Over several years of working as a sugar waxing specialist, I got many cases and success stories of fighting with ingrown hairs. In this article, I would like to highlight the top reasons causing ingrowing hairs and share recommendations on how to reduce the chances of getting such an issue.

Top 4 reasons causing ingrown hairs based on my personal experience:

Hair removal method. Some hair removal methods may not just work for you. The way hairs have been extracted has a significant role. Hairs removed from roots will regrow smooth and soft, broken or cut hairs, on another hand, may curl and ingrow under the skin. 

Here are some key points which may indicate low-quality waxing services:

  • Micro bleeding spots the right after waxing;
  • Skin irritation lasts for more than 30 minutes;
  • Peeled off skin or bruces;
  • Hairs regrow faster than 3 weeks after waxing;
  • Regrowing hairs are rough and sharp; 

Dry skin, dehydration, lack of moisture is another reason which may cause ingrown hairs. Dry skin can be a serious issue for regrowing hair. Properly removed hairs will always be thinner and softer and dry dead cells works as a barrier which hair can't come through.

Too tight underwear. The consistent wearing of tight or high-density underwear also may hairs to curl back and ingrow into the skin. If you have an issue with ingrown hairs try another material of underwear and also try to reduce the time of wearing leggings. 

Hormonal imbalance. It is not obvious, but hormonal medicines (including contraceptives) may affect your skin state and hair growth process. 


General recommendations on how to get rid of ingrown hair:

1. First of all, make the right choice on the hair removal method and specialist. If you have too many red spots, irritation or even bleeding the right after hair removal procedure, then maybe the current method or specialist is not the best choice for you. Skin without hairs the right after hair removal session is not an indicator of the well-done epilation yet. Take your time and count how many days passed after the last epilation procedure to the day when hairs started to resurface. If your hair removal been done well, then you should NOT get sharp black hairs growing through the skin just one week after epilation or so. Instead, hairs should start to resurface approximately 3 weeks after, and they must be soft and have to become brighter.

2. Keep a reasonable interval between hair removal sessions. The hair gets stronger while it's growing, which may increase the chances of unwanted damage to the hair follicles. But we also don't recommend doing it more frequently. The interval between 5-6 weeks provides the cleanest result, but at the same time, hairs are not too strong yet to cause pain or follicle damage. 

3. Keep your skin moisturized, but apply skincare remedy only 3 days after hair removal session. Creams and moisturizers applied following waxing is a sure-fire way to clog up hair follicles. The idea is to keep the path of re-growth clear and open. Try to keep an even balance of natural oils and just listen to your skin. Be careful with moisturizing creams, most of them just create an effect of moisturization by creating a thin layer which prevents moisture to come out. Such kind of creams may clog the skin and cause problems. Often lotions and body toners give a better effect but require more frequent application. 

4. Stay loose (at least when you are at home) and use underwear made from natural materials. Wearing tight clothing that presses up against the newly waxed skin can cause ingrown hairs. First, the tight material can cause initial irritation. Then in the weeks following, the restrictiveness of the clothing can cause the hair to grow back into the skin. The area needs the opportunity to breathe. Cotton and other natural fabrics can help if you are prone to ingrown hairs.

5. Exfoliation matter. Please don't neglect such an important aftercare procedure as exfoliation, especially if your skin is dry. I would recommend doing exfoliation 2 times a week since day 4 after your sugaring session. For the best result do exfoliation after several minutes of a hot shower, when pores of the skin are open. If you have no exfoliation remedy at this moment - not a problem. Just take a handful of ground coffee, apply on to the skin, and make light massage rounded movements all around epilated zones. But please don't scrub pimples if you have ones. Exfoliation is a good remedy keeping your skin "ingrowns-free"

6. Keep Clean but take a step up from regular soap or shower gels which overdry your skin.

What to do if you already got ingrown hairs after waxing or hair removal?

1. First of all, please DO NOT try to squeeze acne caused by ingrown hairs, and don't try to extract ingrown hair by yourself. 
2. Ask for advice from your hair removal specialist 
3. Do not delay the treatment. The idea is to help ingrown hair to resurface in a natural way before it "dies". If regular daily care and exfoliation didn't bring the desired result and you got first signs of ingrown hairs such as little dark spots under the skin or pimples, then you may try "ingrown hair solution", which should be available in your nearest cosmetic shop or pharmacy. 
I was using that one but you try any other. The common ingredient across the most "ingrown hair solutions" is Salicylic Acid, which helps to destroy the connection between cells and release path for the growing hair, as far as this ingredient in the lest you are good to go. But please be careful and follow the instructions and apply solution only on affected spots. If you apply the remedy too often, then it may overdry the skin. 

Hope you find the information above useful. I would appreciate if you give feedback in comments below, or maybe share your experience. 

Best Regards,
Marina Ivanova
Sugar Waxing Specialist 
Bare Care, Auckland