Is It Safe To Perform Laser Hair Removal Over a Tattoo?
Did you just get some new ink and the stubble around it is starting to grow back? The area could still be healing, and you may be wondering, how do I safely get rid of this hair? The short answer is, you may have to wait a little while longer to get rid of that unwanted hair.
You may also be wondering if laser hair removal is safe for your tattoos. If so, you are not alone! Getting a tattoo can be a painful yet amazing experience and of course, you want that new piece of artwork to last forever.
Tattoos are trending. These ink masterpieces are popping up all over the body, and this could lead to a bit of a problem for places that you want to be hair-free.
So here comes the bad news...unfortunately, laser hair removal cannot be done over a tattoo. Laser hair removal is meant to remove your unwanted hair, and lasers and tattoos unfortunately don’t mix, as laser technology actually removes tattoos as well. This can be a tricky situation, but never fear, there are several alternative solutions. So let’s dive in and learn about laser hair removal and tattoos.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
If you’re considering getting laser hair removal for the first time or maybe in a new area, welcome to the club! You may be thinking, how does laser hair removal actually work?
Laser hair removal is a procedure that uses a very concentrated beam of light (the laser) to remove any unwanted body hair. The laser hair removal works when the concentrated light meets the hair follicles.
The laser is attracted to the pigment, which can be either from the hair root or from the pigment in the blood supply to the follicle. Through light and heat, the hair follicle will then be damaged enough to prevent or delay future hair growth.
In general, the number and frequency of laser hair removal procedures are once every four to six weeks depending on the individual’s hair growth. However, it is always advised to consult with an experienced esthetician or dermatologist to determine the best plan for you and your body.
Are There Any Side Effects to Laser Hair Removal?
Let’s just be honest for a second; pretty much all types of traditional hair removal techniques have their downsides. Whether it’s dealing with the razor burn, bending over backward in the shower, or feeling the sting from waxing, we’ve all been there at some point. Being hair-free is not always easy.
On the other hand, those who have experienced laser hair removal know that it can feel like you’ve discovered the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Here at KENZZI, we offer high-quality hair removal products and will help walk you through the laser hair removal process.
However, there are some rare, but possible side effects to laser hair removal. Some general laser hair removal side effects might include:
- Redness and sensitivity
So, if you are new to the laser hair removal world, you will probably love the newfound smoothness of your skin from this process. If you just got a new tattoo, laser hair removal can work for other areas of the body, it should not be done over the tattoo itself.
Can You Get Laser Hair Removal Over Tattoos?
Unfortunately, getting laser hair removal over tattoos is not a good idea. Laser hair removal is a medical procedure meant to remove hair, and if this type of laser comes in contact with your tattoos, it could lead to some serious damage.
If you still want to do laser hair removal and you have a tattoo, some experienced practitioners can make a safe, thick, custom cover for your tattoo, and then target the surrounding areas of skin. But in general, getting laser hair removal over tattoos is not safe.
Let’s break down why laser hair removal is not safe over tattoos and find some safe alternatives.
Laser Hair Removal for People With Tattoos
As we just learned, getting laser hair removal over your tattoos could lead to some serious damage including discoloring your tattoo. Since laser hair removal targets the pigments, it can also reduce the color in your tattoo, or even worse, cause the pigment to scatter.
There have been many horror stories of people experiencing third-degree burns from doing this, so it’s never a safe idea to get laser hair removal over a tattoo.
On the flip side, there are some alternative solutions for getting rid of this unwanted hair!
Are There Any Alternatives to Laser Hair Removal?
Okay, so we just learned that performing laser hair removal over tattoos is not the best option...so what is? Luckily there are several other safe alternatives for removing that unwanted hair over your tattoos.
If you just got a new tattoo on your leg or on a part of your body where you normally shave, it may be tempting to shave the area when stubble starts to appear. However, it’s very important to wait until your tattoo has completely peeled and healed before you take a razor to this area.
In general, this could take anywhere from five to 10 days, but can also take up to a few months for some people. A good test to try is to close your eyes and gently run your fingertips over the tattoo and the area around it.
If you don’t feel any bumps and the tattoo feels the same as the skin around it, then it should be safe to shave. If you are using a razor with blades, make sure to be very gentle as the last thing you want to do is reopen the wound or get an infection.
Waxing is typically a pretty safe bet when it comes to removing hair over tatted skin. When waxing, the wax is only applied to the outer layer of skin, so it doesn’t touch or affect the tattoo pigment under the skin. Just make sure to wait around four to six weeks after getting a tattoo done before waxing the area over a new tattoo.
Hair Removal Cream
If you’ve tried shaving and waxing, but are tired of the little bumps on your skin, maybe it’s time to try a hair removal cream. If you just got a tattoo, you’ll want to wait about two weeks, or until your tattoo is completely healed, before applying any hair removal cream to the skin over the tattoo.
If your tattoo is healed, it’s always best to test the hair removal cream on a small area of your skin first to make sure that your skin does not have a negative reaction. If for any reason you feel any burning sensations, immediately rinse the cream off with water and wipe off the product. However, if your skin feels good to go, you can follow the instructions on the box and safely remove hair over your tattoos with a hair removal cream.
Consider all of the factors above before choosing what hair removal process works best for you and your new tattoo!
Should I Get Laser Hair Removal Before Getting a Tattoo?
Yes! If you are contemplating getting laser hair removal done, you definitely want to get this done before getting any tattoos. This will actually help keep the skin above the tattoo hair-free and smooth, long after the tattoo is in place.
Otherwise, you will just have to live with the little stubbles of hair starting to grow back. We all know what that is like, so it’s definitely recommended to remove the hair before, either through laser hair removal, IPL, or another alternative.
Which Hurts More?
Lastly, you might just be curious and want to know what hurts more. For most, getting a tattoo is far more painful than getting laser hair removal. But with both, it also depends on the area of your body where you are getting the procedure done.
Many say that getting a tattoo feels like a prickling sensation or like getting stung by a bee. On the flip side, laser hair removal feels more like a hairband being snapped on your skin, which if you grew up with a sibling, there’s a good chance you’ve felt this before and know that the sensation goes away pretty quickly.
All in all, while laser hair removal works great on most areas of the body, you should not get laser hair removal over tattoos. This could lead to painful blisters and could really mess up your tattoo.
Save the laser hair removal or IPL for other areas of the body without tattoos. To be on the safe side, and for your tattoo’s sake, stick to waxing, shaving, or other methods of hair removal. This will leave your skin feeling safe and your tattoo looking beautiful!
Laser hair removal | Mayo Clinic
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How to Use Hair Removal Cream on Tattoos Learn More | Healthfully