How Laser Hair Removal Helps Ingrown Hairs

Those who have had to deal with ingrown hairs are likely well aware that they can be a pain. Ingrown hairs curl back and grow into the skin’s surface, causing an unattractive and painful bump. Although ingrown hairs can occur anywhere on an individual’s body, they are most commonly found on legs, underarms, faces and bikini regions.

Ingrown hairs can happen to anyone, and unfortunately shaving, waxing or even wearing tight fitting clothing can increase an individual’s chances of getting ingrown hairs. So how can one minimize the occurrence of ingrown hairs? Below we discuss the nature of ingrown hairs and what treatment options are available.

What’s an Ingrown Hair Anyway?

An ingrown hair is just what it sounds like – a hair that curls and grows into the skin’s surface, causing an unattractive and painful bump. Sometimes the bump remains entirely closed; other times the rogue hair can be visibly poking from the bump’s surface. In either case, the bump will eventually heal, sometimes leaving a mark. Shaving is a top cause of ingrown hairs; the blunting of hair ends during the cutting process is believed to encourage the hair to grow into the skin.

Some symptoms and cases of ingrown hairs are accompanied with an infection in the follicle area and when this happens, the area becomes irritated and sore. The infection can also lead to itching, skin rashes, and puss collecting under the skin.

Treatment Options for Ingrown Hairs

Those affected by ingrown hairs have tried just about everything from topical applications of topical chemical exfoliators, steroids (cortisone), retinoids, antibiotics, special razors, and the list goes on. These remedies can often cause severe skin irritation and may not fully resolve the problem.

There is one treatment that is highly effective in resolving the ingrown hair problem and that is laser removal. Laser hair removal goes to the root of the problem, literally. The laser energy is absorbed into the hair follicle destroying its ability to produce hair.

Laser hair removal does require a series of treatments, typically at least 8 and facial hair may need maintenance treatments 1 to 2 times a year after completing a series just to keep the ingrowns at bay. Facial hair growth is hormonally driven and that’s why it may always require on-going maintenance treatments.

Laser Hair Removal for Ingrown Hairs

With each treatment the follicle shrinks in size, so the the hair it can produce becomes much finer and lighter in color. In turn this prevents the ingrown from even happening. The goal is to destroy deaden the follicles. Once destroyed, the hair follicle will never grow back. While being 100% hair free isn’t realistic, what a patient can expect is anywhere from a 75% to 90% hair reduction in the area treated, so some call it laser hair reduction, for that reason.

Along with getting rid of ingrown hairs and bumps, laser hair removal also helps to alleviate any skin discoloration caused by ingrown hairs. Treatments are fast with minimal discomfort.

Ingrown Hairs? Schedule a Consult for Laser Hair Removal

For those suffering from ingrown hairs, stop wasting money on creams and topical therapies that don’t work. Laser hair removal offers an effective solution to this troublesome problem. But remember, not all lasers are created equal and not all lasers are safe for all skin types.  Make sure to do research and read reviews before consulting a facility for such treatment.

About the Author

Jay M. Kulkin, MD

Dr. Jay M. Kulkin is the Founder and Medical Director of WIFH. Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Kulkin was one of the first physicians in Georgia to use lasers in a surgical setting. He has more than 30 years of experience as a cosmetic laser specialist, and has trained numerous physicians around the United States and abroad on his surgical laser techniques. Since 2002, Dr. Kulkin and his personally trained staff of Laser Practitioners have performed over 1 million laser hair removal treatments.

13 Comments

What to Expect from Your Laser Hair Removal Treatment

[…] The best thing about laser hair removal is that you can treat any area of the body, with the exception of inside the orbit of the eye—so in many states you cannot have the eyebrow area treated because it is too close to the eye. Still, you can treat most areas of the body to permanently get rid of your unwanted hair. Beyond simply removing hair, laser hair removal also helps to get rid of ingrown hairs and lighten pigmentation caused by ingrown hairs. […]

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Quincy Simon

Is it possible to get a full body laser hair removal treatment? Do you have to reduce interaction with sun? Do Brazilian Laser Hair Removal treatments exist? Is Laser hair removal more modern and more beneficial than electrolysis?

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Lindsay Spires

Yes, we have many patients that do some version of a “whole body” treatment. We are able to customize a treatment package that meets your unique needs. Depending on your skin type we may recommend limiting sun exposure. We want you to be as close to your natural skin color as possible during the treatment process. We are able to do a “Brazilian” style laser hair removal for the bikini area. We ask that all treated areas be shaved before treatment, so if you would like a Brazilian you would simply shave accordingly. Laser hair removal and electrolysis are both permanent methods for removing hair. Electrolysis is a tedious process whereby they treat each individual hair follicle, so this would be best on smaller areas. With laser hair removal we are able to treat numerous hair follicles with each pulse of the laser, so treatment times are much quicker and effective. Both treatments require multiple sessions. All of our laser hair removal packages include 8-treatments.
Please let me know if you have additional questions or if you would like for us to put together a treatment package to include all of the areas you are interested in treating.

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Lindsay Spires

Laser hair removal does an amazing job of getting rid of ingrown hairs and preventing them from happening in the future. I’m not sure where you are located, but we welcome you to come and see us so that we can take a look. If you aren’t in the Atlanta area, be sure that you select a facility that has a lot of experience and has the appropriate laser for your skin type. Let us know if you have additional questions. Best of luck to you!

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Hani

I never had ingrown prior to my laser treatment, now I have 8 in my neck after my 2nd hair removal treatment.

What is the folicile is dead and the hair is trapped?

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Lindsay Spires

How long after your laser hair removal treatment did you experience the ingrown hairs? After you have a laser hair removal treatment the hair that was inside the follicle comes loose. That hair has to come to the surface and fall out, perhaps this is what you are experiencing. It can take multiple treatments before the hair follicle is completely deadened rending it unable to produce hair. Laser hair removal is a process and you will need in excess of 8-treatments for best results.

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Lindsay Spires

Yes you can have laser hair removal if you have active ingrown hairs. In fact, the laser will allow those hairs to eject and begin to heal. You will notice a drastic reduction in ingrown hairs even after your first treatment. If you have pigmentation issues because of the ingrowns and bumps you will notice them go away during the course of treatment at well. Let me know if you have additional questions.

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Priya

I have ingrown hairs under the skin, that are visible. Will laser be able to solve this? I understand that it will kill the hair to stop it from growing, but how will the hair under the skin come out through laser treatment?

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Lindsay Spires

Ingrown hairs are very common and the laser does a great job at getting rid of them and preventing them from happening in the future. Often when the laser hits the ingrown hair it will actually eject from under the skin, at the very least it comes loose from the follicle, it will eventually shed through the skin. With each laser treatment the hair follicles shrink in size, so the hair it can produce will be much finer making ingrown hairs less likely. By the end of your treatments the vast majority of follicles will no longer produce hair, it’s impossible to be completely hair free, we are mammals after all. That being said the follicles that are left and are producing hair will produce fine hair, light in color making maintenance very easy. If you suffer with ingrowns, laser is the best option.

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Lindsay Spires

We have an Alexandrite and the nd:YAG laser. Which laser will be used is determined by skin type. Lighter skin types we will use the Alexandrite and darker skin types we use the YAG laser.

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