I’ve been waxing for a while now, and have seen lots of ingrown hairs – when a hair grows back into the skin rather than out of the surface. Unfortunately, it’s a common waxing side effect, and can also happen after tweezing or shaving too. Not everyone gets ingrown hairs, but anyone can, and some have a higher tendency toward getting them – those with thick, coarser, and curly hair are particularly susceptible to ingrown hairs.
This isn't the news most ladies have been wanting to hear - after all, the waxing, shaving and tweezing we do down there is to make it look, and feel, nice. Smooth, and comfortable. But an ingrown hair does exactly the opposite! The ugly, red, painful bumps are not exactly what we signed up for when we wanted to go bare!
What Exactly IS an Ingrown Hair?
An ingrown hair presents itself as a small round bump – sometimes painful, sometimes itchy, and sometimes it can become infected – this is because the body is responding to the hair as if it were an unknown object. Don’t squeeze the bumps as it could cause an infection or you could end up pushing the hair deeper into the skin.
Image source: https://dermatology.ca/public-patients/hair/ingrown-hair/
Why Does Waxing Make Ingrown Hairs Worse?
The hair follicle has a bulb that it grows from. When you are waxed, this bulb is often visible in the wax strip once the hair has been removed. On the one hand, it's good, it means the hair has come out right at the follicle and hasn't broken. However, on the other hand, the rapid pulling of the wax can disrupt the lining of the follicle, it's this lining that guides hair, when it regrows, up to the surface of the skin and out a hole that allows the hair to actually exit the body. Waxing over long periods will slow hair growth, which means less waxing, and in turn, fewer new ingrown hairs.
Another cause of ingrown hairs can be dead skin cells blocking a pore that has a hair follicle trying to grow out of it. Since the pore is covered, the follicle cannot escape, and instead grows underneath.
How to Treat an Ingrown Hair?
Usually ingrown hairs will go away by themselves, but if you’ve noticed one for a while, and it doesn’t seem to be going away, you might need to take action.
Here are 5 tips to treat an ingrown hair:
If the ingrown hair gets infected and very painful, go see a doctor immediately.