What You Need To Know About Ingrown Hairs
Think of yourself as destined (or, more accurately, doomed) to an existence thorned with ingrown hairs?
Turns out that while there is a very small chance that you’re one of the very few people for whom waxing just doesn’t vibe, the odds are far greater that you’re just doing it wrong.
Or, more likely, that your waxer is…
“There are several different factors that contribute to your likelihood of getting ingrown hairs – and everyone is different – but it’s rare to find a person that just reacts weirdly to waxing,” says Leah Raquel (AKA Miss Wax LA).
So, how, you ask, can you prevent ingrown hairs (yeah, we asked too)?
Here’s what Miss Wax LA herself had to say: Know your hair. Know your wax. Get down and dirty with scrub.
The Causes Of Ingrown Hairs
The most common causes of ingrown hairs are hairs not pulled properly from the root and clogged pores preventing hair growth from occurring unencumbered.
“If the hair is broken instead of pulled from the root, it can recede into the skin and cause an ingrown,” Miss Wax LA explains.
How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs Part 1: Know Your Hair + Wax
So, how do you prevent this from happening?
(You probably guessed this already!)
Know your hair and know your wax because the wrong wax/hair pairing could be the culprit.
Sure, your waxer should know this, but, sadly, that’s not always the case (although let this be a reminder to do your homework before letting someone put hot wax by your va-jay-jay).
So here’s what you need to know:
While hard wax (which solidifies and molds around the hair to grab it and is used without fabric strips) is generally easier for your waxer to use, it’s not necessarily best. In fact, unless you have really coarse hair, strip wax is much better.
Assume you have coarse public hair just because it’s the coarsest hair on your body? You may want to get a second opinion.
“People often come in and think their hair is super coarse because they have nothing else to compare it to – but unless you’re African American and have very thick, curly hair, you don’t. In fact, 90% of women should use strip wax on a Brazilian wax.”
Prefer to shave? Here’s how to prevent ingrown hairs when shaving!
How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs Part 2: Exfoliate
“Exfoliation is your best friend,” says Miss Wax LA. “We have layers of dead skin that build up on our body every day and if the hair is looking to grow in and the pore is clogged, it will be ingrown.”
The solution: exfoliation!
Every other day, starting 2 days after your wax, use a gritty scrub to exfoliate the area. “A natural loofa isn’t going to cut it, you need something with grit that will get in and scrub,” explains Miss Wax LA.
Her favorites: Crystal Peel Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Soap Body Bar ($24) and St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub ($3.36).
As for all those ingrown hair eliminating wipes and pads on the market? “If you have really bad ingrown hairs, use a combination of a gritty scrub and a chemical exfoliant, like a pad. But don’t skip the scrub!”