Ingrown hairs are very common in both men and women in areas where we remove hair. Ingrown hair is basically the product of one or two things; the hair has grown out of the skin and curled back on itself (particularly likely in the pubic area) or the hair follicle has become clogged with dead skin cells preventing the hair’s ability to break through the skin’s surface. The appearance is red, pimple like spots that can be incredibly itchy, look unsightly and can lead to infection if not resolved.
TOP TIP: if you shave, change your blades frequently. Dull blades can cause ingrown hairs
Here are our top tips on combating ingrown hairs:
- Exfoliation is key- You should be exfoliating before any hair removal treatment whether at home or in salon- it helps prepare the skin and will hopefully mean fewer ingrown hairs on regrowth. It shouldn’t end there though, continually, at least once a week, exfoliate your body to prevent and combat ingrown hair potential.
- Moisturise! Aloe vera is great for soothing- Keeping your skin soft and smooth is a great way to prevent ingrown hairs as it encourages the hair to grow through. Equally when treating an ingrown hair, moisturised skin will soothe your discomfort.
- Use tweezers to lift the hair out- Only do this after exhausting the exfoliating option and if they are just below the surface of the skin; don’t pick at it though as it could lead to infection. Ensure your tweezers are clean by using an antibacterial wash/wipe and rinse with boiling hot water to sterilize.
- Wear comfortable, non-restrictive underwear/clothing- tight clothing or underwear on an area that has undergone hair removal treatment is more likely to result in ingrown hairs- your skin needs to breathe to ensure healthier regrowth. This doesn’t necessarily apply to skinny jeans but consider the elastic in your underwear which is likely to rub against your skin even if you feel comfortable.
- Don’t perform any hair removal until you’re confident the hairs have regrown- 4 weeks for waxing, at least a week for shaving (avoid the spotted area completely if you suspect it’s an ingrown hair until it is out in the open), it could be excruciatingly painful and/or lead to infection.
- See a professional- For my waxing I see a beautician who after waxing inspects for and removes any/potential ingrown hairs. Although I’m still likely to get them for a few days/week after the treatment, it does help massively.
See your doctor!
If the spot becomes more enlarged, hot to the touch and/or you start to feel feverish/unwell. It’s likely in these scenarios that you’ve got an infection! Time to book yourself in.