Ingrown hair is hair that grows back into the skin and curls itself round after being tweezed, waxed, shaved, or cut. Getting ingrown hair is very common, and if you’ve ever experienced it, even its name can cause discomfort.
Although it’s common, people usually don’t do anything about it and some don’t even know its cause. The most common cause of ingrown hair is waxing and shaving.
Ingrown hair can be cured, and laser hair removal is one of the most common and effective solutions for it. This procedure includes the use of a concentrated laser light pulse that gets rid of unwanted hair by destroying the hair follicle. (1)
Laser hair removal pulls out your ingrown hair and also makes your skin baby soft and eliminates the misery of body hair.
However, laser treatment for ingrown hair can cause irritation to the hair follicles, which can lead to scab formation or slight bleeding. (1)
Read further to know more about laser hair removal in depth.
How Does Hair Removal Prevent Ingrown Hair?
The concentrated beam of light from the laser is absorbed by melanin (a pigment that determines the color of the hair) in the roots of the hair and is converted into heat. This leads to the destruction of hair follicles from the roots. (1)
Laser hair removal halts the current and future production of hair from the roots.
How Many Sessions Are Required to Permanently Remove Hair Through Laser Treatment?
Initially, the minimum duration of this treatment is 4–6 sessions that are 4–6 weeks apart. Maintenance treatments may be needed every 6–12 after weeks as a small vellus hair might revive. (2)
Several factors may affect the outcome of laser hair removal:
- The location of the hair – Pubic and axillary hair respond better than hair on the chest or extremities.
- Color of the hair and skin – People with Fitzpatrick skin types I-IV (light skin) with dark hair get the best results due to the absence of melanin in the skin and the richness of melanin in the hair to soak up the laser energy in the hair follicles.
- Stage of hair growth – The most sensitive stage is the anagen stage of the hair.
- Laser type
- Hormonal status
- Treatment plan (2)
Maintenance hair treatment may be needed to keep the area hair-free. (3)
What Are the Perks of Laser Hair Removal?
The advantages of laser hair removal are as follows:
- Lasers target dark, coarse hair and leave the surrounding skin undamaged.
- The process is swift and rapid.
- Patients can go for repeated hair removal treatment if they want permanent hair loss. (1)
How Does the Regrown Hair Look After Laser Hair Removal?
When the treatment is done, for several patients there is no visible hair growth on the treated skin for months or even years. The regrown hair is finer and lighter in color. (2)(3)
Note: Although the laser hair treatment takes out the hair, the removal is rarely permanent. For a lot of patients, treatment to maintain the region long term is required. (2)(3)
Parts of the Body Effectively Treated by Laser Hair Removal
Hair removal lasers can be used on most parts of the body, and some are effectively designed to treat larger areas. Laser hair removal treats the back, armpits, chest, bikini area, neck, legs, face (especially chin and upper lip), and shoulders. (3)
What Are Some Side Effects That Happen During Laser Hair Removal?
The possible side effects last up to 1–3 days and are minor. They are:
When the treatment is done under the supervision of a dermatologist or by a dermatologist, the other possible side effects are rare. They are:
- Skin lightening or darkening
- Herpes simplex (cold sores) outbreaks
The skin color returns to normal after some time. However, some changes to the skin can be permanent. That’s why seeking the service of a laser hair removal expert is crucial.
Following the dermatologist’s instructions, both before and after the treatment, is also imperative as it will lower your risk of side effects. (3)
Note: It is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology to go for a board-certified dermatologist to perform laser treatments. (3)
Tips to Follow Post Laser Hair Removal
Observe these measures after undergoing laser hair removal:
- Protect your skin from the sun to avoid all possible side effects. Do not let sunlight hit your treated area directly.
- Avoid using any indoor tanning equipment such as a sun lamp and tanning bed.
- Obey the instructions of your dermatologist for post-care.
Following the treatment, you will see some swelling or redness that may often appear like a mild sunburn. A cool compression can provide relief. (3)
Preventive Measures to Follow at Home to Remove Ingrown Hair
These preventive measures can help you stay away from ingrown hair:
- Ice pack – Post waxing, take some ice cubes and wrap them in a clean cloth, and then apply it to the area waxed to close the pores and stop the growth of ingrown hair.
- Sugar paste – Make a paste with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil, and rub it on the affected area. Leave it for 15 minutes, and then wash it off with warm water.
- Castor oil – Apply castor oil to the area affected by ingrown hair. Leave it there for at least 15 minutes. Use a damp towel to gently wipe away the oil. Castor oil is a helpful ingredient that allows the skin pores to open. (4) The opened pores discharge pus, providing relief from the swelling and pressure inside the hair follicle.
- Warm washcloth – Take a washcloth and soak it in warm water completely. Then, take the cloth out and squeeze out the excess water. Place this warm cloth on the affected area for a few minutes. This process allows the ingrown hair to come close to the skin’s surface. You can then pull out the ingrown hair using sterilized tweezers.
When Is the Safe Time to Have Another Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal varies from patient to patient and is often based on a series of laser treatments. A lot of patients undergo treatment every 4–6 weeks.
Your dermatologist will inform you of the right time to have another safe treatment. (3)
Laser hair removal is not the cause of ingrown hair. In fact, using other removal methods such as waxing and shaving are the most common causes of ingrown hair.
Laser hair removal damages the hair follicle of the targeted hair, putting a stop to ingrown hair. And a lot of people may experience irritation and redness in the affected area after the treatment.
- Laser hair removal -mechanisms and complications – researchgate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348966146/.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507861/.
- Laser hair removal: Faqs. American Academy of Dermatology. https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/hair-removal/laser-hair-removal-faqs.
- Goyal A, Sharma A, Kaur J, et al. Bioactive-based cosmeceuticals: An update on emerging trends. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8837976/. Published January 27, 2022.