Laser hair removal is an excellent alternative for people who want to avoid the hassle of shaving and waxing. Some individuals experience ingrown hairs after this procedure, which causes unsightly skin bumps, stinging, and itching. There are several ways to prevent this problem. Here is more information about ingrown hairs and tips to prevent their formation after laser hair treatment:
About Ingrown Hairs
When your hair grows normally, it grows out from its follicle, up, and away from your skin. An ingrown hair occurs when the tip of the newly grown strand curls back into the skin instead of growing out. This causes irritation and inflammation, presenting acne-like bumps on the skin. You may also experience redness, itching, and stinging. People with thick or coarse hair are more prone to ingrown hairs than those with thinner strands. Curly hair is also more prone to this problem because the curl can cause the strand to re-enter the skin.
Laser hair removal involves damaging the hair follicle, and depending on how you care for your skin after the procedure, you may or may not develop ingrown hairs.
Preventing Ingrown Hairs After Laser Hair Removal
1. Exfoliate Regularly
One reason ingrown hairs form is when there is a buildup of dead skin cells around the hair follicle. When the hair strand tries to break through the skin, it gets hindered by the built-up cells and is forced to go in the wrong direction. To prevent this, use an exfoliating scrub a few times a week to remove dead skin cells and keep the pores open. Exfoliation helps remove dead cells and excess sebum, keeping the pores clear for new hair strands to grow normally.
Products with lactic, salicylic, or glycolic acid are excellent exfoliation choices. Exfoliating may also give the skin a brighter, healthier appearance, helping it look more radiant.
2. Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Dry skin can also contribute to ingrown hairs. It can make the skin harder for the hairs to push through, causing them to grow in an unnatural direction. Use a quality moisturizer appropriate for your skin type to prevent this. The moisturizer should keep the skin soft and hydrated so the new hairs can easily push through. Check that your chosen product is non-comedogenic. Non-comedogenic products won’t clog your pores. Moisturizing can also soothe any irritation or redness you may experience after laser treatment.
3. Avoid Tight Clothing
Laser experts discourage tight clothing after the procedure. Tight fabrics can rub against the skin, pushing your hair strands back in the wrong direction and making them grow inward. Tight clothes also cause excessive sweating, irritating the already sensitive skin. Loose-fitting clothes give your skin space to breathe and heal properly. If you’re a sportsperson and must wear tight clothing, wait a few days after the treatment to do so.
4. Be Gentle When Washing Your Skin
Some people tend to be rough with their skin, scrubbing and rubbing vigorously when bathing. While it may feel like this removes dirt, it can contribute to ingrown hairs. If you rub or scrub your skin too hard, you can push the new hair strands back into the follicle instead of letting them grow outward. Don’t be too harsh when washing your face or body. Use gentle, circular motions using your fingertips, and keep scrubbing to a minimum. Besides preventing ingrown hairs, being gentle can also avoid further irritating your skin.
5. Don’t Shave
You may be tempted to shave to remove any existing hair growths. Shaving can increase the risk of ingrown hairs because when you cut the hair, it can become blunt and thicker than the original strand. It becomes harder for the thicker hair strand to break through the skin and easier for it to curl back into the follicle. If you must shave, use a sharp razor, and don’t press too hard against the skin. Shave in the direction of your hair growth. Going against the direction of the growth may increase the chances of hairs growing back inward.
Get Laser Hair Removal From a Professional
Laser hair removal is a safe and effective way to reduce unwanted body hair. These preventative measures and professional care may help reduce the risk of developing ingrown hairs after the procedure. Keep your skin hydrated, exfoliate regularly, and avoid tight clothing. Don’t shave after your laser treatment, and be gentle when washing your skin. Taking the right precautions can help you enjoy smooth, hair-free skin without the complication of ingrown hairs.