How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs After Shaving or Waxing

How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs After Shaving or WaxingIngrown hairs are a common side effect of shaving and waxing. Not only do they look and feel nasty, but they also may be accompanied by an infection of the hair follicles. Here are several tips that will help you prevent ingrown hairs after shaving or waxing.

Ingrown hair is a condition where hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. It most commonly appears in areas where the skin is waxed or shaved because these hair removal methods can break hairs off unevenly. Such hairs fail to break the surface of the skin as they grow and grow back into the skin instead. People with curly or coarse hair are more prone to ingrown hairs, but actually, anyone can get them as long as they shave or wax. Are there any ways to prevent ingrown hair?

Shave or Wax Properly

Proper shaving or waxing technique helps reduce the number of ingrown hairs. When shaving, apply the proper amount of shaving cream or other lubricant and don’t apply too much force with a razor. This will prevent the hair from being forced underneath the skin surface. Make sure that the blade isn’t dull because dull blades don’t make clean cuts and can increase the risk for an ingrown hair. When waxing, carefully follow the directions on the package to prevent the hair from breaking.

Remove the Hair in the Way That It Grows

When we shave or wax, we usually remove hair in the opposite direction of hair growth, which often causes hairs to break. To prevent ingrown hairs, try shaving in a different direction. If you prefer to wax, try sugaring instead. These two techniques are similar, but the paste used for sugaring uplifts the entire hair and removes it in same direction that it grows, significantly reducing hair breakage.

Choose a Good Post-Shave Treatment

Post-shave treatments have two main tasks: soothing any post-shave irritations and keeping the skin hydrated to prevent the build up of dead skin cells. If you’re prone to ingrown hairs, try special treatments with salicylic or glycolic acid. These acids dissolve any build up on the surface of the skin and prevent clogged pores. Stay away from potentially comedogenic moisturizers because they may aggravate the situation instead of helping.


Ingrown hairs are often caused by the lack of exfoliation. The surface of our skin is covered by dead skin cells, and ingrown hairs occur when a hair can’t break this layer of dead cells. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, letting the hair regrow freely.

To prevent irritation, don’t exfoliate right after you wax or shave. Wait for a couple of days until the redness and itching disappear, then lightly exfoliate with a loofah, sponge, brush, or body scrub. Keep exfoliating regularly (at least couple of times a week, depending on your skin type) to keep your skin smooth and healthy.

Consider Permanent Hair Removal

If nothing helps, consider removing the hair permanently: no hair, no problem. Permanent hair removal methods, including laser hair removal and electrolysis, destroy the hair follicle, which completely prevents the hair from growing back. Effective as it is, permanent hair removal has its drawbacks. As hair grows in several phases, you’ll need multiple sessions to remove all the hair. Besides, laser doesn’t work well on light-colored hair, as well as fine hair of any color.

If you’re against permanent hair removal for some reason, try chemical hair removers. They contain compounds that break down the chemical bonds in keratin, the protein which hair is made of, and weaken the hair so that you can scrape it off. Chemical depilatories provide a semi-permanent result. Keep in mind that they can irritate sensitive skin.



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