Fact or Fiction: Does At-Home Laser Hair Removal Cause Ingrown Hairs?
Shaving does it. So does waxing, and even tweezing. We’re talking about ingrown hairs, those pesky, often painful hairs that get trapped under the surface of the skin while attempting to grow normally. Brooklyn, NY, dermatologist Tatiana Khrom, MD, explains that ingrown hairs happen when the sharp tip of the hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin, leaving a bump under the skin.
Just about every conventional hair removal method has the ability to produce ingrown hairs, which lead us to wonder if at-home laser hair removal does too.
Professional and at-home hair removal devices work wonders for those who are prone to developing ingrown hairs because the light emitted from these tools actually destroys the hair all the way down at the root. “Hair removal lasers don’t cause ingrown hairs given that the hair follicle is further disabled each time upon use and after three months, users will see full results (when the device is used once every other week) to ensure that all follicles can be fully disabled,” says Aundy Crenshaw, Tria Beauty interim senior global marketing director for hair removal. “When a hair follicle doesn’t regrow, there is zero risk of an ingrown hair for that particular follicle.”
Keep in mind that if you choose to use an at-home hair removal device, most of them instruct you to shave the area before treating it. Crenshaw says, “Shaving the area allows for the laser to be most effective, as it targets pigment in the hair follicle under the surface of the skin. Shaving (not waxing or plucking) is part of the process because hair grows in various cycles. Shaving in between treatments helps to keep hair in the growth phase." But, the act of shaving itself could cause ingrowns between treatment sessions. “Because shaving is a cause of ingrowns, you may want to exfoliate after shaving,” says Dr. Khrom.
It may be more time-consuming than shaving or waxing, but if it leaves you hair-free and never having to worry about ingrown hairs again, DIY hair removal just may be the best-kept secret to perfect, bump-free skin.