4 Sure-fire Steps For Treating Ingrown Hairs
We've all had them—those suddenly itchy, painful, swollen red bumps around our bikini line, on the back of our thighs or in our pits that totally hinder our beachy vibe when we pull on that chic swimsuit or flowy sundress. Yep, we're talking about ingrown hairs (again). With summer being the season to really show some leg, treating those pesky and unwanted bumps can be as easy as 1-2-3.
But first, let's chat about what an ingrown hair actually is. When you remove hair in any form, it usually grows back, right? And that regrowth can get caught under your skin, especially if you're a coarse or curly-haired gal. Then your body treats it as an imposter and tries to push it out the way it would a splinter. The result? Those dreaded red bumps.
You can help prevent ingrown hairs (here's our number 1 tip AND our musings on why your razor might be to blame for those ingrown beasts) but once you've got them, what's a lady to do? Follow these 4 sure-fire steps to treating ingrown hairs.
1. Stop ALL hair removal attempts.
You. Yes, you. Don't try to pluck, pull, shave, wax, or cut hair in the area where you've got ingrown hairs. You'll only make your skin angrier and possibly introduce an infection. No thanks!
One more time for good measure. Exfoliate. Try dry brushing, scrub cloths, and salt/sugar scrubs to help the skin regenerate by removing dead skin cells. Exfoliating before shaving (or waxing) not only removes the dead skin cells that could potentially clog pores, but it also helps to lift the hairs away from the skin, allowing the razor to cut closer to the skin.
2. Apply a warm compress and gently exfoliate.
Using a soft washcloth soaked in warm (not hot!) water, gently press into the irritated area for 10 to 15 minutes to soften skin. Then use slow, circular motions to (very) gently exfoliate. Only do this for 10 to 15 seconds, and skip this step if it hurts or makes your skin more irritated.
3. Free the trapped hair.
Only do this step if you can actually see the looped hair growing into your skin—you don't want to go digging for ingrown hair treasure, lest you cause dark spots or scarring! If you can't see the tip, skip to step 4. If you CAN see the hair, use a clean, sharp tool like pointed tweezers to extract it. Free it from the skin first, and if it comes out easily, then gently pull the entire hair out. Make sure you have strong tweezers so you get the whole hair, and don't have to repeat the process all over again. Also, if it doesn't come nicely out, leave it be. It'll be ready soon.
4. Apply an exfoliating and anti-bacterial oil.
Now that you've dealt with the hair itself, use a topical exfoliating oil to calm and soothe the skin while helping to prevent more irritation. Our Aftershave Toner combined with our Bikini Body Ingrown Relief Serum packs a 1-2 punch against inflammation and infection. Lavender, witch hazel, and Himalayan sea salt in the toner provide calming exfoliation to reduce redness. Naturally occurring BHAs found in willow bark extract pair with pineapple, passionfruit, and grape extracts in the Relief Serum to decongest clogged pores, while alpha hydroxy acids gently exfoliate. It'll help prevent other ingrown hairs too, so we'd call that a win-win.
Not too tricky, right? Let these 4 steps be your guide to treating ingrown hairs and you'll be a smooth-legged, red-bump-free maven in no time. And to that we say, bring on the summer!