Does Hair Grow Over Tattoos? Learn To Navigate Hair Growth and Tattoos

Professional tattoo artist which making tattoo on the leg of a young girl. Hands of a tattoo artist. Tattooist makes a tattoo
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For many people, tattoos are not just some random type of fashion. They can hold deep personal meaning or even represent involvement in a certain culture or subculture. If you’ve gotten a tattoo before, you will recall that the artist would have shaved or waxed the surface first before laying down the stencil. This is because hair can cause an obstruction and affect the final outcome.

But, once the tattoo is complete, does your hair grow back over it? Does hair grow over tattoos?

Yes, hair will grow over your tattoo! You’ll have to manage the hair growth in that area if you want to keep your tattoo sharp and visible.

Let’s look into that below.


Does Hair Grow Over Tattoos?

The simple answer is yes, hair grows over tattoos.

Skin Diagram Source: Wikipedia
Skin Diagram Source: Wikipedia

Tattoos are basically scars on your skin created by injecting ink into the dermis (that’s your second layer of skin).

The root of your hair stems from much deeper than the dermis, and hair will continue to grow once your tattoo is complete and starts healing (don’t forget to moisturize regularly!). It is possible that the hair might be thinner or even lighter in color than originally and may not grow back in the same pattern since it now has to grow through scarred skin. 

The root of your hair stems from much deeper than the dermis, and hair will continue to grow once your tattoo is complete and starts healing.

Can I Shave Over My Tattoo?

Yes. Shaving over a tattoo is safe. However, you should wait until your tattoo is fully healed to do so and your artist gives you the go.

There should be no signs of scabbing or peeling (we hope you’ve used tattoo sunscreen!), which are normal occurrences that generally last for a few weeks after you’ve been tattooed. Shaving is a great way of exfoliating your skin and keeping the tattoo clean as well. 

Bear in mind, though, that excessive shaving can irritate your hair follicles and cause them to become inflamed. This can lead to razor bumps and in-grown hairs.

Be sure to use a sharp razor and try not to add too much pressure on your skin when shaving. 

Another great solution is waxing, which like shaving, will not affect your tattoo negatively as long as it’s not done excessively. Waxing pulls the entire hair strand out, unlike shaving, which merely cuts the hair at the surface.

Thus you will likely see that hair takes longer to grow back when waxing than shaving. 

Many people believe that these methods may increase the likelihood of fading their tattoos, but this is not the case. It’s actually too much direct exposure to the sun that causes fading to occur, especially after shaving or waxing since your skin is more vulnerable then. 

Always discuss your specific tattoo and situation with your artist, and get their recommendation for hair care.

Always discuss your specific tattoo and situation with your artist, and get their recommendation for hair care.

Will My Hair Grow Again if I Remove My Tattoo?

Tattoos are generally considered permanent scars. However, if you’re considering removing a tattoo, you may be wondering if the laser treatment used in tattoo removals will stop your hair from growing back. 

Well, it doesn’t! There have been some instances of temporary hair loss and hair not growing back as thick as it was before the tattoo removal.

But, this can be expected because your skin will still need to heal and recover from the treatment. Laser removal of tattoos is designed to target the ink in your skin, not the surrounding tissues or hair follicles. 

How Do I Remove Hair Safely From My Tattoos?

As mentioned earlier, ensuring your tattoo is fully healed before attempting any hair removal method is extremely important. Once healed, your tattooed skin is the same as any other regular skin on your body, so the same skin care principles should be maintained.

Here are a couple of steps to help you could use to ensure that your hair removal is effective: 

Step One – Preparation

Always shower beforehand. This will help soften the hair and make it easier to remove. Thereafter be sure to use a good pre-removal product to aid the protection of your skin during removal.

Several gels, foams, and waxes are available that are designed for varying skin types and the area you intend to use them on.

Take the time to do some research to ensure you select the right option for you. 

Step Two – Hair Removal

If you’re intending to shave, don’t use your blades for too long before changing them. Blades can easily rust and contain bacteria to which you do not want to expose your skin or tattoo. Next, you should shave with the grain of your hair and avoid going over the same patches of skin too many times. 

Once your hair removal is complete, you should rinse off your skin with cold water, which will close the hair follicles.

Thereafter apply a good-quality moisturizer to soothe your skin and keep it hydrated. 


Tattooing has been around for centuries and has developed over time. The ink inserted below your skin should not affect your hair follicles since it does not penetrate deep enough below your skin to do so.

You’ll grow hair over the location of your tattoo. However, the hair growth may be finer or lighter in color than it once was. 

Finally, be sure you are using the right pre-removal and aftercare products, as this will go a long way in maintaining your tattoo’s vibrance. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).