Waxing is one of the most popular and effective hair-removal methods, the results of which lasts for a longer time than most other methods. This is because, in waxing, the hair is pulled out from the roots, making it take longer to grow back. But, as effective as waxing is, it does not, sadly, protect you from ingrown hair.
What is ingrown hair?
Sometimes, the hair that is supposed to grow outside the skin curls up and grows back into the skin, resulting in anything from swelling to pain or small bumps or just a simple layer of skin growing on the hair.
Mostly, ingrown hair affects people who have coarse, curly hair, but can even be genetic at times.
What causes Ingrown Hair?
There are a few factors that can lead to ingrown hair:
What does ingrown hair look like?
An ingrown hair doesn’t always look like hair trapped below a layer of skin. They have a variety of symptoms that you can identify from:
- The area becomes red or irritated.
- Slight swelling or inflammation may affect the region.
- It may or may not be itchy.
- The area may feel warm when touched, but it’s not a necessity.
How do you prevent Ingrown Hair after waxing?
There are a number of things you can try to prevent getting ingrown hair after waxing and even though they may not prevent all ingrown hair, they can reduce them quite a bit.
- Exfoliation is very important - This is essential both before and after waxing to prevent ingrown hair. You can use a mild exfoliator scrub that is not too irritating to your skin as a way of pre-wax prepping. This will remove impurities and dead skin buildup and make sure your hair can be successfully extracted from the roots. Follow with exfoliation for a few days post-waxing to prevent dust from getting trapped and clogging your pores.
- Make sure to get the hair out from the roots - When you are waxing, pull in the direction against the hair growth and make sure your skin is washed beforehand. This will make it more likely that the entire hair is pulled out without getting broken just below the skin, causing ingrown hair.
- Keep your skin moisturized - Leaving out the day you are choosing to wax, keep your skin moisturized to keep it hydrated and soft. The softened hair will be easier to remove without irritating the skin and breaking off before complete removal. On the day you are going to wax, do not apply any product as this will make the skin greasy and hair removal difficult.
- Avoid applying oil for a few days post-waxing - Applying oil on your skin just after waxing can clog the pores since oil is heavier. You can skip oiling for a few days immediately after waxing to prevent ingrown hair that can arise from clogged pores.
- Apply a product designed to prevent ingrown hair - There are some products available in the market that can help prevent ingrown hair. These can come in the form of serums, lotions, solutions or pads that are designed to prevent ingrown hair from occurring. Apply these immediately after waxing for a few days after wax or as directed on the product label.
Avoid wearing tight clothes right after - Tight clothing right after you have waxed can restrict the skin from breathing and also cause irritation, both of which can lead to ingrown hair. Opt for loose, breathable clothes for some time after your waxing session.
- Try sugaring in place of waxing - It is similar to waxing, but results in less chance of hair breakage, which can lessen the chances of ingrown hair. A wax-free paste is made from sugar, lemon and water, which is applied to the skin in the opposite direction of hair growth, after which you wait for it to dry. Upon drying, the paste becomes hard and is then pulled in the direction of hair growth by using only your hands. It is less irritating than waxing and results in lesser ingrown hair.