After years of shaving my legs and then epilating I’ve found myself wondering how to prevent ingrown hairs.
The truth of the matter is that hair removal methods like shaving, epilation and waxing are going to cause ingrown hairs for most women, it’s just the way it is.
There are only two that don’t cause them: laser hair removal and electrolysis, which are the only permanent hair removal methods.
The great thing is that you can take a few simple and easy measures to prevent them!
How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs With These 7 Tips
- Tip 1.) Get a Pair of Tweezers
- Tip 2.) Exfoliate
- Tip 3.) Physical Exfoliation
- Tip 4.) DIY Exfoliation
- Tip 5.) Chemical Exfoliation
- Tip 6.) Useful Tips to Know When Shaving
- Tip 7.) Epilating Tips To Prevent hairs growing under the skin
- Bonus Tip: How ingrown hairs appear in the first place and what you need to know
Tip 1.) Get a Pair of Tweezers
Before shaving, waxing, or epilating you can take a pair of sterile tweezers and lift out the ingrown hairs.
Let your method remove them, you just bring them out to the surface of the skin. It’s best to do it like that, to just lift the hair, instead of plucking it from the root. It eliminates any infection risk.
The extreme situation is when the ingrown hair goes too deep under the skin and you can’t reach it with a tweezer – in that case you can use a needle. Don’t be scared, it doesn’t hurt, not one bit, and it won’t leave a scar.
Just take the needle and poke the bump, it’s pretty intuitive so there’s nothing that requires any learning. Just make sure that the needle is sterile, you don’t need an infection on top of everything.
In less than a minute, you will get the hair out, sometimes a little blood will come out. If the hair has been growing inside the skin for a long time, it will be a big one. I’ve seen my boyfriend find one of those under his skin.
Nevertheless, if you have sensitive skin it might be best to stay away from this method. From my experience, sensitive skin heals over a long period of time so you might get some scars if you’re using the tweezer.
Tip 2.) Exfoliate
Exfoliation means getting rid of dead cells.
You should always do it before each epilation, waxing or shaving session and then daily or once every two days.
Ingrown hairs can be caused by the existence of a thick layer of dead skin. It’s pretty logical. The hair can’t break to the surface and grow normally above the skin because of the dead skin so it curls back under.
Tip 3.) Physical Exfoliation
I would suggest starting with an exfoliating glove.
It’s really cheap and it gets you rid of dead skin without being too harsh .
It’s also my favorite.
The Earth Therapeutics Hydro Exfoliating Gloves are phenomenal.
This method can be used daily because it doesn’t damage the skin, it cleans it gently. Moisturize after.
Another physical exfoliation option is getting exfoliation soaps that contain many oils plus oatmeal, sugar or salt. The oils help keep the skin hydrated.
These soaps can be used on a daily basis. Facial or body scrubs are also doing a great job.
For facial exfoliation, you could also try a facial cleansing brush. It’s really amazing.
Tip 4.) DIY Exfoliation
One of the simplest recipes is to put a little kosher salt in the shower gel and then rub it on your skin.
The shower gel instantly becomes a scrub, pretty simple right?
Tip 5.) Chemical Exfoliation
When talking about chemical exfoliation it simply means using products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids or salicylic acid.
These should be used less frequently because they can irritate the skin but they are extremely efficient exfoliation methods. Each product comes with its own set of instructions.
The best product from this category at the moment can be used daily without making any damages. I’m referring to PFB Vanish Hair Remover.
Tip 6.) Ingrown Hairs Tips When Shaving
For men, the right way to shave is with the grain. They should shave in the direction of the hair growth in order to avoid getting ingrown hairs and razor burns.
Women can shave their legs in the opposite direction without any worries. Another thing that might cause hairs to grow under the skin is shaving with a dull blade.
It’s best to change your razor or the cartridge frequently. It’s also a good shaving tip that saves you from nicks.
Don’t forget about exfoliation. It’s just as important as it’s in the case of waxing and epilation.
Tip 7.) Epilating Tips To Prevent Ingrown Hairs
There is the belief that the type of epilator that one uses can influence the number of ingrown hairs it might get.
I’m not entirely convinced that there is a relation between the epilator model and the number of ingrown hairs that are going to occur.
An example would be that if you get a device with many tweezers, like one with 72 tweezers, the number of passes needed is reduced and, being that powerful, it removes all hairs from the root instead of cutting the short thin ones.
Or getting an epilator with ceramic tweezers that are strong, hypoallergenic and completely safe.
Those are some few tips on how to prevent ingrown hairs but you will still get them, no matter what you do.
The idea is to keep everything under control and to have as little of them as possible.
All of the above tips are also great for fighting infections and irritation but, in the end, laser hair removal and electrolysis are the only hair removal methods that can get us rid of ingrown hairs for good, only if all of us could afford one or the other.
To Better Prevent Ingrown Hairs First Understand How They Appear
Understanding what ingrown hairs are is easy. The name practically suggests its meaning.
The hair simply decides that it’s not going to grow to the surface of the skin. Instead, it’s going to curl back inside its follicle and grow under the skin.
The other situation is when it grows sideways into the skin. It is as unpleasant as it sounds. It’s not aesthetically pretty at all because red bumps appear. They are also called razor bumps. If you look at it closely you can see the hair underneath the skin.
The common affected places are: face, legs, and bikini area. I use an epilator. Obviously, I’ve had my fair share of ingrown hairs during all these years. I’ve always been fortunate because there are no red bumps and no irritation. In my case, they are simply small black dots that can’t be seen from a distance, only when you get closer to the legs. Legs are the only area of the body where I have them.
So you might think that it’s not actually a big deal because it’s nothing serious, it causes me no discomfort at all. And all that is true but for me the problem is more of a psychological nature.
The skin is not irritated but my brain is. There are some nasty side-effects of hair growing under the skin, like becoming infected, causing itching and scratching which can leave scars, or permanently darkening the skin.
That it’s valid for both men and women. The fortunate cases happen when the hairs go away on their own without you doing anything.
What’s The Bottom Line?
- Exfoliation remains the most effective weapon. It’s also cheap, you can do a body scrub all by yourself at home. It’s also incredibly relaxing.
- There are two types: physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Stick to the physical one if your ingrown hairs are nothing serious and they’re not threatening your skin’s health.
- When shaving, don’t use a dull blade.
- When epilating choose the right epilator for you and keep things under control.