It only takes two words to evoke a cringe. Ingrown. Hairs.
Ingrown hairs from waxing are ugly, red, and they hurt! They can hurt anywhere on a scale from one to ten and sometimes step into dangerous territory when they create bacterial infections.
There are a few quick tricks you can add to your regular waxing routine which will prevent these nasty little fellas from crashing our pampering parties.
The most important step only takes 30 seconds.
WHAT CAUSES INGROWN HAIRS FROM WAXING?
First, let’s discuss why they even happen. When we wax, the goal is to remove the entire hair from the follicle. However, waxing is an imperfect science.
Sometimes the hair breaks off just above or below the surface of the skin. Now, the hair has a blunt edge instead of its natural, beveled edge. This will cause it to struggle to cleanly break through the surface in its regrowth.
Also, we wax in the opposite direction of our hair growth. This makes the hair more likely to break, causing those ingrown hairs from waxing.
WHY IS ALL THIS BAD?
It’s unnatural for hair to curl back into the follicle or grow into the side of the follicle, as broken strands tend to do.
The body could treat this as a foreign object if it can’t grow out, making you prone to bacterial infection.
That aside, ingrown hairs from waxing are outright painful!
STEPS TO FOLLOW PRE-WAX
Before you start waxing, follow this simple step:
- Use a gentle, mild exfoliant.
This will remove dead skin cells that might prevent the wax strip from grabbing the hair all the way down to the follicle.
Scrub in a circular motion for a mere 30 seconds. Rinse the area and then pat dry. If you have time to allow it to air dry, even better!
QUICK WAXING REVIEW
Let’s run through the steps themselves really quickly.
- Place the strip of wax in the direction of your hair. (This makes the strip grab better).
- Rub the strip in that same direction, making sure it adheres to every strand.
- Once you feel the wax is warm on your skin, make sure the surrounding skin is taught, and pull!
- Make sure you pull in the opposite direction of the hair, as this will make you more likely to get the full hair out, all the way down to the follicle.
- Wash off any excess residue with a cool, damp cloth. (Don’t use warm or hot water; it’ll hurt!)
- Take a look at our detailed instruction manual here. Even better, watch one of our minute-long video tutorials here.
- Treat the area with a gentle oil containing vitamin E, aloe, and chamomile to get ahead of any irritations.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE BE WAXING?
Keep in mind how often you wax. It’s true that the more we wax, the slower the hair will regrow, but you can’t overdo it.
Every other week may work for some. Others might be able to stretch things out to three or four weeks.
The rule of thumb is to never wax any hair that is shorter than 1/4 inch. Anything shorter will be difficult for the strip to grip, leading us back to where we started.
The hair could break above or below the surface and be in a prime position to curl back into the follicle or grow sideways.
POST-WAX FIRST THOUGHTS
Once you’ve completed waxing and treating the area, do nothing!
In fact, you want to leave the skin so untouched immediately after, you should only wear loose-fitting clothes made of soft cotton or linen.
Tight-fitting clothes will irritate the area and encourage hair to grow back into the skin.
Since the skin will be extra sensitive during this time and the pores will remain open, make sure you don’t aggravate it with any of the following activities:
- A sweaty workout or sunbath
- A trip to the beach or pool
- A super hot shower
STEPS TO FOLLOW POST-WAX
That aside, make sure you follow this step:
- One day later, use a gentle exfoliant containing a rich moisturizer. You want to continue sweeping away any dead skin cells.
Remember that a good moisturizer or oil should contain vitamin E, aloe, or chamomile.
Only begin this regime if the skin doesn’t appear irritated. If things are looking alright, repeat every couple days.
You can even have some fun and create your own sugar scrub.
All you need to do is mix:
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of skim milk
THOUGHTS ON MOISTURIZING
Just like we can’t overdo it with waxing, we can’t overdo it with moisturizing. This is especially true if we’re talking bikini waxes.
The bikini area is naturally moist, so slathering on too much lotion will make you prone to those bacterial infections, clogged pores, and all around discomfort.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE LOSE THE BATTLE?
With so many hairs and only one of us, we’re bound to be outnumbered by ingrown hairs from waxing from time to time.
Luckily, there are a couple remedies for those unsightly and painful red bumps:
- Apply lotion or oil with vitamin E, aloe, or chamomile
- Apply skim milk and cold water to the area on a compress
- Apply small doses of hydrocortisone
Come in today for a bikini wax at Spa Nine & Hair Design!!