If you’ve ever removed facial or body hair through shaving, chances are, you’ve experienced an ingrown hair in your life. Ingrown hairs aren’t harmful, but they can be an irritating nuisance—especially when your goal is to achieve soft, smooth skin. Fortunately, there are ways to tackle these unwanted blemishes and, even better, prevent them entirely. For example, skin waxing may help you reduce the frequency of ingrown hairs. Here’s a closer look at why.
What are ingrown hairs?
An ingrown hair occurs when a hair follicle grows and emerges from the skin but fails to protrude all the way or curls back and becomes embedded. In some cases, you may see the hair trapped below the skin. However, you may only see a red, inflamed bump, which can be painful or irritating. Any area of the body where you’ve waxed, shaved, or tweezed may be susceptible to ingrowns. So, they’re often seen in the jawline, legs, bikini line, and armpits.
How does waxing help prevent ingrown hairs?
One of the risk factors for ingrown hairs is thicker hair texture. And while shaving doesn’t actually make hair grow back thicker, it does blunt the end of the follicle. Therefore, hair that’s been shaved has a higher chance of piercing the skin once it’s emerged from the surface, causing the hair to then grow back into the skin. Waxing removes hair from the root, so the end of the follicle maintains a natural beveled edge when the hair grows back. Still, waxing can lead to ingrown hairs without proper technique.
Done right, skin waxing will pull hair right from the root. But, if you’re trying DIY waxing at home or seeing an inexperienced wax technician, the hair may be ripped below the surface of the skin, but not fully removed. So, you’ll see the same type of blunted regrowth as you would shaving. To reduce this risk, your technician should work in small sections and pull the hair in the right direction. This way, the entire follicle will be removed, and you’ll see healthier regrowth.
What can you do to get rid of ingrown hairs once they appear?
Sometimes even with the best hair removal methods, ingrown hairs still happen. When they do, resist the urge to pop or pick at the irritated area with your hands, and put down the tweezers. Breaking the skin to attempt to remove the hair can lead to infection—and it’ll just be downright painful. Instead, look for an ingrown hair serum to apply after waxing. This type of serum will chemically exfoliate the skin while simultaneously moisturizing it to reduce post-wax irritation.
Alternatively, you can apply a warm compress to the area and use your preferred exfoliating solution to remove dead skin. Products containing alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or retinoids will also help. These accelerate the skin’s regenerative process, so they can also address any dark spots associated with ingrown hairs.
How should I care for my skin after waxing?
After any skin waxing treatment, there are a few basic steps you can take to keep your skin happy and prevent ingrown hairs. Following any body wax service, avoid tight fitting clothing, which can rub against the skin and encourage the hair to grow back in the wrong direction. For the face and body, be sure to moisturize and exfoliate the skin regularly in the days following your treatment.
You can also begin your post-wax care before you even head to the salon. Make sure your skin is clean and free of products like lotions, serums, and perfumes that may reduce surface contact between your skin and the wax. This ensures a tight grip around the hair, which will help extract the whole follicle cleanly.
Here at Bare Necessity Wax & Spa, we can help you feel much more comfortable with your waxing services in Tucson and Gilbert. We use European hard waxes to reduce pain and irritation during your treatment while delivering more effective results. In addition, we can recommend the right products to continue pampering your skin once you leave the salon. To schedule your next wax with us and see the difference we can make for your skin, book an appointment on our website!