There are very few people on the planet who’ve ever managed to avoid ingrown hairs – whether you’re male or female, there’s a good chance that you remove hair from some part of your body by either shaving, waxing, threading or some other method and this automatically increases your risk of ingrown hairs. In simple terms, an ingrown hair is a hair which curls back into the skin or grows sideways, growing beneath the skin instead of breaking through and if they’re left for long enough can form a boil. We’ve put together some tips for helping you to avoid or treat them, regardless of your preferred hair-removal method:
Prep Your Skin
Before shaving or waxing, you should exfoliate your skin. This will get rid of the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and release any small hairs which could potentially be starting to grow in. It will also help to lift the hair that you’re about to remove, giving you a much closer shave or more effective wax because the hair is standing to attention and waiting to be removed.
Use a Preventative Gel
Decleor has actually produced a product which is designed specifically to reduce the formation of ingrown hairs. Decleor Post-Wax Double Action Gel is an aloe vera based gel which should be applied after waxing and will help to soothe the skin and stop ingrown hairs before they even have a change to form.
Use a Hot Cloth
If you’ve discovered an ingrown hair, the temptation is to squeeze it like a spot but this can cause scarring and can even force bacteria back into your skin, causing infections. Place a clean cloth into the hottest water you can tolerate and place it over the ingrown hair for up to five minutes, this will soften the skin and start to draw the hair out naturally. If you absolutely cant resist popping it out, use a pair of tweezers that you’ve sterilised in boiling water or alcohol to minimise the risk of infection.
Retinoids have been shown to be really effective against ingrown hairs, and if you remove hair from your face then a masque containing Retinyl will be particularly helpful. Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque is great for soothing stressed out skin and the inclusion of Retinyl (a powerful form of vitamin A) could be a fantastic ally against the damage that shaving, waxing and threading can do to your face.
Use an Antibacterial Wash
If your face is prone to ingrown hairs, an antibacterial facial wash could help to reduce the swelling and inflammation that can occur when an ingrown hair becomes infected. Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash is designed to kill spot-causing bacteria and would also be effective against infected pores caused by ingrowing hairs.