Every wax therapist I know has a love/hate relationship with ingrown hairs. Sometimes they are the bane of my life, and sometimes they are a very happy 5 minutes for me extracting them during your appointment!
Anyone who has ever shaved or waxed will at some point have had ingrown hairs. If you’re lucky they’ll sit quietly just under the skin’s surface causing no issues. But if you’re not so lucky they’ll become inflamed, red and sore or irritating.
I’ve seen loads of them and the worst ones are those that have been squeezed, picked at or half dug out by the client themselves who is frustrated and looking for a solution.
Nobody wants to have ingrown hairs, so what are they and why do they occur?
To put it simply, an ingrown hair is a hair that grows from the follicle but remains trapped under the surface of the skin. They can occur on any part of the body but are most common in the bikini area and underarms (or on the face/neck for men due to shaving).
In my own experience the most common causes are as follows:
➡️ Lack of aftercare. I know that when I get ingrown hairs, if I’m honest with myself it’s because I’ve let my skincare routine slip. I haven’t exfoliated or moisturised regularly, I get a bunch of ingrowns, and then I go crazy with the exfoliation, totally overdoing it to make up for lost time and making them 10 times worse. Guilty as charged!
➡️ Waxing – yes that’s right! Here’s why. You may be absolutely fine for your first few waxes, but as the hair gets so much finer and weaker with each treatment (which is exactly what we want) it finds it harder to break through the surface of the skin and, unless your skin is in tip-top condition, that hair is so fragile it just gives up and curls back into the follicle.
➡️ Hair type. Some people are prone to ingrown hairs no matter how good their wax therapist, no matter how religiously they follow aftercare. Unfortunately some people have a hair type that does not agree with any removal whether that’s by waxing, razor or depilatory creams. In these cases I will recommend a break from hair removal, or in the case of intimate waxing I’ll suggest a basic bikini tidy for a few months to see if that improves things. I’ve even had a couple of clients where, after they’ve tried every product under the sun, and followed aftercare to the letter, we’ve both conceded that waxing just isn’t suitable for them (they’ve gone on to have great success with laser hair removal instead).
So in order to give yourself a fighting chance against ingrown hairs, here are my top tips for smooth skin…
?? Exfoliate daily, and gently. The removal of dead skin cells with help in the prevention of ingrown hairs, there will be less chance of the hair getting trapped under layers of dead skin.
?? Do not touch. Yes I know it’s tempting but if the hair cannot easily be lifted with a pair of clean tweezers (without breaking the skin), leave it alone.
?? Find the right product for you. And BE HONEST with your waxer! If you’re a stickler for routine I can recommend a couple of products for daily use to help prevention. If you’re someone who will totally forget to use a product daily I retail some fantastic solutions designed to be used once ingrown hairs appear. But I ALWAYS say prevention is better than cure.
?? Don’t be fooled by price. I’ll honestly only recommend the best aftercare treatment for you, whether that’s a £4 Aloe Clear roll-on, or a £16 Bump Eraiser Medi-Paste.
?? Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!!! Nobody ever remembers to moisturise enough – or they remember their legs but don’t bother with their bikini area. Moisturised skin is healthy skin and makes a huge difference in helping those hairs break through.
So help me to help you. I’ll always provide the best wax treatment but the aftercare is all up to you. As much as I enjoy digging out your ingrown hairs (I really do) let’s try and keep the tweezers out of your appointment as much as possible.
See you soon!