Updated: Nov 3
Ingrown hairs are hairs that curl and grow back into your skin after shaving or waxing or can happen after sugaring. They cause redness and irritation and make your skin feel bumpy instead of silky smooth. People with naturally coarse and curly hair tend to be more prone to getting ingrowns, but really, anyone can get them and tons of people do.
PREVENT Ingrown Hairs
Use gentle products. Whether it's the skin on your face or the skin on your body, avoid using products that have a high alcohol content or are overly drying. When your skin is dry, it amplifies skin irritation and can worsen any ingrown hairs you already have. Also, avoid using water that is too hot because it can be both irritating and drying.
Prep your skin properly. Shave, wax, or get sugared after you shower. Steam and water from your shower will help soften the hair and make it easier to remove cleanly.
Exfoliate and moisturize daily. Exfoliating your skin (either with a loofah, or dry skin washing) will help your skin cells shed faster, prevent dead skin cells from building up, and keep hair follicles clear. Moisturizing will keep your skin soft and smooth and it will encourage hair to push through your skin instead of curling back inwards. Any kind of body butter (Cocoa, Shea etc.) or natural oil (Coconut, Almond etc.) is great for moisturizing body skin. Using a treatment daily, even if you don't have current ingrown hairs, will also prevent you from getting them in the future.
Manual exfoliation is good for preventing ingrown hairs, but manually exfoliating (using scrubs) ingrown hairs that are already on your skin may actually backfire and irritate your skin even more.
TREAT Ingrown Hairs
Get the hair out. Once you get an ingrown hair, stop shaving or waxing (or sugaring) and let the hair grow out for a bit. When the hairs have finally grown out, you can continue your hair removal treatments again. Alternatively, disinfect a pair of tweezers with some rubbing alcohol and carefully use the tweezers to pull out the ingrown hair that is curled inside your skin.
Don't pluck the hair out completely or it will cause irritation and the hair that grows in its place may end up being ingrown as well. Just pull enough of the hair out of your skin to straighten it out. As soon as the curled part of the hair is out of your skin, the bump and irritation from the ingrown hair will go away.
Moisturize liberally. Moisturize your skin, even if it doesn't feel dry, to help soothe irritation and make ingrown hairs go away faster.. Doing so will keep your skin soft so your hairs can push out of your skin and your skin can heal.
Ingrown hairs can be a big pain, but following the above tips will help you prevent them from occurring and make any ingrown hairs you have go away even faster.