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Ingrown hairs can be painful and a nuisance. They typically affect people with thick, curly hair, and can become infected if left untreated. But, how should they be treated and can they be prevented?
Hair that is cut short and close to the skin creates a sharp tip that can more easily pierce the skin to cause an ingrown hair. Improper shaving techniques are the major cause of ingrown hairs. Other hair-removal methods, including waxing, as well as common friction from tight clothing, may worsen the situation. Although an ingrown hair is primarily caused by improper or aggressive hair removal, it sometimes occurs naturally as too much dead skin debris blocks the hair follicle opening, causing the hair to grow sideways.
To prevent in-grown hairs from forming, there are a few things that you need to know and do before your next waxing treatment.
Don't even think about booking an appointment unless you've gone 1-2 weeks without shaving or waxing and have at least ¼ inch of hair. Patience is a virtue – waxing will be painful and not as effective if you haven't waited long enough!
A day or two before your appointment, gently exfoliate in the shower to loosen up dead skin and lift trapped hairs. You can do this a few different ways – your favorite body scrub, a tablespoon of sugar added to your regular body wash or using a body glove, brush or loofah.
Using a cleanser and toner before your treatment emulsifies and removes dirt and oil embedded in your skin and it also balances the skin’s Hp levels which tighten the skin and pores, removing any oil and lotions for a maximum waxing result. Harley Wax’s Cleanser & Toner has been specially formulated to prepare your skin prior to your waxing treatment.
A high-quality Pre waxing oil, such as the Harley Waxing Pre-Wax Oil, creates a lipid barrier between the wax and the skin. This enables the wax to shrink wrap to the hair and not adhere to the skin. This reduces the pull on the skin, thus reducing the discomfort, redness and lowers the possibility of any in-grown hairs.
Remember to apply the wax in the direction of the hair growth and remove the wax against the direction of hair growth for maximum removal of hair. This will ensure that hair is removed completely instead of breaking, thus forming in-grown hairs.
Harley Wax’s After Care Oil has been specially formulated to calm and soothe the skin after waxing. It reduces the chance of skin irritation, redness and the possibility of ingrown hairs. The Tee tree in this product acts as an anti-bacterial agent, leaving the skin clean and fresh. The lipid barrier on the skin prevents bacteria entering the pores after waxing. For clients who do not wish to have an oil applied rather opt for our Harley Waxing After Care Soothing Gel.This water based product will rehydrate and soothe the skin after the waxing treatment. It too will help reduce skin irritation, redness and the possibility of ingrown hairs forming.
Afraid of in-grown hairs? Maintain your wax and keep in-grown hair to a minimum by using an antibacterial body wash and exfoliate regularly. Request after care instructions directly from your trained therapist to ensure maximum results.
Don't sunbathe or exercise right after your wax – your skin needs time to calm down after its "trauma" and sweat and the heat of the sun won't help!
By following these few steps you should be able to prevent those in-grown hairs from forming in the first place.