Why do ingrown hairs happen? Well, the short answer is, hairs get trapped in the hair follicle and start growing under the skin or when the hair grows back into the skin. When hair is cut close to the skin (shaving) or when the hair is extracted from the follicle (sugaring, waxing, tweezing) the potential for ingrown hairs great. For methods such as shaving, the hair is cut down very close to the surface of the skin. Dead skin cells can cover the opening of the follicle, and when the hair grows it is trapped and has to curl back into the skin. For methods that remove the hair from the follicle, dead skin, if not exfoliated, can jump into the hair follicle, blocking the hair from being able to grow. If the hair is broken under the skin during hair removal, this too can lead to ingrown hairs.
How to prevent ingrown hairs
Exfoliating and moisturizing after hair removal will reduce your risk for getting ingrown hairs. Using either a manual or chemical method of exfoliating gentle exfoliate the area 2-3 times per week. I recommend a manual exfoliant, these can include sugar scrubs, dry brush, or an exfoliating glove. Moisturizing helps restore moisture to your skin. This is important when you have hair extracted from the follicle because the hair allows sebum to flow onto the skin. Sebum (oil) helps to lubricate the skin and keep it moisturized. When the hair is no longer present, the sebum can sit in the hair follicle or take a longer time getting onto the surface of the skin.
I recommend using a moisturizer that is free from:
toxins, parabens, artificial colors
any harsh chemical
After hair is removed from the follicle a calming soothing moisturizer should be used. When formulating soothing oils after my sugaring services I use organic oils that closely resemble our own body's natural sebum.