Why should we tell clients to wait 24 hours after shaving before we can spray them?

What happens if they don’t?

Will it mess up their tan?

See below to help answer this and more – Hair removal 101

The reason we tell clients to wait,  is primarily Irritation related.

When one shaves, they, of course, are cutting off hair. But as part of the same process, you are also scrapping, and cutting away dead skin cells on the skin surface.

During this process of scrapping the skin with a sharp blade, you are creating tiny micro-tears or cuts in the skin surface. They are microscopic, and not visible to the naked eye, unless you dig to deep and get a visible (and painful) nick.

Normally, these close up in about 24-48 hours, and do not create a problem. However, if you then apply a sunless solution (or any product) to the skin, you are also applying it to an open cut or wound (though a tiny one) .

This is why a splash of alcohol laden aftershave, splashed on the face after men shave, creates pain. Its the alcohol, entering the skin tears, and it stings!  (poor Keven!)

Spray Tan Solution applied to the “wounded” skin, can increase the chance of irritation, itchiness, or possibly create a rash.

This is even more likely if the client already has sensitive skin, or if they have a slight sensitivity reaction to spray tanning solution.

By delaying the spray session until after the skin has “healed” you are lessening the chance of a reaction occurring.

However if your client already knows they are not sensitive, and don’t react, they can certainly shave, cleanse and dry skin, and spray immediately. This will not harm the tan in any way.

So it can be adjusted on a case by case basis, depending on clients sensitivity.

Pore Gaps on Legs

When shaving, some clients may experience “Pore Gaping” on the legs.  If they apply tanning solution within 24 hours or less, the opened pores can fill with excess solution, leaving brown tint “Ink Dots” or “Fly Specks” all over the legs. Essentially a speck of brown solution is deposited within every hair follicle.

Normally the pore will close back tight within 24-48 hours or so, depending on amount of trauma, and skin laxness.

This occurs because the trauma of shaving, creates some hair pulling and friction. This causes temporary stretching at the hair attachment point, where hair was removed from the follicle pocket. This is more common when using a dull razor, which grabs and pulls hair, rather then cutting as cleanly, at the surface.

This can also be seen with hair waxing or epilation services which pull the hair from the follicle.

The dark solution in the pores can be lighten with daily use of a BHA (Beta Hydroxy Acid) containing lotion, and lightly exfoliating in the shower with a rough washcloth. (can lighten tan a bit, do not scrub hard). This also works if you have solution pooling in enlarged facial pores.

Paula’s Choice,  or other similar well formulated Beta Hydroxy Acid lotion are Available from Paula’s Choice or Amazon, or other online stores. (we have no affiliation with PC, nor do we receive any financial incentive from them)

The product percentage, and pH level are very important in regards to product effectiveness. All of Paula’s Choice items are at correct formulations for effectiveness.

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Can they shave after I have applied their spray tan?

Yes they can, but as they cut off hair, the are also scrapping off some of their dead skin, which is now tanned brown.  They are effectively (though unevenly) exfoliating off a thin layer of their fresh tan.

Why do I always tell people they must use a sharp, new, or 4 blade razor.

I confess, I really work for Venus razors, and own stock in those crazy expensive blades.  LOL- No, not really,  that’s a joke.  I have no affiliation with any razor company.

In fact, I purchase my Razors from Dollarshave.com – and can highly recommend them. If you care to try them, the link below gives you a discount, and they also give me a discount on a future order.  So you are wlcome to use that link if you choose, or not.  No pressure, and no worries ether way. Just a nifty service I like.

They email blades to me regularly, and I use the Executive multi – blade, as does my Husband, and daughter. The blades are very good quality, and very cost effective, and with auto delivery , we never run out! So there is my shameless promotion advertisement for today.

Dollar Shave Club Discount

But really, Please buy wherever you choose, but pickup a quad or triple blade, and do change often

The sharper the razor blade, the less skin is scrapped off; as a razor dulls, it drags on the skin more, taking more tan off.

