Are You Giving Yourself Ingrown Hairs? How to Really Tackle Hair Removal

Taylor Post
woman shaving her legs

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One of the most irritating (and let’s face it, embarrassing) reactions to shaving are ingrown hairs. This awful skin irritation results when the sharp tip of these pesky hairs curl back or grow sideways into the skin of the hair follicle. Whether it be on your legs, under arms, or bikini line, these painful bumps are no fun and they can be dangerous, too.

So what’s causing these ingrown hairs to appear? A number of common hair removal mistakes. Don’t fret, though, because with each problem comes a solution — and then some. Below are four common mistakes that cause ingrown hairs, and exactly how to stop them.

MORE: 10 Things No One Ever Tells You About: Shaving Your Legs

Here’s what causes those ingrown hairs to happen:
Shaving: Of course the most common way to remove hair is also the most common reason for ingrown hairs. While we can’t ditch the razor completely, there is a way reduce the bumps. Use a fresh razor every time — or at least in the areas where the reactions are occurring. Razors tend to hold onto the oils and bacteria they’re taking off of your skin, so re-applying the same blades to a sensitive area of skin where ingrown hairs keep recurring could be the issue.

Tight clothing: When skin is constantly rubbing up against your jeans or other tight clothing, the skin will become irritated, only inflaming an ingrown hair more. Stay away from the skinny jeans and try to wear loose clothing until the the bump has completely healed.

Build-up of dead skin: When your dry skin builds up, it blocks the hair follicle opening, causing the hair to grow sideways. Exfoliating is the best way to keep your skin fresh and clean of ingrown hairs. The scrub will remove anything blocking the way of a hair growing out in a normal direction.

MORE: Waxing: Your Go To Source for Hair Removal

Thick, coarse hair: It may just be genetics giving you these unwanted bumps. People with thicker, curly, coarser hair are more susceptible to ingrown hairs. The bumps that form are actually very similar to a pimple and luckily, it can be treated with acne medicine. We recommend Serious Serum, an ingrown hair and acne eliminator that contains lactic acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid.

Here’s how to prevent the ingrown hairs in the future:
Tweezing:  The best way to get rid of an ingrown hair for good is to completely remove the hair. If you can see where the hair is in the bump, use tweezers to pull it out after using a hot compress.

Hot compress: Apply a clean, steaming hot washcloth to the affected area for a few minutes. When you remove the compress, the hair follicle should be raised enough to pull the ingrown hair out.

Waxing: If the problem is your bikini area, try getting a wax. Esthetician’s are experts at skin and know exactly how to treat ingrown hairs. They will not only wax the area for you, but often will also tweeze out ingrown hairs and offer a mask to heal the skin.