Do you know that heat makes hair follicles grow faster or that women often suffer from ingrown hairs after waxing? With summer fast approaching, the thought of getting that Brazilian wax might have crossed your mind. Oh, how nice it will be to wear an itsy bitsy teeny-weeny bikini over your smooth hairless bikini line!
But wait – the thought of reddish lumps that collect pus after a bout of painful waxing gone wrong, can for many women put a big, fat downer on the whole experience. Yes, I am talking about those pesky ingrown hairs, the evil counterpart of ingrown toenails. Though waxing is one of the most sought-after hair removal method because of its convenience and ease of use, it can also bring the horrendous ordeal of ingrown hairs. Apart from the trauma of pulling hairs from the roots and at a specific angle, the incidence of follicles getting trapped and clogged with dirt, oil and dead skin cells can be harrowing. Quite unsightly and painful to the touch, finding ways to prevent ingrown hairs and possible infection can be done in more ways than one. Often, it starts with proper preparations, appropriate after-care and, yes, personal hygiene.
When planning to indulge in a Brazilian wax or even a simple underarm wax, make sure to do necessary preparations. Apart from the painful thoughts of hair pulling, be wary also on possible complications of ingrown hairs and infection after waxing. Take note that the most ideal length of hair that makes waxing effective and less tedious is between 1/8 and 1/4 inch long. This is one great way to have full grasp on the follicles and completely pull them out. With this, prepare meticulously by trimming hair to this suggested length and freeing areas to be waxed from lotion or cosmetic prior to commencing waxing regimen. Of course, check the wax's temperature before applying or if you may, choose wax products that are gentle to the skin and requires less heat to apply.
It Pays to Feel Hot
You may also try my usual pre-waxing regimen, that is, having a hot steamy shower to loosen and clear-out hair follicles. Hot showers or a steam bath usually open pores and soften hair follicles grip. If you are in a spa, you might have noticed that you will be asked to get into sauna or a steam bath first before waxing will be done. Some modern facilities even have pre-waxing steam treatment that helps loosen up hair follicles to allow easy removal from the roots. Applying heat can help relax the muscles, too. This in turn helps removal easier and less strenuous. The easier it is for hair to be removed from their follicles, the less likely is the incidence of ingrown hairs after waxing.
Relax, Just Do It
If you want to prevent more ingrown hairs after waxing, a few relaxation tips might also do the trick. Some find relief in taking antacids or over-the-counter pain medications but you must remember that this could mean a series of complications when not consulted with your physician. Synthetic medications carry some risks that might prove to be regrettable in the end. I prefer things to go as natural as they are and what better way to do it than through relaxation techniques. One such way is breathing exercises. A practice normally done by pregnant women about to give birth (remember Lamaze?), taking slow steady breathing through the nose and exhaling through one's mouth can help release tension build-up. Try to think of each pull as a contraction and time carefully each inhaling and exhaling motion. Control your pain by visualizing a relaxed state on that certain body part. Mind control may sound so magical but it is doable. My mantra has always been "I had three kids delivered normally and there is no way a few hair pulling experience take that momentous experience away."
Do Not Play Tight and Dirty
Going back to showering and steam bath, preventing ingrown hairs after waxing can also be achieved if you try using exfoliants like sea salt or an apricot scrub. Make good use of a loofah to efficiently remove topmost layer of dead skin cells. Not only do these dead skin cells obstruct and irritate follicles, these also increase chances of ingrown hairs after waxing. It pays to also keep follicles open by exfoliating 2-3 days after waxing and every 3-5 days thereafter. To prevent further incidence of ingrown hairs after waxing, steer clear of deodorants, talcum powders, perfume and even self-tanning products on the first 2-3 days thereafter. Lastly, forget about skinny jeans and other tight clothing, at least, twenty-four hours after waxing.