Hair Removal over a Tattoo: How to Preserve Your Treasured Ink

Posted on: 19 August 2016


After carefully choosing, paying for, and undergoing the discomfort of getting a tattoo, people understandably want to protect their skin art. A good tattoo may need some maintenance after a few years due to the natural shedding of the skin, but it should remain bold and beautiful for decades. Hair removal is a big concern for many following their tattoo application, so here are some tips to remaining hair free and colorfully inked. 

Shaving: Avoid shaving the skin over a tattoo for a couple of weeks. When the skin has healed to the point where it no longer feels raised, it is safe to shave. Using an electric razor for the first couple of months will help to avoid irritating sensitive skin.

Depilatory Creams: Do not use any hair-removal creams for several weeks after a tattoo is received. Always test the product on another area of the skin first to check for allergic reactions if this is the first time using that particular cream is attempted. Leave the cream on for the minimum amount of time to avoid irritation. 

Waxing: Waxing is not for everyone because it is sometimes painful. However, it does exfoliate the skin while removing the hair and may brighten the ink by eliminating dry, dead skin. Again, it is important to wait until the skin is fully healed before attempting this method. 

Laser Hair Removal: Lasers are used to remove unwanted tattoos. The light is designed to look for pigment (the reason why dark hair is easier to remove), and it is attracted to the ink. With laser hair removal, burns to the skin and damage to the tattoo are very likely. Careful removal of hair near a tattoo is possible, but cover the ink with a bandage. 

Electrolysis: Electrolysis uses heat rather than light to remove hair, so it should not cause any damage to the tattoo. It is a good idea to wait several months before using this method to ensure the tattoo is fully healed. 

It makes sense to want to remove hair that is covering or detracting from the beauty of a tattoo. Most methods, if done carefully, will not damage the design. It is always a good idea to test a new hair-removal treatment or method on a small area before risking an entire tattoo. Since hair has to be removed prior to your getting a tattoo, consider having a long-term solution like laser hair removal or electrolysis performed before the ink is added.