It’s time we finally beat hair removal’s worst enemy: ingrown hair. Also known as bikini burns or razor bumps, they’re painful, irritating, and annoyingly prone to popping up just before beach vacations and romantic nights. Thankfully Marta Camkiran, an aesthetician at Haven Spa in New York, has a foolproof plan for fighting ingrown hairs commonly found on bikini lines and underarms in no time.
What, exactly, are ingrown hairs?
Ingrown hairs are a condition in which hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. Dead skin can clog hair follicles and force the hair to grow incorrectly beneath the skin.
How the hell do they happen?
Shaving is one of the main causes of ingrown hairs. “The cutting of naturally curly hair too close to the skin will result in the sharpened hair piercing the skin, causing an ingrown hair or what are commonly known as ‘razor bumps,’” explains Camkiran.
How can I prevent them from happening?
Exfoliation is key, Camkiran says. Exfoliation helps get rid of dead skin cells, dirt, and oils so hair is less likely to get caught in pores. Scrubs and dry brushing are also great options to remove the buildup that causes razor bumps.
When should I seek medical attention?
Camkiran recommends seeking medical attention if you have a cyst that does not clear up after two weeks. A dermatologist will be able to best determine if it’s a harmless cyst or a more serious skin condition. Also, if you have pain or any other chronic condition like an allergy, you should consult a medical professional for an expert opinion.
How do I get rid of ingrown hairs at home?
Try acid-based products. A number of dedicated products work to rid the skin of buildup and release ingrown hairs. Check for alpha hydroxy acids in the ingredients list, as that is the best exfoliator and can help fight dead skin cells.
Dry Brushing. The act of dry brushing rids the skin of excess hair and skin cells so you are less likely to have buildup and develop ingrown hairs. If you have sensitive skin this may not be your best option as it can cause irritation and redness.
Scrubs. On top of chemicaly exfoliation, look for scrubs and dry brushing to add physical exfoliation to remove pore-clogging dead skin cells.
Skip lotion on shaven areas. Lotion only adds to the problem and can further clog your pores. Camikran says.