It’s safe to say that nobody likes ingrown hairs. Those annoying, often painful red bumps that seem to form out of nowhere – especially after shaving (and waxing and tweezing, too). The cause of this pesky problem? Well, it’s simple – when you remove a hair, it usually grows back and sometimes this process can go wrong.

An ingrown occurs when a hair curls around and grows into your skin, instead of rising up and out like it’s supposed to do. The body responds as it would to any other foreign object – with pain, itching, redness and swelling. Not fun. But don’t grab the tweezers just yet, here are five tips to prevent ingrown hairs!

Exfoliate regularly to prevent ingrown hairs

Exfoliation is a tried and true method for removing the build up of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and clearing pores. Since ingrown hairs often occur from clogged hair follicles, regular exfoliation can work wonders to smooth and clear the skin and leave you less likely to develop ingrowns. We recommend the Balense Microdermal Cleansing Scrub, which combines gentle Jojoba exfoliating beads and encapsulated Salicylic acid for the effective and ongoing exfoliation of dead skin cells.

Invest in laser hair removal

If you’ve tried every form of hair removal and still suffer with ingrown hairs, consider investing in a course of laser hair removal. While shaving cuts the hair off at the shaft, laser hair removal works by targeting the hair follicle and preventing future hair growth. Less hair = less chance of ingrowns!

But what about the shaving you need to do before laser hair removal, won’t that cause ingrown hairs? In our experience (and we have a lot of it), as clients continue through their treatment series they begin to experience less and less hair growth, and the hair is often finer and softer. So, although you do need to shave 12-24 hours before your appointment, the number of ingrown hairs should begin to decrease as the laser works its magic.

prevent ingrown hairs shaving

Use superior blades

Anytime you are shaving, whether it’s your hair removal method of choice or you’re booked in to Australian Skin Clinics for laser, ensure you are using the best possible blade. This means no old, rusty disposables, please! A dull or dirty blade can result in an uneven, unhygienic and bumpy shave – none of which are conducive to preventing ingrown hairs. Keep new razor heads on hand so you always have a clean shave.

Shave down, not up

Sounds strange right? But shaving up (or in the opposite direction to your hair growth) actually cuts the hair off at a sharper angle, making it more likely to grow back under the skin. Prevent this from happening by shaving down in the same direction as the hair growth and use a quality shaving cream to avoid razor drag from irritating the skin further.

dry brushing to prevent ingrown hairs

Try dry brushing

Similar to your exfoliating scrub, a dry brush will help to slough away dead skin cells and increase cell turn over. The result is fewer clogged pores and hair follicles, allowing your hair to regrow the right way. Dry brushing is fantastic for those larger areas which might not get as much attention such as the legs, back and chest. Gently rub the dry brush all over in circular motions before jumping into the shower. If you’re already on the laser hair removal bandwagon, this method will also help to remove the dead hair follicles from the root that the laser hair destroyed.

If you have tried almost everything to prevent ingrown hairs, and would like to try laser hair removal, now is the perfect time!