Written by Subuola Oyeleye
Image by @skims
It’s almost impossible to get a clean shave or wax without little bumps popping up here and there – sometimes, they can even be quite painful. These bumps are called ingrown hairs and here’s how to handle them like a pro.
1) Shave less
The first step is to shave less – this may not be what you wanted to hear, but ingrown hairs are caused by hair attempting to grow back (after removal) and in the process, getting trapped under the skin’s surface. Shaving or waxing the affected areas frequently can aggravate the ingrown hair even more leading to potential irritation and scarring. Waxing, however, is a better alternative to shaving as the hair is being removed from the root as opposed to being cut off at the surface. If shaving is still your preference, opt for good quality razors that have multiple blades like Venus Comfortglide – one of my personal favourites.
The second step is to exfoliate. This allows the trapped ingrown hair to break-free on to the skin’s surface. Better still, regular exfoliation will help keep the dead skin cells away and the hair follicles open to let hair grow out properly. My top recommendations for this are PFB Vanish Ultra/Chromabright, Topicals High Roller and Skin Doctors Ingrown Gro – All tried and tested. In addition, you can hold a warm cloth over the affected area for 10 minutes to open up the pores for the hair to grow out freely. You want to avoid picking or squeezing the ingrown hairs – this only leads to more damage.
3) Prevent inflammation
If the affected area is slightly inflamed, using a small amount of hydrocortisone cream on the affected area, in addition to exfoliation should do the job. If you notice extreme irritation with indicators like pus – it’s time to see your dermatologist for a thorough examination.
4) Consider laser hair removal
The best treatment on the market to prevent ingrown hairs is laser hair removal so this is one to consider if your prone to an extreme amount of ingrown hairs, or really if you want to have this issue (almost) gone for good. As laser significantly slows down the rate of hair growth, it subsequently reduces your chances of getting ingrown hairs and this is really where the magic lies.