As our modern lives become busier and busier, efficiency is king. And few things are less efficient than removing unwanted body hair. You’re either stuck in your shower or beholden to monthly appointments at a salon. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and the results are hardly impressive.
Enter laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal is the fastest and safest way to get long-lasting results — but it’s not for everyone.
In this blog, Dr. Chinyere Orafu and our team at Ohio Laser & Wellness Centers answer one of the most frequently asked laser hair removal questions: Do my tattoos count me out?
The science behind tattoos
Before we discuss how laser hair removal affects tattoos, we need to discuss how tattoos affect your skin. Tattoo machines have a needle that punctures your skin rapidly (50-3000 times a minute) while simultaneously depositing ink into your skin.
Your body senses that you’ve been injured and responds by sending cells to repair damage and address foreign substances. However, since the ink particles are too large to disperse, your body’s natural healing response traps them inside your skin, leaving intricate designs and vibrant colors.
Tattoos naturally fade over time, but if you're not careful, treatments like laser hair removal can cause them to fade faster.
Laser hair removal and tattoos
Laser hair removal set the standard for permanent hair removal long ago. Its ability to zap your hair follicles, disrupt hair growth, and prevent hair from regrowing meant freedom from razors and tweezers. However, if you have tattoos covering the areas you’d like to have laser hair removal, you may not be a candidate.
Our lasers are attracted to pigment, which is not good news for the ink in your skin. You can have hair removed with a laser around your tattoo, but we don’t recommend bringing lasers close enough to affect your tattoo and possibly damage your skin.
You may also consider having laser hair removal treatments done before you get a tattoo to get hair-free skin and a killer tattoo.
You are not out of luck
Just because laser treatments aren’t right for you doesn’t mean you’re out of options. At Ohio Laser & Wellness Centers, we offer another route: electrolysis.
Rather than using laser energy which can destroy a tattoo, electrolysis harnesses the power of electric currents. These electric currents penetrate the follicle deeper in your skin, leaving your tattoo to be. That means you may be a candidate for permanent hair removal even if you have tattoos.
The bottom line
It doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life battling unwanted body hair just because you have tattoos. We make it a priority to help every one of our patients get the skin of their dreams regardless of their skin type or the number of tattoos they have. We carefully examine your skin before making a recommendation to make sure you’re a perfect candidate.
Have more questions about our hair removal services? We’d love to talk with you. Call our friendly staff or request a consultation online. We proudly serve patients in the Dover and Canton, Ohio, area.