If you’ve read our Evolution of Hair Removal blog, you’ll know that humans have been able to get hair removal down to a fine art over the years.

But no matter what technique you use, there’s one thing that we haven’t been able to abolish – ingrown hairs. Some skin types are more prone to getting ingrowns than others, but there are things we do that can increase the likelihood of getting them.

So what causes ingrown hairs? Here are 5 things you might be doing that promotes ingrown hair:

1. You aren’t exfoliating:

The most common cause of ingrown hairs is a lack of exfoliation. Whilst we have all heard the advice of exfoliating after a wax, many of us ignore this advice and don’t bother. It is critical to exfoliate after a wax to not only minimize those pesky ingrown hairs but to maintain that smooth post wax feeling. Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, which clears the way for the newer skin underneath to appear. By removing the dead skin cells you minimize the chance of hairs being caught underneath and thus becoming ingrown.

We recommend using the BB Body Scrub with a BB exfoliating mitt, glove or puff in the shower several times a week. To rehydrate after exfoliation try either our BB Tea Tree body lotion or for those with delicate skin our BB Delicate body lotion.

2. You aren’t using aftercare products:

Whilst we have all felt pressured into buying recommended products, when it comes to post wax care, the after products are crucial for maintaining your skin and ensuring ingrown hairs don’t appear.

On top of the items mentioned above we highly recommend to all our waxing clients they regularly use our BB Soothe post treatment, which has been specially formulated to relieve and prevent the discomfort of ingrown hairs. For our male clients this product is great at treating male shaving rash as well! Our BB Soothe is recommended as an application for any lumps and bumps that may occur in the open hair follicles and the best part is, it isn’t alcohol based meaning it works for even the most delicate of skin. It contains an active ingredient which helps to exfoliate the skin, bringing ingrown hairs to the surface for easy removal and also contains aloe vera and chamomile, which in conjunction work to reduce the swell and discomfort of ingrown hairs. 

3. You are waxing too frequently

It can be tempting to remove hair as soon as it starts to grow, but scheduling a wax too early will hurt you in the long run. If you wax your hair when it is shorter than 1/4 of an inch, the wax doesn’t have enough hair to grip onto which means your hairs will break instead of being pulled out at the roots. Having your hair break will result in ingrown hairs and irritation so it’s best to practice patience and leave your hair to regrow before waxing. 

4. Staying in active wear for too long after a work out

Active wear is fast becoming an everyday outfit for most of us. But staying in tight clothing and synthetic fabrics such as nylon leggings, skinny jeans and polyester underwear will only exacerbate ingrown hairs. These fabrics rub against the skin and don’t allow the skin to breathe, meaning more ingrown hairs for you! Combine this with perspiration during a workout, and it’s the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. After a wax try to stick with light, breathable fabrics.

5. Overactive sebaceous glands

Sebaceous glands, which are located at the base of the hair follicles, sometimes become overactive and release too much oil. This, combined with dead skin cells, tends to clog pores which provides a wonderful environment for bacteria to form. It also means the hair regrowth becomes trapped under the skin forming an ingrown hair. Make sure you are exfoliating regularly, if symptoms persist it is best you contact your doctor or dermatologist.

As the specialists in waxing, we’ll make sure you are in good hands and can provide you with further advice on minimising ingrown hairs tailored to your skin and hair type. If you are ready to book for your next wax you can book online here.

Contributed by our Port Melbourne salon. If you would like to book an appointment with the experts at Port Melbourne, you can book online or call (03) 9681 7777.