How to treat ingrown hair
Those little red, often puss-filled lumps that tend to pop up after a Brazilian wax are super fun to squeeze… But like many things that are super fun, it’s also very bad behaviour. These pimple-like lumps are ingrown hairs, and if you’ve ever waxed, shaved or plucked, you’ve probably encountered one or 10 throughout your hair removal journey. They may be common, but there are things you can do to keep them at bay. Read on for our expert advice on how to treat ingrown hairs.
What causes ingrown hairs?
Waxing or shaving can encourage hair to grow back on an angle, instead of straight up. When this occurs, hair can start to push back down into the skin, resulting in a red lump which can often start to itch, and even worse, become infected.
Should you pick at ingrown hairs?
The answer, of course, is no way! But as with pimples, sometimes the easiest piece of advice is the hardest one to stick with. “The first golden rule of addressing ingrown hairs is not to attempt to remove them with your bare hands or by picking them,” says Nicky Shore, owner and co-founder of Off & On. “Before even attempting at-home ingrown hair removal, make sure you know what you are dealing with as they can vary from innocent to nasty.”
If it’s sebaceous or becoming angry and red, Nicky recommends applying a calming product, such a those containing salicylic acid, lactic acid and glycolic acid. If you’re concerned about infection setting in, see a doctor or phone your beauty salon for advice on the best way to proceed. In the meantime, avoid shaving the area and apply a warm compress – such as a flannel soaked in warm water – to help ease out the ingrown hair without having to squeeze it.
A product designed specifically to treat ingrown hair, such as Fur Ingrown Concentrate, $42, is worth investing in, too. This blend of 100 percent natural oils helps to soothe inflamed skin and ease out trapped hairs. Likewise, DeoDoc After Shave Intimate Balm, $34.99, should be your go-to if you’re using a razor down there. It too helps to sooth and calm the skin to prevent redness, and as an added bonus, it’s said to also reduce hair growth meaning you might be able to prolong your time between shaves for longer!
How do you prevent ingrown hairs in the first place?
“To prevent them, regular exfoliation and moisturisation is key – giving the hair every opportunity to make it through the skin’s surface and not be ‘trapped’,” says Nicky. An exfoliating mitt is a handy tool as they work harder than exfoliating scrubs or creams. Do this in the shower every day post wax or shave (especially on the bikini line). Just make sure to wash your mitt regularly so you don’t spread germs which could lead to infection.
bh loves: The Body Shop Hemp Body Mitt, $23.95
If you do shave your bikini line rather than wax, be sure to replace your razor every couple of weeks and always shave in the direction of your hair growth. For those unlucky enough to suffer from ingrown hairs no matter what you do to avoid them, laser hair removal is an amazing solution for nipping those ingrowns in the bud for good.
Do you have any tricks for preventing ingrown hairs? Let us know in the comments below!