Got Ingrown Hair?

It’s not just hair? To many of us, hair can cause deep distress and embarrassment. Age, sex, the seasons (hair grows faster in summer), diet, diseases, body heat and nerves, and adrenal stimulation from anxiety can affect hair growth.

Waxing hair from the follicle starts the growth of a new hair from within the follicle, which also slows the growth rate. If you are shaving, the hair is bluntly removed at the surface, creating a shadow or stubble and the hair comes back in a day or two. Clients who get on a normal waxing regimen will start to their hair become thinner and less course over time.

Ingrown hairs are unsightly and painful. An ingrown hair is a condition where the hair doesn’t grow up to the skin surface and exit the pore. The hair instead gets trapped and grows under the skin, spiraling beneath the surface causing irritation. Ingrowns are more common in people who have very curly or coarse hair. Curly hair is more likely to bend back and re-enter the skin. Ingrown hairs are not serious, but they can be irritating and embarrassing.

Sometimes ingrown hair can become infected. Dead skin can clog the hair follicle, forcing the hair to grow under the skin (even sideways) instead of up and out. Pus from bacteria attached is to the follicle indicates an infection. To kill the infection, take a Q-tip soaked in Hydrogen Peroxide and apply to the infected area several times a day.

Daily exfoliation removes the dead skin build up and increases blood flow which draws the hair to the surface to be released. However, this doesn’t happen overnight. The key to combatting ingrown is continual exfoliation to keep ingrowns from occurring.
Tips from your esthetician:

  • Prior to waxing: exfoliate manually to remove the dead skin. This ensures dead skin cells don’t enter the open follicle after waxing.
  • Use an exfoliation glove in the shower
  • Post wax: exfoliate chemically using products that contain salicylic acid, lactic or glycolic acid. As the acid dries the infection and the acids dissolve the dead skin buildup. (This can be purchased from your esthetician)
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes as they suffocate the hair follicle.
  • Avoid underwear with elastic and tights or spanks; cotton is best
  • Start exfoliating the day after your waxing
  • Apply sunblock if you’re laying out in the skin
  • If you are getting a back wax, bring a clean, loose fitting t-shirt to your appointment.
  • Wax every four weeks to match the hair regrowth cycle and minimize ingrown. Clients often ask me how long their hair should be for their next wax. Personally, I think it’s hard to tell if hair is ¼ inch long. The easiest way is get on a waxing schedule by booking your appointments 4-6 weeks out.
  • Sometimes first-time waxers can have swelling or inflamed follicles or even little micro-pustules or pimples. The skin is shocked from waxing. Waxing causes trauma to your skin; it’s part of the process. It’s not serious, it just means it takes your skin more time to adjust to waxing. Everyone’s skin reacts differently. If this happens to you, apply Polysporin for two weeks or until the bumps go away.
  • You may NOT wax if you are currently taking Accutane (or in the past 6 months), Retin-A (or in the past 3 months), Glycolic, Salicylic acid – or any acid treatment intended for acne or anti-aging. You may NOT wax if you have recently had a sunburn or a laser peel.

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