try Wellaholic’s Elight Facial Collagen Boost treatment, for the light therapy to destroy the bacteria responsible for the infection. With SHR hair removal, the hair follicles are destroyed so that they cannot get inflammed or infected.

Utilize a good-quality shaving cream with a list of moisturizing active ingredients, like shea butter, olive oil, as well as coconut oil

Soften Stiff Hair Before Shaving

Preparing Your Hairs for the Ultimate Shave

The first and most important step for achieving the ultimate shave involves properly preparing the hairs, especially if they’re thick and coarse. The preparation process can significantly impact the quality of the shave. One of the best ways to prep your hair for shaving is by soaking the target area with warm water at least two minutes prior to shaving. This task can be easily accomplished by taking a shower before your shave. Warm water causes hair to expand, increasing its volume by approximately 34% within just two minutes. This makes the hair softer and easier to cut, reducing the force needed to cut coarse hair by nearly 70%.

The Importance of Pre-cleansing

Pre-cleansing is a crucial part of the shaving preparation process. This step helps to remove dead skin cells and skin secretions, such as oil, that can prevent water penetration. By removing these impediments that obstruct smooth razor action, your skin is prepared for the closest possible shave, with minimal side effects.

Lubricating Your Skin for a Smooth Shave

Finally, to achieve the ultimate shave, lubricate your skin with a thick shaving cream. This prevents the evaporation of water and allows the razor to glide smoothly over your skin. Using a high-quality shaving cream can create a protective barrier, reducing the risk of razor burn, cuts, and irritation. Through these careful preparatory steps, you can ensure a closer, more comfortable shave with fewer side effects.

Try to Shave Along the Grain 

​Shave with the grain, i.e. in the direction of hair growth, to reduce and limit the effects of a possible razor burn. Friction or abrasiveness on the skin during shaving is aggravated when there is an opposing force against the direction of hair growth, so it is recommended to avoid that.

Use a sharp and clean razor blade with every shave. Dull blades require more pressure, which creates more abrasion with each shave and increases likelihood of damaging of the epidermal skin

Always use a Sharp and Clean Razor Blade

Importance of Using a Sharp, Clean Razor Blade

For an effective and safe shave, always use a sharp and clean razor blade. Dull blades require more pressure to be applied during shaving, which increases skin abrasion and consequently, the chances of damaging the epidermal layer of your skin. Moreover, using unclean blades can introduce bacteria or microbes onto the skin surface, which could lead to inflammation.

Determining the Direction of Your Hair Growth

To determine the direction in which your hair grows, run your hand over your stubble in different directions. The direction that provides the most resistance when you touch it is known as ‘against the grain’, while the direction that provides the least resistance is referred to as ‘with the grain’. This technique is important because it helps you understand how to handle your razor to achieve an effective shave.

Shaving Techniques to Avoid Ingrown Hairs

It’s crucial to pay attention to the direction of your hair growth while shaving, as shaving against the grain can increase your chances of developing painful, ingrown hairs. By understanding and following the natural direction of your hair growth (or shaving ‘with the grain’), you can achieve a closer, smoother shave, while minimizing the risk of skin irritation and ingrown hairs.

The topic of pubic hair shaving is a controversial one. It can also cause confusion as to whether it can have any effect on skin color.

How to Effectively Shave Pubic Hairs

Initial Steps: Trimming and Cleaning

Start your shaving process by grabbing a hand mirror and sharp scissors to trim the hair in the areas you plan to shave. This preliminary step prevents your razor from becoming clogged. Following this, step into the shower and clean the area with mild soap and warm water. Proper cleansing helps prepare your skin and hair for a smoother, less irritating shave.

Shaving Technique: Following Hair Growth

After thoroughly cleaning the area, pick up a brand-new blade or a fresh, sharp disposable razor. Apply some shaving cream and shave in the direction of hair growth, also known as “along the grain”. Shaving in this manner reduces the chances of skin irritation and ingrown hairs. Using small strokes while holding your skin taut with the other hand can help protect against nicks and cuts.

Importance of Using Fresh Blades

Finally, don’t wait for your razor blade to become dull before switching it out. Old blades can harbor bacteria, increasing the risk of infection or folliculitis, a condition characterized by inflamed hair follicles. By regularly changing your blade, you ensure that your shaving process remains as hygienic and safe as possible.

