Ingrown hair can be a real issue for some people. So many of my clients come to the clinic for one reason, their problem with ingrown hair(s). Many have suffered for a long time with the problem of ingrown hair. Often times they have had the problem for so long that, not only do they currently have ingrown hairs but they also have damage on their skin from where they had ingrown hairs in the past.
During a laser hair removal consultation I see the red irritated bumps, the infections, red inflamed skin and the discolored skin from where an old ingrown hair used to be. But, I also see after a series of laser hair removal treatments, that same client with smooth skin, no redness, no infected bumps, and the discolored skin improved, if not back to the original skin tone.
What is ingrown hair
Is a condition where hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. The condition is most prevalent among people who have coarse or curly hair. It may or may not be accompanied by an infection of the hair follicle (folliculitis) or razor bumps, which vary in size. – Wikipedia
What causes an ingrown hair?
Ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled around and grown back into the skin, instead of rising up from it. Ingrown hairs are more common with curly coarse hair. Curly hair is more likely to bend back and re-enter the skin, especially after being shaved or cut. Often dead skin can clog and block the top of the hair follicle forcing the hair inside it to grow sideways or back into the hair follicle.
What does an ingrown hair look like?
The skin in the affected area will look irritated. An ingrown hair produces a raised red bump, or a group of red bumps, that looks like a pimple. Sometimes an ingrown hair can cause a painful, boil-like sore. An ingrown hair can have puss inside the bumps. An ingrown hair can become infected, darken and discolor the skin and leaves scars.
Ingrown hair prevention
Between laser hair removal sessions the only way to remove the hair on the treatment site is to shave (e.g. no waxing between laser hair removal treatments). Shaving is a big part of the problem with ingrown hairs. But, the less hair you have, the less irritation you will have, the less shaving you will do and the fewer ingrown hairs you will have. To help prevent any more ingrown hairs and further irritation on the treatment site follow these tips.
9 ways to prevent ingrown hair
- Shave with a sharp razor
- Wet the skin with warm water before shaving
- Rinse the blade with water after every stroke
- Use a foam or a gel while shaving
- Shave in the direction of the hair
- Leave a little stubble, if you can
- Apply a cool compress/wash cloth after shaving (reduces irritation)
- Exfoliate (will remove the buildup of dead skin at the top of the pore)
- Do not tweeze the hair
What are the most common sites to have ingrown hair(s)?
Men – Many of my male clients have a problem with ingrown hairs on their face and necks. Some of my male clients have grown beards so they do not have to shave their faces and suffer with ingrown hairs. The chin, cheeks and neck are often problem sites. 50% of my clientele are men who are treating their faces with laser hair removal because of ingrown hair caused by shaving. Many of my male clients are treating their entire face and neck with laser hair removal simply because the constant shaving has become so problematic.
Women – The most common sites for ingrown hair for women are; the chin (often because women are tweezing the hair), the bikini, and the legs. These sites are commonly shaved and waxed, which can cause problems with ingrown hairs.
How does laser hair removal help with ingrown hair(s)?
Laser hair removal offers a fantastic solution for the problem of ingrown hairs. Laser hair removal, when done properly will permanently remove the hair. Laser hair removal is often used to treat chronic ingrown hairs.
Prior to doing a laser hair removal treatment the treatment site is shaved. The laser will detect the colored hair in the hair follicle, heat the follicle and cut off the blood supply to the hair and therefor prevent it from growing.
At any given time the hair in your treatment site is in three various stages of growth. For the follicle to be disabled the hair must be in the growth stage. For that reason you need a series of laser hair removal treatments. But you will have less hair and fewer ingrown after every single laser treatment.
After every laser hair removal treatment it will take 2 to 3 weeks for the hair in the follicles that were treated to fall out. It is not like waxing whereby the hair is removed at the time of your treatment. During that 2 to 3 weeks, after your laser treatment, the hair will look like it is growing as usual until the hair falls out. After the hair falls out you will see your improvement, less growing hair, fewer ingrown hairs.
For anyone suffering with ingrown hairs, it is very important that you try to follow the tips (mentioned above) between your laser hair removal treatments. Be gentle with the treatment site, take you time to shave properly and exfoliate. You will see that as you have less and less hair your problem with ingrown hairs vanishes.
After a course of laser hair removal treatments ingrown hair is greatly minimised if not resolved permanently.
I hope you found this article on ingrown hair interesting and valuable. If you have any questions about your ingrown hair or if you would like to take a appointment for a skin consultation, I invite you to contact us at our Montreal Medispa clinic. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions.