Will removing body hair affect my tattoos?


Is it safe to remove hair on tattoos is an interesting and topical question and one I hadn’t considered before a friend asked me recently, as I don’t have any. With so many people getting tattoos these days it is certainly something which merited further investigation. This is what I found out ….

Will removing body hair affect my tattoos? The quick answer is, no it won’t affect your tattoos if you remove hair that grows through them, provided you have given them time to fully heal first. Once they have then there will be no problems provided you do as recommended below.

Obviously, if you have spent a fortune, gone through the discomfort and perhaps given up lots of time in getting a tattoo on your body, the last thing you want is body hair covering it up. You don’t want it obscured by hair, you want it visible for everyone to see clearly otherwise why have it!

I suggest you follow this advice that I have obtained from various experts:

New Tattoos

remove hair on tattoos

One thing is absolutely clear and is advice that is essential to follow. You should never attempt to shave over a tattoo until the skin has completely healed. If you do, then there is a serious risk of creating an infection in the tattoo site. This might not only affect your health but may also impact the final results of the tattoo. It could also be quite painful too.

Of course you want to show your tattoo off to the world, so you don’t want hair covering it, but you really must let it heal first. This can take anything from two weeks to over a month. That means you should have no scabbing, redness or peeling on and around the tattoo area. If you have any of this then leave it a bit longer to be safe. If it still hasn’t healed then it may be a good idea to visit your tattoo artist and seek their advice.

Existing Tattoos

It is perfectly safe to remove hair on tattoos, once it has healed (see above). Provided you don’t use hydrochloric acid or a blowlamp to do it that is!

There are various methods of doing this and which method you choose may depend on what part of your body the tattoo is.

Shaving Over Tattoos

Shaving only removes hair that is growing above the skin. Since the pigments of the tattoo are located beneath the top layer of skin they will not be touched by shaving, whether that be with a wet razor or an electric trimmer.

The Lawn Mower 2.0 is fast becoming our favourite trimmer. Read our initial thoughts here – Lawn Mower First Review

Hair Removal Cream For Tattoos

I was asked will hair removal cream damage my tattoo by another friend who had recently got his first tattoo. Fortunately, I was able to put his mind at rest. Hair removal creams are no more likely to damage tattooed skin than any other skin.

You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully of course and I would advise trying it on a small area first to make sure you have no adverse reaction.

I recommend the Dermolgy hair removal cream which is 100% natural.

Laser To Remove Hair On Tattoos

This is one type of hair removal that should not be attempted on any area of skin with tattoos. It is possible for the laser to damage the tattoos. This is hardly surprising really as one of the methods of removing tattoos that are no longer wanted is the use of lasers.

If you want permanent laser hair removal, and are considering getting a tattoo, then you should get the laser work done first. Afterwards is too late. The alternative is to consider electrolysis which is safe over tattoos.

IPL Hair Removal On Tattoos

There seems to be some debate about whether it is safe to use an IPL to remove hair on tattoos. Some say the darker pigments in a tattoo can affect the way the IPL works and may damage the tattoo.

I would therefore urge you to err on the side of caution and perhaps use another method.

After shaving Routine

Whichever method you use to remove hair on tattoos, it is worth using a moisturizer afterwards. This will not only help to soften your skin but may also make the top layer of your skin appear more transparent. This will help enhance the colors of your tattoo.

If you wish to look into the various methods further then you may wish to read my recommended methods based on my experience – A personal guide to body hair removal for men

Graeme P

Being a hairy man (thanks ancestors) I have been finding ways to remove much of my body hair for decades. Hopefully my experiences will help you.

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