The No-BS Guide To Dealing With Ingrown Hairs

Ingrowns affect everyone — whether you choose to shave your entire body or let your hairs run free. With summer and bikini situations around the corner, we asked Arezoo Kaviani, a Veet hair removal expert, for her advice on how to really treat the irritable and sometimes very painful red lumps (which can lead to infection and scarring if handled incorrectly.)

Ingrown hairs can be inherited, but they can also be caused by shaving against the direction that the hair grows in, as well as waxing, the friction caused by clothing, and dead skin debris obstructing the hair follicle's exit route. The glamour!

"An ingrown hair is when a hair cannot push through the follicle and grows sideways into the skin," says Arezoo. "It causes a raised bump which may become red or infected and can be itchy and uncomfortable."

And what aggravates them? "Tight clothing (including tights) and synthetic fabrics,” she says. “Stick to clothes that don’t stick to you!" Picking, scratching, sweating, and irritating products, such as fragrance, can also make the situation worse. Click ahead for the three best remedies.

Cheapest solution:

Exfoliating regularly not only makes skin silky smooth but also keeps ingrown hairs at bay. Dead skin can trap hair below the surface, so sloughing it off the day before hair removal creates a clear path to free the follicle. If you shave, make sure the razor follows the direction of the hair growth (don't go against the grain). Keep skin healthy and hydrated with a fragrance-free moisturizer to avoid any irritation.

If you are dealing with a few bumps, a diluted tea tree oil wash will keep the area clean. Benzoyl peroxide can help dry out the bumps, bringing the hairs to the surface. Since ingrown hairs occur in many places on the body like your chin, legs, armpits, and vulva, you want to be careful to not allow either product inside any open areas, especially wounds.
Medium-cost solution:

If waxing and shaving consistently produces bumps, try a sensitive hair removal cream, such as Veet Silk & Fresh Hair Removal Cream. We also love Fur's Ingrown Concentrate, Bliss's Ingrown Hair Eliminating Pads, and SheaMoisture's Honey & Black Seed After Shave Healing Elixir for soothing relief.
Money-is-no-object solution:

If you want to say goodbye to bumps forever, look into laser/electrolysis treatment. This is expensive, as you'll have to book multiple sessions, but the treatments will permanently remove the hair by destroying the root and base cells that the follicle grows from.
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