Nothing ruins a bikini moment faster than an ingrown hair. The inflamed, red, painful bumps pop up in areas where we routinely remove hair — putting the kibosh on summer festivities faster than you can say “cream wax.” Lamees Hamdan, the founder of Shiffa Beauty , points out that the heat, humidity, and perspiration of the warmer months puts you at extra risk of dreaded summer bummers , taking the wax vs. shave conundrum to a whole new level. Below, three skin experts share their knowledge, tips, and advice to leave your swimsuit -ready summer dreams intact by preventing ingrown hairs for good. Here is everything you need to know, and the products to try, to make your ingrown hair problems a thing of the past.
1. Maintain a post-hair removal skincare regimen in between appointments. Lindsay Boggoch, owner of OC-based salon The Wax Spot , recommends syncing depilatory appointments with the hair’s natural growth cycle. Between appointments, tend to the region with a regimen that consists of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing to maintain an ingrown-free area. Brit + Co Pick: The Perfect Vanicure Essentials ($58)
2. Prevent future clogs with a chemical exfoliant. Edyta Jarosz, lead esthetician at PFRANKMD Skin Salon , notes, “When there is too much buildup of dead skin, the hair follicles become clogged. [Along with dirt and debris], this can cause the hair to grow sideways.” Chemical exfoliants will clear away dead skin cells, helping to prevent issues. Jarosz also notes that factors such as coarse hair texture and too-tight clothing may also play a role. Brit + Co Pick: Pfb Vanish + Chromabright ($30)
3. Look for products that soften hair, unclog pores, and soothe inflammation. In addition to regular exfoliation, treat emerging hair with softening products infused with soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients. Jarosz warns against alcohol-based products, which can cause excessive drying. Brit + Co Pick: Fur Oil ($44)
4. Treat ingrowns early to prevent infection. The second a tell-tale bump emerges, Hamdan advises you spot-treat it early to prevent infection and inflammation. She states, “I advise to always have tea tree oil on hand to help with infections during early stages.” Brit + Co Pick: Lavo Tea Tree Soothing Gel ($30)
5. Dry brushing and physical exfoliation keep the hair follicle clear. Another way to keep the area surrounding the follicle clear between appointments is to dry brush. Boggoch tells her clients to use a dry brush or physical exfoliator against the direction of hair growth in any areas impacted by hair removal. Brit + Co Pick: Daily Concepts Your Exfoliating Gloves ($16)
6. Tweeze remaining hairs to keep hair growth cycles synced. Tweeze any remaining strands to keep them all on the same schedule. That way, each hair removal treatment will be more effective, and you’re less likely to have surprise strands pop up unannounced. Brit + Co Pick: Tweezerman X Huda Beauty Mini Slant Tweezer ($17)
7. If all else fails, consider laser hair removal. As a final resort, Hamdan notes that long-term sufferers of chronic ingrowns might benefit from laser hair removal. “Lasers permanently destroy the hair follicles so ingrowns don’t even occur,” she shares. Brit + Co Pick: LumaRx Pro IPL Hair Removal Device ($549)
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