Nothing spoils a little black dress like a sudden outbreak of red bumps caused by ingrown hair. Painful? Yes. Itchy? Sometimes. Unattractive? Yip, you’ve guessed it. Most common on our legs, ingrown hair is the bane of many a woman’s existence.
Let’s get to the facts:
An ingrown hair occurs when hair curls back and grows sideways into the skin rather than upwards, away from the skin.
The most common cause of ingrown hair is hair removal. Waxing, shaving and depilatory creams are equally guilty, with tight-fitting clothing and dead skin cells coming in a close second.
Ingrown hair is more common on people with darker skin tones and curly hair. Science doesn’t quite understand why yet, but logic tells us that a curly hair is more likely to grow inwards than one that grows out straight.
Although most ingrown hairs will heal by themselves, picking and scratching can lead to nasty and painful infections.
Here’s how to beat them:
- Gentle exfoliation is key to preventing ingrown hair. We recommend using a body brush (this affordable tool holds major benefits – check them out here) daily to remove dry and dead skin cells. Alternatively, a rough sponge rubbed in circular motions will also do the trick.
- Wet your skin in the shower with warm water and apply a good quality shaving cream.
- Do not – we repeat – do not use an old razor blade! This will most certainly lead to ingrowns, or even worse, nicks and cuts. Replace your blades regularly to ensure you always use a sharp one.
- Shave in the direction of the hair growth and use as few strokes as possible (this is where a sharp razor blade really comes in handy).
- After gently patting the skin dry, apply an after-shave lotion designed to combat ingrown hair. We love FINO Soothe WOMAN (R69.95). This multipurpose balm contains fruit enzymes that gently yet effectively exfoliates the skin to prevent ingrown hair and bumps. Plus, its soothing properties calms redness, prevents itching and nourishes the skin. You can apply it straight after hair removal and use daily for best results.
Voilà, ingrowns conquered! Do you have any shaving tips? Share them in the comment block below.