A 3 or 4 blade razor is normally going to maintain sharpness longer, then a single or double blade, because multiple surfaces are cutting together. And the shave is typically closer, meaning you will not shave as often. Skin will also irritate less easily, as less micro tears are created.

A razor blade begins to dull fast, within 1-2 uses. Not only from shaving, but from being stored in a damp bathroom. This environment promotes tiny bits of rust growth on the blade, creating an uneven surface, and dulling the blade. A duller blade nicks more, and takes off more skin.

This is why you should change your blade weekly. To maintain a sharp blade, as much as possible.

Storing the used razor in a small jar filed with Rubbing alcohol, will slow rust growth, and can maintain a sharper blade for longer.

What about an electric razor?

An electric razor has advantages and disadvantages.

The shave is more comfortable on the skin, so less likely to irritate. Less tears and nicks are created, because the shave is not quite as close.

Because the shave is less close, less dead skin (or tanned skin) is removed, so your tan may wear better.

But if you have fast hair growth (as I do) you will find you do not keep a clean smooth feel as long, so you notice regrowth sooner.

Even a close shave style electric blade, never would shave as closely as a quad blade razor on me.  For those who have slower hair growth though, Electric only may work quite well.

Blade and Electric Combination:

The solution that worked best, when I shaved my legs regularly, and tanned regularly, was to Shave with a new fresh blade before I tanned. Exfoliate skin well, later up, shave, cleanse well, rinse and dry to remove any shave product residue – and apply tanning solution.

Then for my next few shaves (I had to shave daily) I would use an electric razor. About every third shave, I would use a quad razor blade.

After using the blade, I would do some touch up color on my legs to rebuild any color lightning (Solution applied by hand, or mousse)

Using this “switching method” worked best for me, who required daily shaving, and also likes to have summer tanned legs.

But it can be a pain for some to do.

What about lubricant foams, gels, soapy foam, shave oils, or even hair conditioner?

This is my experience only, so take it for what its worth.

When shaving with any blade, a lubricant is always going to promote a close shave, with less skin drag and tears.  When comparing Hair conditioner, vs gels, foams, oils, etc. Its a personal preference.  I have used them all myself, I am a foam fan. Gels a good choice also (for me)

Keep in mind Hair conditioners are not made for leg shaving they ARE made for hair conditioning. They do this well.

And it is true, they do provide some lucubration to help prevent razor drag, but generally (in my personal experience) when I use a conditioner, it does not lubricate as well, and tends to coat the skin more. I also have more issues with razor clogging, or razor skipping.  I have tried thick creams, thin lotions etc.

(My hair is waist length, and artificially dyed, so I always have a range of conditioners on hand, and change them often. )

For me – ether my tan, or shave result, suffered.  Your results may differ.

Another concern, many ingredients in hair conditioners, can sting or irritate skin, that now has micro-tears from shaving, because they are not correctly formulated for use when shaving.

Ingredients such as Menthol, Peppermint, Rosemary, Ginger etc. Though nice on the scalp, can sting quite a bit on freshly shaven legs or delicate Lady Bits.   Been there – Done this, and have a Tee-Shirt to prove it. No one had a fun day!

Shaving with a peppermint containing hair conditioner, and getting it on freshly shaven lady parts is VERY uncomfortable  (please stop laughing at me now Chris ……..)

I personally find a foam gives the closest shave, for my use. Though gels are nice also. Creams and lotions, for me, don’t seem to work as nicely.  But choose what works best for you, and what you like the scent and feel of.

With ANY and all shave lubricants, Hair Conditioner, Gel, Foam Lotion etc – always lightly exfoliate, wash rinse and dry skin after, to remove all shave product residues. If you forget you may have a streaky tan with vertical lines going up and down the legs, or a tan that will not stick to the legs.

Other hair removal options:

What about Depilitory products like Nair, Veet, Neet etc. ?

