Avoiding (and Treating) Ingrown Pubic Hairs

White razors on an orange background
  ozgurkeser/Getty Images

Ingrown pubic hair is extremely common because the hair in the bikini zone is thicker and curlier than the rest of anyone's hair. When this happens, it means that there's more chance of hair growing back into the skin. The thicker hair is, the sharper the tip it creates, and the more easily its able to pierce through skin, growing into it when it shouldn't. Curly hair also has a bend, which creates an ability to twist and turn into the skin.

When these are both combined, you have a high chance of getting an ingrown pubic hair, and if it sounds unpleasant, it's because it is.

However, you're not doomed to ingrown hairs. You don't have to settle for a hairless section that has bumps, redness, and infection. With a little prevention and know-how, you can have the best of both worlds: smooth hair-free skin without bumps.

The first step toward flawless skin is to shave correctly. Using a razor creates that sharp edge on the hair. To prevent ingrown hair, prime your pubic area before shaving by washing your skin with a mild soap, rubbing a shave cream or gel on, and drying the area after the shave. Ensure that your razor has the correct amount of blades for your type of hair, and that it isnt dull. Learning how to shave your pubic hair correctly will allow you to get a close shave while avoiding redness, razor burn, and bumps.

If waxing is more your style, you'll want to take some precautions.

Sharp edges are common with waxing because hair can break above or below the skin's surface, instead of being removed from the cuticle. Whether you're waxing at home or in a salon, you'll want to make sure that you exfoliate the area that you wax at least two days before your service. fur.'s Silk Scrub ($48,) is a Ph-balanced gentle exfoliant made for the pubic region.

You'll also want to hydrate your skin by moisturizing it and experiment with all-natural waxes that aid those with sensitive skin. Take care of any existing ingrown hairs with specialty creams like the one from Malin+Goetz ($34). If you're making an appointment, look online for a reputable salon and technician, or try a waxing-only salon. You will have a much better experience than if you were taking your chances with a random one.

If you're not married to the idea of shaving or waxing, you can consider using another hair removal method instead. Sugaring is much gentler towards the skin. The technique uses a paste that removes hair in the direction of growth, unlike waxing, and it minimizes hair breakage.

Post Hair Removal Care

Keeping your skin in the right condition will also prevent ingrown pubic hairs, regardless of whatever hair removal method you choose to use. The old adage that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" rings particularly true when even your underwear feels uncomfortable.

You want to exfoliate often. Regularly getting rid of dead skin cells helps keep hairs pointing up. Generally, you should exfoliate the area at least once a week. However, the number of times you should exfoliate per week depends on your skin type, other shaving products you use, how often you shave, and the season at hand.

You can try using a exfoliation product like a washcloth, but don't use anything particularly abrasive.

You also want to moisturize frequently. Deodorant soaps, hot water, and cold weather conditions can all cause or aggravate dry skin. Make sure to use a lotion after showering so skin stays soft and pliable. When skin is soft, it's not as easy of a ground for the hair to break through. Keep hydrated from the inside as well by drinking water throughout the day.

Watching the clothes you wear is also important. Any type of fitted clothing around your bikini zone over the first few hours after shaving can encourage the hair to grow back into the skin.

Finally, you want to keep a bump-fighter on hand, like PFB's Vanish Gel ($23). Even with the best of intentions, and working to prevent ingrown hair, there may be a couple that falls through the cracks.

Not only will this help avoid the bumps, but it will also get rid of the pimples or infections that come along with them.