Have you experienced skin irritation after hair removal? Methods like shaving, while convenient, easy, and painless (if done right), can unfortunately cause redness, rashes, or perhaps worst of all - painful ingrown hairs. Looking for tips on preventing ingrown hairs? Although there’s no method to guarantee avoiding them altogether, we’ve put together some precautions to keep in mind to help minimize your chances of getting ingrown hairs.
What are ingrown hairs and what causes them?
Ingrown hairs, also known as razor bumps, occur when there is a build up of dead or dry skin around the hair follicle, causing hair to curl around and grow back into the skin. It can cause inflammation, producing raised red bumps that can be painful and itchy. Causes of ingrown hair, and things to keep in mind during hair removal, include:
While shaving may be a tempting option for hair removal, as it’s quick and easy, it’s not a good tactic for preventing ingrown hairs. When a razor cuts hair off the surface of skin, it can leave the tip of the hair with sharp edges that could grow sideways and back into the skin. This is more common with curly or coarse hair, which is why you may notice these razor bumps more around the bikini line.
Using depilatory creams run the same risk as shaving as you are only removing hairs from the surface of the skin, but the risk of developing ingrown hairs from hair removal creams is less than shaving as the hairs are being dissolved rather than cut.
Waxing can be a good hair removal option when trying to avoid ingrown hairs, as this method involves removing hair straight from the root. Keep in mind, though, that rapidly removing hair from the root can disrupt the hair follicle, making it more difficult for the hair to grow in the right direction out of the skin.
Individual hair growth patterns may also make people more susceptible to ingrown hairs. If you constantly suffer from ingrown hairs after waxing, you may want to consider another hair removal method.
Tips for preventing ingrown hairs
While there’s no way of completely preventing ingrown hairs when employing any hair removal method, here are some tips for achieving silky smooth skin that can also help lower your chances of experiencing ingrown hairs.
Make exfoliation your number one friend! It’s a great addition to your at-home skin routine because it removes dead skin and built-up oils that can clog your hair follicles.
Treat yourself to a little bathtime cleanse, first brushing your skin with a loofah or exfoliating sponge before getting in the bath to loosen up dry skin. Then wet your entire body and use the loofah or sponge to make small circles on your skin, starting from your feet and working your way up. As you exfoliate, be mindful of sensitive skin areas like the bikini zone!
Keep in mind that your skin will be extra sensitive to heat and friction after hair removal. To help prevent ingrown hairs, try to avoid these factors and activities in the first 24 hours post hair removal:
- Tight clothing, as the friction can lead to irritated hair follicles
- Heavily fragranced lotions
- Working out
Keep ingrown hairs at bay by developing a regular exfoliation routine. We suggest that you exfoliate 24 hours before using Veet. Most skin can be exfoliated once a week, but if your skin is sensitive, exfoliate every fifteen days. For more aftercare tips, check out our Things to Do or Avoid After a Wax article!
You can feel confident that using Veet will help you prevent ingrown hairs. Some Veet creams are designed to minimize the occurrence of ingrown hairs vs. shaving. Whatever hair removal method you choose, be sure to always read the instructions and use as directed, as improper technique can be a factor in causing ingrown hairs.