Ay caramba, is there anything worse than ingrown hairs ruining a perfectly good shave or wax? Yes, I guess there are a number of worse things, but in the realm of hair removal, it’s one of the worst side effects.
I have extremely sensitive skin and dark hair, so when I’m not dilligent about hair removal aftercare, I pay an unsightly, rashy price. My underarms get the worst ingrowns of all my shaved body parts. Most people don’t have armpit hairs that grow all in one direction, so shaving the right way is pretty much impossible. Underarms are also a sweaty zone with lots of skin to skin contact, bacteria, friction and general grodiness. I’ve heard that strippers use deodorant to prevent ingrown hairs on their nethers, but deodorant doesn’t even work preventing ingrown hairs on my armpits. Luckily, there are other tricks to keeping the bumps at bay.
Ingrown hairs happen when a hair doesn’t break through the follicle and curls back into the skin or grows sideways under it. They can end up inflamed, itchy and painful. And they look awful–far worse than hair ever could. They’re typically caused by shaving and waxing because the hair is broken off
You definitely already know how to shave and to use a clean razor, but shaving the right way and being careful instead of hacking away at your skin all willy nilly is the first way to cautiously avoid ingrown hairs the best you can.
To prevent ingrown hairs (we can get to treating ones you already have another time) you want to focus on exfoliating, calming and moisturizing your tender flesh.
Here are 5 products to prevent ingrown hairs, for when you give a damn:
Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads- These are a miracle. They exfoliate with salicylic acid and glycolic acid and mollify angry skin with oat extract, witch hazel and lavender oil. Use these or similar products daily, but wait a day after waxing to give your traumatized skin a minute to relax. Sure, they’re pricy, but worth it (for me). If you cut the pads in half, you can make them last longer. $38 at Bliss.
Tend Skin- You can use this twice a day. Tend is a great product because it has many uses. It allegedly works as a foot deodorant in addition to calming redness, preventing and treating razor burn as well as ingrown hairs. $20 at Ulta.
1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream- Helps relieve the itchy discomfort and calms irritation. I dab it on as soon as my hairless bits are dry. You can get this in the first aid-ish area of the drug store. I like Aveeno’s because there’s a triple oat complex, aloe and vitamin E in the formula, but there are a million brands out there you can try. Use (somewhat) sparingly because it’s a steroid. $5.60 at Aveeno.
Gentle, unscented lotion- Any lotion that a neurotic new mom would smear on her baby will do, especially if you’ll be treating your mons pubis to some moisture. Eucerin, Johnson & Johnson, et cetera
Moisture Anti-Shave Balm- This stuff is from a fancy gentleman’s shaving company, The Art of Shaving. You put it on right after shaving and it’s oh so very soothing and moisturizing. $18 at The Art of Shaving.