Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a painful ingrown hair! If you shave or wax, then chances are good you’ve had more than your fair share of these uncomfortable red bumps. Ingrown hairs can happen anywhere—but they’re most common in the sensitive places where coarser hair grows, like around the bikini line in women or on the face in men.
If you’re tired of having to choose between dealing with uncomfortable and ugly ingrown hairs or letting your body hair go completely au naturale, then you’ve probably searched for an alternative solution at some point. We’ve all been there!
The good news is that you don’t have to resign yourself to a life full of painful bumps. There are preventative measures you can take to reduce the number of ingrown hairs that you get after you shave. Or, you can take care of the problem permanently—by eliminating the hair in the area with laser hair removal.
What are Ingrown Hairs?
Ingrown hairs are simply hairs that grow backward and curl into the skin. As they grow, the tip of the hair is forced into the skin, causing irritation and inflammation. Most ingrown hairs will resolve themselves quickly, but others become large, painful bumps and can become infected or leave a scar.
Sometimes, topical creams can provide relief while an ingrown hair works its way back out. When an ingrown hair becomes infected or too large and painful to deal with at home, however, a doctor may need to address the issue. Usually, they will use a scalpel or needle to create an opening that allows the hair to escape the skin.
Ingrown hairs are more common in areas where coarse hair grows because this type of hair tends to curl back on itself more readily than fine hair. Coarse hair is also thick enough to penetrate the skin, instead of simply being pushed back against it. It’s really amazing how many problems a couple of little hairs can cause!
Ingrown Hair Prevention
There are things you can do during hair removal that can help to reduce the number of ingrown hairs, although these methods are not one hundred percent effective.
Exfoliating the area regularly with a gentle scrub or a wet washcloth can help to release hairs that are growing in the wrong direction. Keeping your skin moisturized can also help.
When you shave, it’s important to wet the area and to use a shave gel or cream. Use a sharp razor and shave with the direction of the hair growth. Keep shaving strokes to a minimum and rinse your razor after every stroke.
Using hair removal creams or waxing can help to reduce ingrown hairs as well.
Laser Hair Removal for Ingrown Hairs
If you’re sick of ingrown hairs and you’ve been unsuccessful in preventing them, then it may be time to think about a more permanent solution. Laser hair removal technology has become very sophisticated in the last decade, and it’s never been easier or safer to permanently remove hair in areas that are prone to ingrown hairs.
Laser hair removal permanently destroys a hair follicle’s ability to produce new hairs. If hair is no longer growing, there is no chance that an ingrown hair will occur—it’s as simple as that. While laser hair removal does not remove all the hair in the treatment area, it will dramatically reduce hair growth and almost completely eliminate painful ingrown hairs.
The laser hair removal process is quick and easy. Patients come into their appointment with the treatment areas shaved. Numbing cream may be used if the patient is concerned about discomfort, but most patients find the sensation tolerable.
A specialized laser is passed over the skin, destroying the active follicles. The whole process takes only a few minutes for a small area, like the bikini line. Larger areas take longer. Advanced lasers can treat all skin types safely and successfully, although patients with light skin and dark hair tend to see the best results.
A Long-Term Solution That Takes Time
Although laser hair removal is a great long-term solution for ingrown hairs, it’s important to note that it’s not a quick fix. Successful hair removal takes several sessions, as not all follicles are active at once. For best results, most patients need six or more treatments, spaced about six to eight weeks apart.
The skin should not be exposed to sunlight before and after treatment, which can be a bit of an inconvenience, depending on the treatment area and the time of year. The process might require some patience, but for chronic ingrown hair sufferers, the results are worth the wait and effort involved. As an added bonus, the treated areas won’t require shaving, waxing or plucking, except for maybe a stray hair here and there.
Getting Started with Laser Treatments
If you’re interested in getting started with laser treatments, then it’s a good idea to get the ball rolling right away. It can take 12 months or longer to complete the full series, but you’ll start to see a decrease in ingrown hairs almost right away.
To learn more about laser hair removal in Houston, Texas, call Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique at (281) 810-9083 to schedule an appointment. Our experienced technicians and board-certified plastic surgeon are standing by to help you reach your goals.