All of us at The Portland Girl spend a ton of time removing bikini hair (I know, crazy job, right?!)
We get a variety of hair and skin types into the studio for sugaring hair removal services and what we have found is that some people struggle with ingrown hairs and some people don’t. We would like to say that there is an easy answer to why this divide exists, but there isn’t one.
There are many factors that impact your likelihood for ingrown hairs such as:
- Lifestyle. (do you sweat a lot? bike a lot?…this can increase your chances of getting ingrown hairs)
- Hair texture. Do you have super fine hair? Sometimes super fine hair has a more difficult time working its way out of the follicle and into sight, thus getting trapped and unhappy beneath the skins surface.
- Hair follicle structure. Are your follicles super slanted to the point that your hair grows in at a very lateral angle (instead of straight up and out)? This can make it easy get trapped hairs that weren’t able to peek up! Result? Ingrown hairs!
- Waxing. Have you been getting waxed instead of sugared? Waxing pulls hair out AGAINST the direction of hair growth while sugaring pulls out WITH the direction of hair growth. Anytime you are pulling hairs out against the natural grain, you are likely going to experience more hair breakage. Breakage can lead to tiny hairs (that snapped off) getting covered up by our dead skin and thus getting unhappy and inflamed.
So as you can see. There are MANY factors that can impact the likelihood of having an ongoing issue with ingrown hairs…and we didn’t even cover all of them here! You have control over some of these things (like lifestyle choices or whether or not you get waxed or sugared), but you have less control over the others.
Here is what we at The Portland Girl recommend for avoiding and treating ingrown hairs:
- Avoid getting hot and sweaty 24 hours post-sugaring (or other preferred hair removal service). Think clean, fresh and cool instead!
- Don’t wear tight underwear or underwear made from synthetic materials that make it difficult for the skin to breath.
- Exfoliate areas where ingrown hairs are an issue. We like using dry brushing to stimulate lymph and slough off dead skin cells that can trap hairs and cause ingrowns.
- If trapped hairs cannot come to the surface, they are likely to cause inflammation in the follicle, so using sanitized tweezers to pluck out the hair can save you a more painful ingrown experience later.
- Use a healing salve for the first 3-5 days post hair removal so that the newly exfoliated skin gets hydration and nourishment from healing/calming oils and herbs. It will also help heal any current ingrown’s and scarring that might be troubling you. We sell a ton of “Dinah’s Salve” at our studio and it works wonders.
- Some people use products with acid exfoliators in them to help heal scarring and prevent skin build-up that can lead to ingrowns.
Do you have a secret trick for tackling your ingrowns? Share them below in the comments section!