Whether you shave, wax, or tweeze, ingrown hairs (also sometimes called razor bumps) can crop up. What causes this? Ingrown hairs come about when hair grows back into the skin instead of growing out. The risk is higher if you have thicker, coarser, curly hair, and obviously is facilitated by dirt, dead skin cells, and oil clogging the hair follicles. What’s the best way to try to prevent ingrown hair after shaving or waxing? Exfoliation!! This gets rid of oil and dead skin cells, and gives you a much closer wax or shave. One can exfoliate in many ways, my favorite way is to use a sugar scrub, notably, this Mango sugar scrub by Tree Hut. Not only is it a huge-sized tub and generally amazeballs (skin everywhere is so smooth and smells SO good after using), the mango option is also way lower priced than other options. The timing of when you exfoliate is important though – see below:
Use the sugar scrub just before you shave. I rub in the sugar scrub, either wash off or not, and then directly apply shaving cream (I like this one) for a smoother shave and go! Then follow up with the sugar scrub a day or two later and keep using – this post-shave use should also deter the development of ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
Exfoliation before waxing also removes dead cells to give you a closer wax, but a harsh scrubbing just before waxing may be detrimental and irritate your skin. According to the experts, it’s best to exfoliate a day or two before waxing, and then follow up with the scrub on a regular basis starting a day or two later.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you cannot avoid ingrown hairs in an area, and if you have that issue, the best option is to stop waxing and shaving and instead turn to laser hair removal – see the next part:
I got laser hair removal professionally done (for anyone wondering about the cost of laser hair removal, one big area was $650 for 6 sessions; the same place charges $1300 for full legs). After the laser hair removal, I was advised to exfoliate about 2-3 days later and to continue to do so regularly between treatments. This advice worked! I’ve only had one session so far but saw a huge reduction in hair growing back. Obviously, professional laser hair removal is super expensive. If you want to try laser hair removal at home, check out this very affordable and highly reviewed home-use instrument available on Amazon – it gets excellent reviews, and I’ve gotten great member feedback (see a screenshot below) on previous iterations of the same instrument – this is the updated, better version, more background here.