When you want to show smooth legs thanks to hair removal, it sometimes happens that you end up with ingrown hairs, these tiny hairs that get stuck under the skin.
How to prevent their appearance? How to get rid of them when they appear? Discover our advice to say goodbye to ingrown hairs!
The enemy isn’t that harmless little red dot, no. The enemy is us. We and our fingers, itch to dislodge this hair under the skin.
Result: we end up with an ugly inflamed red mark. For those who can’t help doing this (we know it’s very difficult), here are some tips to avoid ingrown hairs and, if it’s already too late, some tips to combat the inconvenience.
What is ingrown hair?
As the name suggests, ingrown hair is hair that refuses to come out of the skin. It fails to pierce the dermis and grows underneath, forming an unsightly – and sometimes painful – red pimple, small for humanity, huge for us.
Ingrown hair can affect all depilated areas, as well as the legs and armpits, the bikini line, or the face and neck. In the worst case, it can even turn into a small cyst if the infection spreads and it is then necessary to consult a dermatologist to treat it.
What is the cause of their appearance?
The first cause of ingrown hairs is waxing and especially the fact that it weakens the hair. Over the epilations, the latter no longer has the strength to pierce the dermis and grows under the surface of the skin.
Note that some methods, such as the electric epilator and wax, favor this phenomenon more than others.
As for shaving, which is the “least bad” solution, it can still cause hair to grow in the wrong direction and get stuck under the skin.
To reduce the risk of this happening, it is advisable to use your razor in the direction of the hair growth (from top to bottom for the legs for example), even if going against the grain allows a closer shave.
It’s up to you to decide… Another tip: choose a moisturizing, alcohol-free shaving cream. Also beware of double or triple-blade razors that cut the hair very close, which can promote regrowth under the skin.
Whatever hair removal method you choose, it is important not to lend your tools but also to disinfect them well before starting using a spray to avoid any infection.
Other possible causes of the appearance of ingrown hairs:
the type of skin: when you have thick or very dry skin, the hairs may have trouble piercing it to get out;
the type of hair: a curly or corkscrew-shaped hair will tend to become ingrown hair;
repeated friction from clothing, which can thicken the skin.
How to avoid ingrown hairs?
To avoid ingrown hairs, the best thing is not to wax or shave at all, or at least space out the sessions as much as possible. However, if you want to show off perfect skin using an effective method that is less conducive to the appearance of these painful ingrown hairs, you can bet on laser or pulsed light hair removal. These techniques get rid of our hair in a sustainable way.
How does it work? The laser produces a light ray that will destroy the hair and its bulb, thus preventing regrowth for a long time. And yes, even if it is often called permanent hair removal, laser hair removal is not totally permanent: over the course of the sessions (between 5 and 10 depending on the area to be treated), the hairs become rarer and more purposes and their regrowth longer.
Pulsed light hair removal is similar to laser hair removal. The only difference is that it is not a laser beam that will eradicate the hair but a strong light emitted by a “flash” lamp that will put it to sleep. By capturing this light, the pigment of the hair (melanin) undergoes a rise in temperature. A heat that it transmits to the hair bulb which is then asleep. Another advantage: if laser hair removal is done by a professional, pulsed light hair removal can be done at home.
Several brands market pulsed light epilators such as Philips and its, which adapts to different areas of the body (legs, face, armpits, bikini area). Count 3 sessions to start seeing a reduction in hair.
To fight against ingrown hairs that can occur after waxing, you have to do a little prevention upstream. Here are the right things to do to prevent the appearance of ingrown hairs:
- Once or twice a week (rather the day before than the day of hair removal), we go through the exfoliation stage to refine the skin texture, eliminate dead skin and allow the hair to come out without too much effort. This pre-depilation scrub routine also allows you to have peach skin and an even skin texture;
- We don’t forget to moisturize your skin daily to keep it supple and fine. Cream, milk, body butter, oil… it’s up to you to choose the treatment that suits you best, making sure that it is adapted to your skin type;
- Hair removal is done on clean, dry skin to avoid small inconveniences (pimples, redness, etc.) associated with this practice;
- Also, think about specific care to prevent the appearance of ingrown hairs. There are indeed products to use after depilation to soothe and moisturize the skin damaged by depilation (whether it is shaving, waxing, or using an epilator). electric) as well as slowing down regrowth (and therefore the appearance of ingrown hairs).
- Take care of your equipment. For example, make sure you have an epilator that is clean (remove hair residue well to avoid germs!) and disinfected before depilating.
Also, don’t lend your epilator or razor to your BFF or sweetheart (again to avoid sharing germs).
How to fight hair under the skin?
If the ingrown hair is already there, don’t panic. The golden rule is to put away your fingers and tweezers to avoid making the situation worse!
Instead, opt for a healthy solution, which will not cause infection and/or unsightly scars on the skin of your legs, face, or another sensitive area of the body. Here are some tips to best treat ingrown hair that causes pain:
- Apply a specific cleansing and exfoliating lotion to the affected area (we recommend Ingrow Go from Skin Doctors, available from Nocibé).
- Another option: a dab of green clay (known for its anti-inflammatory and purifying properties) or white clay (sanitizing) where the recalcitrant hair is located to destroy it naturally. Note that it will take a few days before seeing the result;
- If you don’t have clay on hand, it also works with a little toothpaste or a compress soaked in 90° alcohol applied to the hair trapped under the dermis;
- Finally, we use a restorative and healing cream. The turn is played, gently.
If, despite everything, the ingrown hair resists until it forms a small painful cyst, go to a dermatologist for a treatment adapted to your situation.
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