Ingrown hair is a common issue for people who wax or shave. As a matter of fact, ingrown hair is the most famous negative side effect of waxing. When you wax, you remove the skin as well, thus damaging it just as well as you remove the hair. And once your hair is growing back it can not find the way out and gets trapped under the skin layer. Ingrown hair can be painful, irritating, and unsightly.
Ingrown hair is also so hard to leave alone. If you try to remove these incorrectly it can lead to permanent damage and scarring to your skin so it is important to be gentle when trying to remove these hairs. If you have been waxing for years and struggling with removing ingrown hair, then it may be worth switching from waxing to laser hair removal. Not only is laser hair removal cheaper in the long term, less painful, and also a great ingrown hair removal method.
Can laser hair removal help with ingrown hair?
1. Will laser hair removal really help with ingrown hair?
The difference between laser hair removal and other hair removal methods is that laser hair removal does not target the hair. Waxing will stick to the hair and remove it with the root. Shaving will cut the hair at the surface of the skin. However, laser hair removal will produce a beam of light that will reach the hair follicle by targeting the hair pigment. Both are indeed connected when the hair is in the anagen phase. The heat will be got through the hair up to the hair follicle and cauterize the blood vessel feeding it.
Thus, since the laser destroys the hair shaft, there is no chance for the hair to curl under the top layer of the skin. Plus, even after your first appointment, you will notice softer thinner hairs on the treated areas which also influences ingrown hairs reduction. Less hair, fewer chances to get ingrown hair.
2. Will I still need to shave?
We do not advise patients to shave straight after their session. This is due to the fact that the skin is more sensitive after the treatment. It also needs a few days to rest. Then, you may shave if need be. At the start of the treatment, you may shave between sessions. However, as you go through your laser hair removal sessions, you will less and less need to shave. Clients usually notice a significant change after the third treatment for instance.
Shaving will not impact the results of your laser hair removal treatment since it does not remove the hair root or follicle. Furthermore, it is also required that patients shave before each session, either the evening or the morning before their appointment. Do not shave right before your session as shaving may have produced tiny wounds. Make sure you clean your legs with soap and water before as well so that you are rid of any cream or body lotion.
3. Can I help with ingrown hair removal?
To help reduce the quantity of ingrown hair, there are a few things you can do before and after each session. The best thing to do would be to establish an aftercare routine. You can use a hypoallergenic ph-neutral moisturizing cream to help hydrate ingrown hair-prone zones. Wait a week after your laser hair removal session. Then, you may exfoliate once to twice a week to remove the layer of dead skin and help get the ingrown hair out. You can find aftercare routine suggestions here.
It goes without saying that you should not pluck, tweeze, wax, or hair bleach between sessions. While hair bleaching is aggressive to the skin and would make the hair so light the laser would not be able to target the pigment; waxing will remove the root of the hair and there would be no follicle for the laser to target. You may shave between sessions although do it to a minimum to prevent ingrown hair.
Some people find warm Epsom salt soaks helpful in reducing inflammation. If ingrown hair creates cysts, Differing gel may be helpful as it dissolves the cysts.
4. How to prevent ingrown hair
Ingrown hair happens when the hair either curls below the skin or is unable to get through the skin. Waxing and shaving may encourage their apparition. However, they are not unavoidable. You can take actions that will help prevent ingrown hair from popping up on your body. Here are a few tips:
- Always use a clean sharp razor -Shave on wet skin -Use a hypoallergenic shaving cream -Exfoliate once to twice a week -Avoid harsh moisturizers -Use products with natural non-comedogenic ingredients -Apply aloe vera regularly
The right care will reduce the occurrence of ingrown hair. Sometimes, waxing or shaving may be responsible, which is why it is important to exfoliate regularly. If ingrown hair becomes a recurring issue, you may want to consult with a dermatologist, who will be the best fit to help you solve the problem and advise treatment.