I think you would agree that removing hair from the face and the body is a chore. It’s time-consuming and tedious. And one of the worst things about removing hair is ingrown hairs. Coarse, curly hair is the most common type to cause ingrown hairs but all hair types can result in this annoying problem.
Ingrown hair looks horrid, is painful, and can even lead to an abscess. If you want to find out how to prevent ingrown hairs, there are a few things you can do. Read on for a guide on the best way to remove hair and keep ingrown hairs at bay.
Exfoliating is your go-to skin treatment for preventing ingrown hairs. Before and in between using any form of hair removal (except laser), use an unperfumed exfoliator. Apply to dry skin with your fingers in circular motions and rinse off with lukewarm water. Here is reference for a product that helps to reduce ingrown hairs by keeping pores clear, removing dead skin, and making it easier for hair to penetrate the skin surface.
Shaving is the most common method of hair removal for both men and women. Whereas many men wouldn’t swap shaving their face for another form of hair removal, when it comes to removing hair from the face, shaving is a massive no-no for women.
“Shaving is only really suitable for mens’ faces and is the least effective method of hair removal. This is because shaving leaves hair below the surface which often makes skin look darker, and hair grows super fast, often resulting in bumps, as it pushes through the skin. Not to mention shaving causes stubble.”
But shaving can be a fast and easy way to remove hair from your body — whether you identify as male or female. Although we wouldn’t recommend shaving as a hair removal method, if you are going to shave, here are five tips to help prevent ingrown hairs.
Shave in the same direction of hair growth — but use a sharp razor, or you probably won’t end up with smooth, hairless skin.
Don’t use disposable razors and buy razors with three blades — more can make getting into crevices awkward, and less will not give such a close shave.
Never use a razor blade more than twice — it will become less sharp and increase the chance of needing to go over the same area of skin more than once.
Always rinse your razor before you move on to the next stroke — hair in between the blades will prevent a close shave.
Use a moisturising, non-perfumed soap or non-perfumed moisturising shaving gel — foams can dry out the skin, and this can lead to irritation.
Epilation is a longer-lasting form of hair removal because hair is removed from the root. It is also inexpensive, as once you have purchased an epilator, you can keep using it. Epilating also leaves skin looking smoother, and hair is likely to grow back finer and softer over time. But epilating can cause ingrown hairs and irritate the skin.
Preventing ingrown hairs if you epilate is probably impossible. This is because softer, finer hair can’t break through the skin and ends up ingrown. And if you have curly hair, you are almost guaranteed ingrown hairs. After epilating, always use products containing salicylic acid, also called Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) between sessions. This clears your pores of dirt, sebum and dead skin cells, unblocking hair follicles and helping to prevent ingrown hairs.
Waxing is another way to remove hair from the root and reduce hair growth. It is more expensive as you will either need to keep buying home waxing kits or products or have to pay for professional waxing treatments. And although waxing at home can produce results, you need to be trained in waxing techniques (and even if you have) waxing your bikini line is extremely difficult.
Without a doubt, although you will get better results, you may still get ingrown hairs from professional waxing. Generally, if you have professional waxing treatments, your practitioner will apply moisturiser afterwards. At home, applying a product containing salicylic acid every day is a good idea until your next waxing session.
Sugaring has increased in popularity as a longer-lasting way to remove hair at home. Unlike waxing, sugaring works by pulling hairs out in the same direction as the hair growth. This can help to reduce ingrown hairs as it causes less hair breakage and trauma to the underlying skin than waxing, which pulls hair out in the opposite direction.
However, sugaring is less effective on coarse hairs and can leave stray hairs (especially around the bikini line). Once again, using a product with salicylic acid is your best bet to keep ingrown hairs at bay in between sugaring.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is the ultimate way to remove hair and prevent ingrown hairs, as it destroys the actual hair follicle, completely preventing new hair growth.
Shumaila’s aesthetic and laser clinic in London gave us this advice about laser hair removal,
“If you suffer from ingrown hairs, laser hair removal is the most effective solution to preventing them permanently. And once you have completed an average initial course of eight sessions, you will typically just need one top-up session every 12 months. This makes it the most convenient way to remove hair long term.”
Also, laser hair removal will work out less expensive than other hair removal methods. According to a recent study, a lifetime of razors can cost £6,500, and if you wax, you could spend £23,000 on treatments during your life?
What to do if you get ingrown hair
No matter what you do, almost all hair removal methods will cause the odd ingrown hair unless you opt for laser hair removal. So here is what to do if you end up with irritating ingrown hairs.
First, do not squeeze; yes it’s tempting. Especially if you can see or suspect pus is blocking the hair follicle. But it can cause an infection and even result in an abscess. If you think you have ingrown hair, soak a cotton pad in a product with salicylic acid and hold it onto the skin where you believe the ingrown hair is located for a few minutes. Next, do the same with an antibacterial treatment, such as TCP.
Keep repeating this at least twice a day, and the hair should eventually grow through the skin and can then be plucked away. If the area becomes redder after a couple of days or feels more painful, go to your GP. They may be able to remove it, or you may need some antibiotics. Be warned that if you ignore an angry bump, it is more likely to turn into an abscess.
Laser hair removal completely prevents ingrown hairs and is the most popular way to remove hair “permanently”. If you can’t afford it, then follow our advice and you should reduce ingrown hairs, with Christmas on its way, why not ask for a course of laser hair removal sessions as a gift.
This blog is edited by a mid-30s mum with over 15 years of professional childcare experience. Now 9 years into motherhood and enthusiastic about finding great products and helpful solutions for busy families to make life more fun and easier too.
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