Ingrown hairs are the worst. Especially for those of you who have super thick or curly hair– you know the struggle! They always pop up in the worst places and at even worse times, like on your bikini area in the summertime.
Even more unfortunate is when they leave scars the way acne does. Don’t let these little annoying hairs impede on your hot girl summer!
What Causes Ingrown Hairs?
Ingrown hairs can be anywhere on your body. According to dermatology experts, we have around 5 million hair follicles all over our body. These hair follicles have little individual hairs that grow through the skin, and unless you get laser hair removal, they will keep coming back.
When the hairs are ingrown, they curl back in before passing through the skin creating a little hook shape. This causes inflammation and can lead to bumps, irritation, tiny infections, and scarring. Horrible, right?!
Ingrown hairs, especially when they get infected, can affect your self-confidence and make you feel bad about your skin. If you’ve been struggling with your self-image, here are some resources.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Here’s some ways to prevent and deal with ingrown hairs:
1. Laser Hair Removal
The absolute best way to get rid of or prevent ingrown hairs is to get laser hair removal.
The laser process burns the follicles so that the hairs are damaged and can’t grow back. Hallelujah!
Now, the problem is that this might require many sessions and it certainly is not the cheapest option. Depending on skin tone and the pigment of the hair, some lasers work better than others. Some people might need 9 sessions or more, and that can cost a pretty penny!
2. Stay Moisturized When Shaving
When shaving, it’s best to always use some sort of moisturizing cream or gel. This helps to soften the hair follicles, making the edge of the hair a little less sharp. The sharper the hair is, the more likely it is to grow back into your skin.
So get yourself a nice cream or gel, and never dry shave unless you want to be covered in ingrown bumps!
3. Use a Sharp Blade
Always use a sharp blade when shaving! Dull blades can create sharp hair follicles that are more likely to become ingrown hairs. Try using the same razor a couple of times, and throw it out if you feel like it’s not doing the job.
Also, going over the same area many times can aggravate these areas more and cause irritation, leading to ingrown hairs or infections.
4. Exfoliate Well
It’s important to gently exfoliate these areas! Now, don’t get your rough loofah and go super hard. This will likely aggravate the skin even more. But, consider using some gentle exfoliation tools or creams.
Some specific creams or serums are marketed to help prevent ingrown hairs. Many of these contain chemical exfoliants such as salicylic acid or lactic acid to help remove dead skin cells and reduce ingrown hairs.
5. Try Waxing
Waxing is painful, but it is a good alternative to shaving. Wax pulls the hair straight out of the follicle, meaning the hairs will grow back less sharp and are less likely to curl back into the skin.
However, waxing is not the end all be all, and you can still get ingrown hairs after waxing– especially if you have super thick, curly hairs.
Make sure if you are waxing, that you are doing the other things listed in this article to prevent ingrown hairs.
6. Don’t Pluck
I know it seems like the same thing as waxing, but it’s not. When you pluck, there is a chance that a tiny little fragment of hair will get left under the skin’s surface.
This is a recipe for disaster, so try not to pluck little body hairs even if it is super tempting to do right after you finish tweezing your eyebrows.
7. Try Clippers or an Electric Trimmer
Finally, shaving too close to the skin can increase your chance of ingrown hairs. You might consider using clippers or an electric razor to just trim the hairs rather than shave all the way down.
Of course, this doesn’t make the skin as smooth or flawless as a super clean shave, but it is better than having infected bumps and scars from ingrown hairs!
Using these methods should help to at least decrease your chances of having ingrown hairs. Whether you can afford laser hair removal or you choose to try a combination of other items, it’s worth a shot.
These tips will help you get back to the flawless skin you want, get those hairs under control, and have you back on your hot girl summer vibe!
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.