Depilatory creams are a cheap and easy to use method of hair removal. They can be used on the entire body, including the face

If All Else Fails, Try a Hair Removal Cream 

The Convenience of Hair Removal Creams

Hair removal creams are arguably the easiest and most pain-free method among all hair removal procedures. Their usage is simple: apply the cream to the desired body area, wait a few minutes for the cream to take effect, and then wash off to reveal smooth, hairless skin. This method is versatile, allowing you to use the cream on various parts of your body like your face, legs, bikini line, chest, or back.

Benefits of Hair Removal Creams

Regardless of your body area or hair type, hair removal creams can offer effective results. Being the least painful hair removal method, these creams significantly reduce your chances of getting ingrown hairs compared to shaving. This is because the process involves no sharp tools or hair cutting. The cream works by dissolving the hairs at the root, all without drying your skin.

Precautions When Using Hair Removal Creams

Despite their many benefits, hair removal creams can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals. As a precaution, it’s recommended to conduct a patch test with any new product before applying it to larger body areas. By testing the product on a small part of your skin first, you can gauge your skin’s reaction and avoid any potential adverse effects.

Blog Summary


In summary, I always advise my clients to shave the night before or at least 24 hours prior to their session. This timing is important because it allows any potential skin irritation from shaving to calm down. Plus, it ensures that there’s just enough hair left for the laser to “see” and target effectively. Remember, the goal is to zap those follicles, not just the hair above the skin.

It’s also worth noting that while shaving is encouraged, other hair removal methods like waxing or plucking are a no-go before laser treatments. These methods remove the hair from the root, which leaves nothing for the laser to target.

So, to all my clients and anyone considering laser hair removal, remember this insider tip: a clean shave is your best prep for the best results. Trust me, it makes all the difference.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why is shaving necessary before a hair removal treatment?

Shaving is necessary before a hair removal treatment as it helps to remove excess hair on the surface of the skin. This allows the laser or IPL technology to focus directly on the hair follicles, ensuring more effective and efficient results.

What areas of the body should be shaved before a hair removal treatment?

All areas that you wish to have hair removed should be shaved prior to the treatment. This includes but is not limited to the legs, arms, underarms, bikini line, and face.

Should I use a specific type of razor for shaving before hair removal?

It is recommended to use a clean and sharp razor for shaving before hair removal. Avoid using old or dull razors as they may cause skin irritation or cuts. Disposable razors are a popular choice for convenience and hygiene.

Can I use hair removal creams instead of shaving?

Hair removal creams should be avoided before a hair removal treatment. These creams can leave a residue on the skin, making it difficult for the laser or IPL technology to penetrate effectively. It is best to stick to shaving for optimal results.

Should I shave right before my hair removal appointment?

It is recommended to shave the night before your hair removal appointment. This allows the skin to recover and reduces the risk of any skin sensitivity or irritation during the treatment. However, be sure to check with your specific provider for their guidelines.

How should I prepare my skin before shaving?

Before shaving, make sure your skin is clean and dry. Exfoliating the area gently beforehand can help to remove any dead skin cells and ensure a smoother shaving experience. Avoid applying any oils, lotions or creams immediately before shaving.

With over 8 years of experience in the aesthetics industry, I am passionate about enhancing beauty and wellness through innovative, science-based approaches. As the Aesthetic Director at Wellaholic, I am committed to delivering exceptional services that are tailored to each client's unique needs. My expertise spans across advanced skincare treatments, body sculpting, hair removal services, and nutritional supplements, all aimed at helping clients achieve their personal best.

Serene Chiam, Aesthetic Director

Serene Chiam is the Aesthetic Director at Wellaholic, a well-known aesthetic chain in Singapore. She has more than ten years of experience in the aesthetics industry. With a Bachelor of Health Science (Aesthetics) and CIDESCO certifications, she expertly combines scientific knowledge with practical skills. Serene is known for her personalized approach to beauty, ensuring each Wellaholic client’s journey is unique and transformative. Her significant contributions have been pivotal in establishing Wellaholic’s reputation for excellence in aesthetic wellness.

Contact Serene at


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Insider Guide To Shaving Before Hair Removal: Mastering Techniques and Understanding Skin Types in Singapore

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