Man is upset because he needs to shave his face
Tips & Articles for Your Skin

Laser Hair Removal Ingrown Hair, Can it Make it Worse?

Ingrown hairs are one of the most common problems that can occur on the skin. However, as this issue may resolve itself on its own, most people are unsure of how it can be treated. This can become an issue in cases where the ingrown hair becomes persistent or when you quickly need to get rid of it but do not know how this can be done. When this occurs, most people result to plucking or scratching away at the skin, but this will likely lead to the issue becoming much worse.

Fortunately, there are several treatments for ingrown hairs which you can carry out with a very little risk of irritation or infections. So, in this article, we will be exploring what some of these are, including the best method that you can use. Additionally, we will also be answering some of the most common questions related to ingrown hairs, including how they can be prevented, why laser treatment has become one of the most popular methods for treating it, and much more.

What are Ingrown Hairs?

Ingrown hairs can be a relatively common issue on the skin, though the level at which they can affect people can vary. Generally, this issue refers to when your hair grows underneath your skin rather than popping out as usual. There are several reasons why this can occur, such as dirt or dead skin blocking the entrance to your hair follicles, leaving no space for the hair to pass through. Additionally, ingrown hairs can also be caused by excessive shaving or waxing.

It is important to note that ingrown hairs are not specific to any gender. This means that this issue can also affect men as well, especially those who use a poor shaving technique. If you are unsure whether you have ingrown hairs, then you should look out for red bumps or bruises in areas where your hair should naturally grow.

While some of these bumps may clear on their own, they may leave a permanent scar which can affect the look of your skin. Additionally, ingrown hairs can also lead to your skin becoming sore and irritated, which will lead to itching and pain. So, we always suggest that you get treatment for this issue.

Man looking at himself to the mirror after shaving

Treatment Options for Ingrown Hairs

There are several methods that you can use to treat ingrown hairs, such as:

1. Topical Treatments :

This treatment refers to the use of creams or retinol to help reduce any excess dirt or dead cells that may have built up on your skin. By using topical treatments, your follicles are freed up, allowing the hair to push out from underneath your skin. This should help reduce the chance of any ingrown hairs.

2. Tweezers :

Although this method is more traditional, it can still be highly effective. It involves using a disinfected tweezer to pull any visible, ingrown hairs out of the skin. If you carry out this treatment yourself, you must remain patient and gentle. Once you spot any ingrown hair, simply tug lightly on it with your tweezer, pulling it in the direction that the hair will normally grow.

While the use of topical treatments and tweezers are great methods that can help treat your ingrown hairs, they are not truly effective. In some cases, they only offer temporary relief, and you should expect the ingrown hairs to return if proper care is not taken. Additionally, several other factors will affect the effectiveness of these treatments such as your skin type or the bump that has been caused by the ingrown hair.

Man is trying to remove the ingrown facial hair

Can IPL Remove Ingrown Hairs?

The simple answer is, yes it can. Generally, IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) can be highly effective in cases involving hair removal, as the treatment involves directing a broad spectrum of light at the skin. However, there are several factors that you must consider before using IPL to remove any hair, including ingrown hairs.

Essentially, one of the main things to consider before using IPL is your skin type, as this treatment is not effective for all types of skin. Before you undergo any IPL procedure, you must carry out a patch test first as IPL is not recommended for people with darker skin as it may cause discoloration.

Can You Get Laser Hair Removal With Ingrown Hairs?

If you are considering using any hair removal technique, then we will always recommend using laser hair removal over other methods such as topical treatments or IPL, as it has few drawbacks. Generally, laser treatments work by directing a beam of light at your hair follicles. As your skin absorbs these pulses of light, the hair underneath your skin is heated until the laser beam can reach the root.

In essence, the laser treatment aims to destroy your hair follicle completely. So, with each additional treatment, the size of your follicle will shrink until the cell can no longer produce any hair. This can be highly beneficial in cases where the ingrown hair remains stubborn and continues to reappear even after it has been pulled out.

Is it Normal to Get Ingrown Hairs After Laser Hair Removal?

If you have completed a laser hair removal and are experiencing ingrown hairs, then you must reach out to your skin therapist immediately. It may be that there are underlying issues with your skin that your therapist did not know about before conducting the treatment, which is causing you to react to the laser.

However, if you have only started your treatment and are still seeing ingrown hairs, then you must continue. Laser treatments can require as much as six sessions before seeing the full benefits so don’t fret. The ingrown hairs may have already existed underneath the layers of hair that were being removed and you may simply not have noticed it.


Hair removal before and after

How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs

It is much easier and cheaper to prevent an issue, such as ingrown hairs, than seeking a cure for it. There are several ways to prevent any ingrown hairs that may be causing issues, such as:

1. Practice Good Exfoliation Techniques:

Exfoliation is one of the best ways to prevent any ingrown hairs. Essentially, this involves removing any dead cells which can be found on your skin’s surface. While your body will generally exfoliate on its own once every month, not all dead cells may be removed during this process and we recommend that you carry out exfoliation on your own too.

To exfoliate, you will need a warm compress or a soft washcloth. For the best effect, we also suggest that you apply this washcloth to the target area for a minimum of 15 seconds by gently rubbing around it in a slow, circular motion. Once you feel that the area is soft and tender enough, you can use your tweezers to pull out the ingrown hair. However, we suggest that you only do this if you can see the hair, you should not push your tweezers into any bumps as this can lead to infection.

Once the hair has been removed, we recommend that you use an exfoliating cream to help prevent any more irritation. By applying this cream and anti-bacterial oils around this area, your skin should remain smooth and radiant and help prevent further ingrown hairs from popping up around the same area.

2. Avoid Excessive Shaving :

Excess shaving is one of the most common causes of ingrown hairs. This issue is mostly found in men, who prefer to shave every day as they may not like having any facial hair. Essentially, if you try to shave extremely short hair, then the blade that you are using will not have enough to grip onto.

In most cases, this will cause the hair to break in half rather than being pulled out at the root. Once this occurs, there is a high chance of the hair becoming ingrown and curl back onto your skin, which will then lead to irritation and bumps. So, we suggest that you allow your hair to grow out a little bit more before you shave it all off.

There are several other techniques that you can practice to help prevent ingrown hairs, such as:

  1. Shaving in the proper direction at all times.
  2. Only use the recommended type of razor to shave.
Disappointed woman with the foam on her face and a razor

What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Ingrown Hair?

While you can try the other techniques that we have mentioned, such as using tweezers, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), and topical treatments, our top suggestion is that you use the laser hair removal procedure for treating your ingrown hairs. There are several benefits of using this technique over other light-based procedures, such as IPL, as it works on all skin types and will result in little chance of your ingrown hairs popping back up. If you are interested in receiving treatment for this issue, then you should look no further than laser hair removal treatments.