Will My Hair Grow Back After a Tattoo?

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If you’ve ever gotten a tattoo, you know that you’re required to shave the area where the tattoo will be placed (if the area has any hair, of course). This is a common requirement before tattooing so that the tattoo artist can do their work without any hindrances. Hair can prevent the stencil from properly applying, and can mess things up with the needle and the ink.

But, what happens after the tattoo is done? Does the hair grow back, or will it remain hairless forever?

In the following paragraphs, we’ll take a look at what happens with the skin after tattooing and whether or not the hair will grow back. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Shaving Before Getting a Tattoo – Why?

To understand the issue here, one needs to understand why it is required to shaved the designated tattoo area in the first place.

First of all, if you come to a tattoo shop not shaved, don’t worry. Your tattoo artist will provide you with a razor to shave the designated area yourself, or they will do it if the area is out of your reach.

The designated tattoo area needs to be smooth and clean for numerous reasons. For example;

  • A smooth and clean area will results in a better stencil application
  • Hairless skin is easier to work with
  • Hairless skin also allows the tattooists to work easily
  • Smooth skin doesn’t interfere with the needle
  • There will be no blank spots in the tattoo when the area is shaven

As you can see, hair can cause a lot of issues for the tattoo artist. If you didn’t shave beforehand, the hair would interrupt the needle in its puncturing of the skin. It will also cause the needle to miss certain spots on the skin, and as a result, there will be blank spots in the tattoo. Not to mention that it is 10 times harder to apply the stencil for the tattoo design onto hairy skin than it is on smooth and shaven skin.

If you want your tattoo to turn out perfect, you will have to shave, no doubt!

Note: During the shaving, one has to be extra careful not to get a razor cut. In case of a razor cut or burn, your tattoo artist might not be able to tattoo properly. The needle cannot work over the cut, since it is considered to be an ‘open wound’. You might need to wait for the cut to heal completely before getting a tattoo.

So, Will The Hair Grow Back?

The Aftermath of a Tattoo

First of all, let’s take a moment to understand what your skin goes through after it’s been tattooed.

In the first days, your tattoo will act as an open wound. The skin has been punctured thousand of times, continuously, so it is natural to treat it as a fresh wound. And, the wound needs to heal.

At this point, you will let your tattoo stay wrapped for the next day. It will ooze and leak, but that is normal. The body is getting rid of the extra plasma and ink so that the area can dry out and heal.

As the tattoo heals, the skin dries out and you will notice a new layer of skin forming. It is important not to pick it or touch it, even though it itches and causes discomfort.

Once the tattoo has healed, you will notice the skin going back to its usual self. It will feel soft again, and you will notice some hair growth.

The Hair Growing

Now, depending on the area on the body, the hair will either grow or it won’t grow.

If the area didn’t have any hair before the tattoo, it won’t have hair after the tattoo, as one would assume. Some people think that tattoo healing promotes hair growth, but that is not true in cases where there hasn’t been any hair in the first place.

But, what about the areas where there was hair, and you had to shave it? Well, a simple answer is; yes, the hair will grow back, regardless of the tattoo!

The hair may not grow as fast as it would usually do after a razor shave. The skin is damaged after the tattooing process, so the focus of the body is on wound healing first. Therefore, the hair growth cycle may be delayed for a few days in certain body areas. What we mean by this is the following;

If the tattooed area is extra hairy, the hair may take some time to get back to the hairiness and hair thickness it used to have. On the other hand, if the tattooed area didn’t really have a lot of hair, you may notice an even greater delay in hair growth.

What About Ingrown Hair?

Many people worry about a specific tattoo problem; ingrown hair.

After you shave and get a tattoo, is it possible to experience hair growth issues, in regards to ingrown hair? Well, the answer is, yes and no.

Now, it is essential to understand that tattoo ink is placed into the skin under the area of hair follicles. This means that the tattoo itself won’t be affected even if there was an issue with ingrown hair.

However, we all know how annoying ingrown hair can be. It usually causes some kind of local inflammation, becomes very itchy and uncomfortable. If that is the case, especially on a fresh tattoo, it is essential you refrain from touching and scratching the area.

This will only cause further issues with the skin and may affect the tattoo healing process itself. However, if your tattoo is fully healed, and you experience an issue with ingrown hair, feel free to treat the area, but refrain from puncturing the skin to remove the hair.

If you do pick on the ingrown hair, bear in mind that this may cause damage to the tattoo, especially if you squeeze and scratch the area. There can be even permanent scarring and infection of the area as well.

So, how can you prevent these issues from occurring?

First of all, we would recommend you either get the tattoo in a location with the least or no hair. Or, you get a tattoo where the skin is a bit thicker and has more muscle support.

The reason we recommend this lies in the fact that thinner skin is more prone to ingrown hair issues. Where the skin is thinner, so is the hair in most of the cases. Thin hair has a harder time growing, so it gets stuck in the follicles and causes all sorts of issues.

The problem may also occur during the shaving itself. If the razor is shaving the skin in the opposite direction of its growth, you’re more likely to end up with ingrown hair. So, it is essential to shave the hair in the same direction in which it grows.

Also, the majority of tattoo artists tend to dry shave the designated area. This shaving method can result in razor cuts, razor burns, and ingrown hair once the skin starts healing. Ask your tattoo artist to properly shave the skin (using a foaming shaving gel, for example), or make sure you shave or remove the hair before the tattooing session.

Will The Hair Grow Back After Tattoo Removal?

Another common issue that involves tattoos is hair growth after tattoo removal.

Now, considering that the majority of tattoo removal is done by a laser, we’ll focus on laser tattoo removal for this issue.

There are currently no indications that your hair won’t grow back after a completed laser tattoo removal. There are cases where the hair doesn’t grow back as thick as it used to be. And, some people have experienced some hair loss in the treated area. Temporary hair loss was reported, but it was more of a case of delayed hair growth; the hair did grow back, it just took more time as the skin was healing and recovering from the treatment.

However, because the laser is designed to only target the ink in the skin, it generally doesn’t affect the surrounding area, tissue, and hair follicles. So, even if there were any possible damage to hair follicles, it would be minimal, since the laser works quickly and the removal sessions are not long.

Final Thoughts

So, whatever the circumstances may be, your hair will grow back after getting a tattoo, if the area had hair before the tattoo as well. If the area was hairless before the tattoo, it will remain so even after the tattoo. The body has its ways of working normally, even after the skin has been damaged by the tattooing process. If your hair doesn’t grow back immediately, don’t worry. The treated skin needs some time to heal, and as it heald, the hair growth cycle will return to its normal, biological schedule.

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