Whether you head to a salon for your wax job or you do the deed at home, ingrown hairs are a common complaint after waxing. Ingrown hairs are typically the result of hair that grows improperly when forced back into the skin, resulting in a painful red bump that can become infected. By waxing infrequently and using the right technique, you can protect yourself from the pitfalls of waxing for smoother skin and better results.
Wax your body hair infrequently, and less than every three weeks. When you wax too often, you may end up with hairs that are too short for the wax and strip to grasp, resulting in hairs that are ripped and broken. These can grow improperly and cause ingrown hairs. Make sure that your hair is at least a quarter of an inch, to give the wax enough to grab on to for a clean wax job.
Exfoliate your skin before you wax to get rid of dead skin and release trapped hairs that could be forced back into the skin while waxing, suggests "Cosmopolitan" magazine. Just lather up with a loofah in the shower, or create your own body scrub by mixing a cup of brown sugar with 3 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. of milk. Scrub in a circular motion for 30 seconds, then rinse away and pat dry before waxing.
Pull the wax strips cleanly, without going over the same spots over and over again. Not only is it irritating to the skin, but it can cause hairs to be forced back into the skin or broken off at an awkward angle, resulting in ingrown hairs. If you're having an esthetician complete your wax, request that each area is only gone over once.
Wear loose-fitting clothing after you wax. Tight, synthetic clothing can chafe the skin and exacerbate ingrown hairs. Opt for breathable, natural fabrics like loose cotton or linen for at least a day after your wax.
Opt for shaving if you constantly suffer from ingrown hairs after waxing. Waxing pulls hair out at an angle, making it grow into the side of the hair follicle instead of out of the skin. Your individual hair growth pattern may make you especially susceptible to ingrown hairs, and other hair removal methods may work more effectively for you.