8 Ways To Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs For Good
Ingrown hairs can be annoying at best. And at worst, they can cause some pretty nasty infections. If you've ever shaved, waxed or even just worn tight pants, you'll have probably experienced a few ingrown hairs before, and we know how hard it is to resist pulling them out and plucking them. Which is why we're here to list the best ways to prevent, and get rid of ingrown hairs, without having to risk infections by ripping them out yourself.
They're a tricky business so it's pretty important you get it right...
First thing's first, what're ingrown hairs?
They’re simply hair that’s trapped under the skin, so instead of growing outward and upwards, they curl back on themselves causing the little bumps you can see on the surface (but sometimes they lay flat). Anyone can get an ingrown hair (or lots) but it’s more common in those that shave, wax, or have curly or coarse hair.
1. Ingrown hair Oil - Glycolic Acid
Ingrown hairs can be caused by the hair follicle being obstructed by dead skin cells, which is why glycolic acid can help.
In ingrown hair oil, glycolic acid is one of the active ingredients. The acid works to break down the dead skin cells which sit above the hair follicles, so they can reach the surface without curling up.
It also helps break down sebum, which is why it’s such an effective and popular acid for acne.
2. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid works to penetrate into the pore to actually dislodge the build-up of dead skin and sebum, which means the hair is free to grow upwards. It helps to make the skin softer and so easier for the hair to penetrate.
It also doubles up as an anti-inflammatory, so it will help to reduce the redness, as well as reducing the risk of infection due to its anti-bacterial properties. It's a win-win.
3. Body Brush
Body brushing has been known to diminish cellulite and boost flow as well as helping get rid of ingrown hairs for good.
The key is to scrub up before you hop in the shower and to do it for at least 3 minutes. It will help improve cell turnover and prevent clogged pores so hairs can grow upwards.
4. Scrub Scrub Scrub
In the same way that acid exfoliators work, using a body scrub will penetrate the layer of dead skin cells and sebum that block the hair follicle.
If you get ingrown hairs on your thighs or your bikini line, use a scrub full of sugar, rather than microbeads or pumice, as it will be gentler on the more sensitive areas of your skin!
5. Laser Hair Removal
If you’ve tried all the options and ingrown hairs still remain the bane of your life, then it’s often worth trying laser hair removal.
Laser hair removal heads straight for the root of the hair and damages the hair follicle. It takes a few sessions and hair is significantly reduced (but not permanently removed). You can do this in salons or even try an at-home version, too, but if you’re unsure then it’s best to book a consultation with a specialist first.
6. Retinoid Treatments
Retinoids (derivatives of vitamin A) are great at removing ingrown hairs as they help to exfoliate the skin as well as fade the dark spot of pigment that comes along with them!
7. Shower Gel
If you don’t fancy spending 3 minutes before your shower scrubbing with a body brush or using a scrub in the shower, you can get shower gels that can help reduce ingrown hairs, too! Use one packed with AHAs to exfoliate, refine and soften the skin.
8. Tweeze (if you must)
This isn’t ideal and we don’t recommend doing it unless you really have to, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. It’s only really safe to tweeze out an ingrown hair when you can actually see it (so it’s close to the surface).
And whatever you use, make sure it’s sterilized and don't go rummaging for it if you can't see it already. In that case, head to the doctor if you suspect it's infected.
Prevention is always cheaper than the cure, so even if you're not suffering from any ingrown hairs at the moment, it's key to exfoliate in whichever way you prefer to stop the pesky hairs getting under your skin and potentially causing infection. Especially if you use any kind of hair removal as that's what really aggravates it! And make sure you look out for any potential infections and head to your doctor if you do.
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