How to Prevent Those Annoying Ingrown Hairs After Waxing

You Don't Have to See Bumps

Waxing tools
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An ingrown hair after waxing happens when the hair never breaks the skin's surface as it grows or does come out of skin first and then grows back into the skin. Most commonly it occurs in areas where the hair is thick like on men, the underarms, or especially where it's both thick and curly, like in the bikini line. Really, though, it can happen anywhere the hair is waxed.

The goal in waxing is to remove the entire hair from the follicle, but it tends to break either above or below the skin's surface when being waxed.

This often happens because wax is removed in the opposite direction of its growth and there's more strain on the hair.

Instead of a new hair forming and growing back having its natural beveled edge, it's now blunt and sharp. This sharpness makes it easier for hair to pierce skin and grow back into it. A good example to turn to is shaving, as it often creates ingrown hairs because it leaves hair blunt from cutting it off.

Prevent Them from Forming

  • Wax at home with know-how. Be sure to follow directions very carefully prepping skin, applying product and removing it. You'll have better chances of getting the entire hair out versus just breaking it.
  • Find a great, seasoned tech. If you do choose to pay for your service, don't go to just anybody that's licensed. We know that the bumps can happen despite the greatest intentions. However, those who are crafty have the best chance of not breaking the hair and avoiding other side effects.

    For example, most techs use hard wax for at least part of the bikini area which is wonderful for coarse hair which 'shrink wraps' it so that it can be easily uplifted.

  • Exfoliate before and after. Exfoliating lightly with an ayate cloth or other mild exfoliator like Scrub Me Luscious before getting rid of hair helps remove dead skin cells allowing for a better and an easier service.

    Gently exfoliating a day after the wax (if the area isn't red, inflamed or irritated) and continuing to do so, a couple times a week depending on your skin and hair type type will help keep dead skin cells away from the follicle. When the hair does start coming back, the exfoliating helps it point up and grow in the right direction-- opposite of skin.

  • Stay away from tight-fitting clothes. If you have gotten any type of body waxing then you want the skin to be able to 'breathe' so to speak, rather than be constricted. Not only can tight clothes irritate freshly waxed areas, weeks later it can encourage the hair to grow back into the skin.

  • Stop them before they start. Many products are created to help fight and prevent ingrown hairs before they appear, containing exfoliating and moisturizing properties. Preventing them before they appear is much easier than tackling the redness and bumps later on. Tend Skin (compare prices) is a big favorite sold at many salons and spas. Apply the product for ingrown hair 48 hours after removing hair once per day, or according to the product's directions.

Try Sugaring

If you are truly having a real issue after waxing, try sugaring with the paste which also uplifts the entire hair. Instead of removing hair in the opposite direction of hair growth like waxing does, it removes it in the way that it grows. This puts less strain on the hair so it's less likely to break either above or below the skin. Check out: ​Sugaring Hair Removal 101