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Does Waxing Cause Ingrown Hair? Waxing vs. Shaving

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The most efficient way to avoid ingrown hair is to not remove the hair in the first place. This is almost impossible, especially in the summertime when we show more skin than ever. The debate is usually between waxing and shaving because, despite being painful, waxing is typically considered to be more efficient. Yet: does waxing cause ingrown hair?

Contents

1. How do I get ingrown hair?
2. Skin areas prone to ingrown hair
3. Does waxing cause ingrown hair?
  3.1 Skincare to prevent ingrown hair after waxing or shaving
  3.2 DIY home remedies for ingrown hair
4. Conclusion

1. How do I get ingrown hair?

When we remove hair, be it through shaving, waxing, or tweezing, the hair will grow back after a while. Some hairs, instead of breaking the skin, curl and return to the follicle. The body perceives the curled hair getting back in the follicle as a foreign element and tries to fight against it by doing what it knows best: by causing inflammation. This is how ingrown hairs appear.

There are several ways ingrown hairs manifest themselves. Some hairs will remain under the skin like plants in a resin soap. Removing them requires tweezing or squeezing of the skin, so it is best to leave them be.

Some ingrown hairs will immediately cause a red spot on the skin, which can also be painful. Regardless of whether you squeeze it or not, the blemish will turn into a purulent pimple that is very hard to break. Once broken, you must make sure the ingrown hair is removed; if not, the infection will reappear.

2. Skin areas prone to ingrown hair

Usually, it is the areas that we shave or wax more often that are prone to ingrown hairs. Men often get ingrown hairs in their beards, while women often have them on their armpit skin, the bikini line, and the legs. It is not really the type of hair or the type of skin that causes ingrown hair, but rather the way we use each method of hair removal and the way we take care of the skin afterwards. So the answer to the question ‘does waxing cause ingrown hair?’ is: no more than other methods.

3. Does waxing cause ingrown hair?

Waxing is, in fact, the method that produces less ingrown hair because the hair roots are removed from the follicle too. Shaving or tweezing only removes the surface hair which means the root might develop more hair stems in the same follicle and one can get stuck under the skin. This does not mean that you must do away with shaving or any other method you prefer. It just means you have to take more time to prepare the skin before hair removal and to take extra care of it once the hair has been removed.

3.1. Skincare to prevent ingrown hair after waxing or shaving

Similar to other skin treatments, waxing and shaving work better if you first prep the skin and open the pores. A warm shower or bath will soften the skin; it is even better to apply a gentle body scrub to eliminate any dead skin particles that may be obstructing the hairs. 

You may now use shaving foam to shave the skin or, if you prefer waxing, you can move on to the next preparation step.

Never use body lotions or butter before waxing. The skin must be as clean and as dry as possible. If waxing causes you to sweat, you should apply baby powder to keep the skin dry throughout the process. This way, you will prevent hairs from breaking and you will remove them from the root.

The skincare is not complete when you finish waxing or shaving. It is very important to soothe the area by applying calming body lotions and letting the skin rest for the rest of the day. When the skin is no longer inflamed, you can start nourishing it with body lotions and butter to help the hair grow back healthy. 

It is very important to reapply body scrubs once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells and to help the new hair penetrate the skin.

3.2. DIY home remedies for ingrown hair

Our first instinct when we see ingrown hair is to squeeze it and this is the biggest mistake we can make. Picking at the red bump will only make the infection worse. The solution is to rub disinfectant on the area several times a day. This way the skin will get thinner and the hair will surface from beneath. If you don’t have disinfectant, you can also apply the scrub and rub the area daily until you see the hair coming out.

If the problem persists and the bump gets visibly bigger and swollen, you must go to a doctor. Sometimes ingrown hairs become so infected that they must be removed surgically. By taking care of the skin before and after waxing, however, you should be able to prevent such complications.

4. Conclusion

Ingrown hairs appear regardless of the method we use to remove hair. Thus, it is safe to say that waxing does not cause ingrown hair more than other methods. The secret to avoiding these unwanted skin problems is to prepare the skin before waxing. There are many lotions and scrubbing products that calm and soften the skin to help the hair grow back in its natural way.

For best results, you should use chemical-free products packed with plant extracts and oils. These are highly recommended because they do not irritate the skin through fragrances and other artificial ingredients. Check out WOW’s wonderful collection of body lotions and butters designed to address specific skin needs!

Nora Simion

My two secret passions are hair styling and dogs. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to mix the two together and get my dog a cute looking hairstyle. Other times, I usually braid my hair or my friends' hair in an attempt to mimic the most recent Tik Tok trends. I love the no-makeup or the bed head look and I live for the relaxed, all bio fashion trends.

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