These can irritate or burn the skin, especially if left on to long, or used on sensitive skin areas. They work by breaking the chemical bonds in the hair shaft, making the hair weak and fragile, so it breaks off. This will also peel off some of the skin surface, and when used carefully, can make a terrific spray tan removal aide.

They should be used 48-72 hours before being spray tanned. Only tan skin if it is NOT irritated, red or painful.

Make sure skin is well cleansed after dipilitory use, before applying any tanning products. Poor cleansing can create yellowish or uneven tanning.

How about hair inhibiting lotions?

These are applied daily, and reduce hair density, length and growth. Results are mixed (never worked well for me)

They should be cleaned from the skin surface before applying a spray tanner (exfoliate to get off excess)

I have found they tended to make mine (and others) tans yellowish. They will not remove or lighten a tan though. But for some, color may suffer.

What about waxing?

Waxing should be done at least a week before spray-tanning, and all product residues cleaned well from skin with exfoliation. Unevenly peeled skin, or wax residues, will cause tan “stripes”. Waiting a week, with cleansing and exfoliation, allows client to remove all wax and product reside from the skin.

Waxing services will produce some trauma from the hair removal process, to the pore pocket. This can leave the pore in an open or stretched “gaping” state for a few days. This can allow solution to pool in the open pocket. The pores will close up after a few days, preventing this.

Waxing peels the skin in strips (and the tan)  and should NOT be used on freshly tanned skin, as it will cause stripes of no color.

Epilation, aka manual removal by pulling hair from follicle?

An epilater is a device, similar to a razor. But rather then cutting the hair off at the skin surface, a series of rotating plate or coils grasp the hair shaft and quickly pull the hair, from the skin. This can be done professionally, or with an at home consumer device.

Epilation should be done at least a week before spray-tanning. It normally will cause some irritation, bumpy skin, and gaped pores.

Skin should be clean dry, and trauma free before spraying. Waiting a week or so, will allow skin to calm, before spraying with tanning products.


After years of tanning, and fighting fast hair growth, and because of my love of smooth legs – I purchased an at home Consumer Level laser device. Though expensive, for myself, it was 100% worth it. As I prefer to have my entire body hair free, this provided me that option, using it at home.

It took about a year of regular use, and now I am basically “hair free”. I do need to touch up a bit with a razor about once a month for a few straggler hairs here and there, but legs, arms, and body are essentially hair free.

Certain areas of dense courser body hair do still need to be shaven daily, as they did not respond as well to the laser (which is not uncommon) but since I really don’t need to shave, arms, legs, or underarms except on occasion, it a fair trade off for my needs.  I stay smooth year round, and my tan fades better as well.

With Laser, all treatments must be done on UNTANNED skin, so I usually do Laser Treatments in winter, or on freshly exfoliated skin (about once every few months to maintain it is all I need now.

Skin can become irritated from Laser Services, so I would recommend client wait about 72 hours or more, before being sprayed.

Plan all treatments on pale, untanned skin, or burning of tissues and discomfort can occur.

The laser works by targeting the darker skin pigment. If the skin is also dark, your treatment will be less effective, as the energy discharge also disperses though the “darker” skin, and redness, pain, and burns can occur.

 The final take away – is every client DOES NOT need to wait 24 hours from shave to tan, its just a recommended suggestion, to help lessen “issues” related to shaving and irritation, and pore issues. Depending on their (clients) needs, other removal options may suit them better.

I hope this  helped better prepare you to answer client questions in relation to body hair removal.


Thanks and have a great day! – V


Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with products mentioned unless noted otherwise (Dollar Shave Discount code for example) nor do I receive any compensation from use of their product line. I am employed as a product consultant with Tampa Bay Tan (and other company’s) but I do not receive commission or payment from mentions of, or customer purchases of the products mentioned.

I do not participate in paid product mentions, or paid endorsement deals.

All Information provide is for education reasons only, or examples of general product types, that can be use.