Ask Belle: Ingrown Hair Solutions

Feb 5, 2015

Dear Belle,

You posted some hair removal tips on Monday, do you have any tips for fighting ingrown hairs?  I really struggle with them around my bikini line, and in addition to being unsightly, they really itch.  Please help.

~Rachel

Ugh, ingrown hairs are the absolutely worst.  Luckily, I do have a few suggestions for tempering the scourge.

First, you need to exfoliate.  I use exfoliating gloves.  They scrub without tearing the skin up too much.  You might also consider using an anti-bacterial soap like this Body Shop Tea Tree Body Wash.

Second, you need to look for an after-care product.  I use Tend Skin, which also comes in a convenient roll-on.  The roll-on is refillable.

I can also recommend Bliss’s Ingrown Eliminating Pads.  For a cheaper option, some readers recommend using Stridex pads.  I also have a couple of friends who recommend Completely Bare’s Bikini Bump Blaster.

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  1. Lynn says:

    I use PFB for after care and I’ve found it’s been pretty good as well.

  2. Helena says:

    Another tip– even though it itches, avoid the urge to slather heavy creams or oils on the area, which just clog pores and exacerbate the problem. Baby powder is soothing and witch hazel is another good option for after-care, if you are seeking an alternative to products with salicylic acid.

  3. Lauren says:

    I am on my second container of the Completely Bare pads – BUT when I clicked over to the Target link I thought that seemed pricey – and sure enough, I paid $9.99 the first time, $14.99 the second order, and now they are $20! I’d like to know the logic behind that inflation.

  4. Katie says:

    I have always struggled with ingrowns. Recently I started going to a new salon (well, new to me) in Manhattan, owned and operated by Russian women who were all trained as nurses back at home. They recommended hydrocortizone cream with aloe. If you can’t find the combined hydrocortizone + aloe, just apply them separately. Do it right after you get out of the shower for the first 4-5 days after your wax. It seriously works! You have to be vigilant about it, but it works, bigtime. And they caution against over exfoliating – it can do more damage than good.

  5. Monica says:

    I have noticed a significant decrease in ingrown hairs after switching to a safety razor that uses double-edge razor blades. Yes it took a leap of faith, and little getting used to, but now I’m good enough for a soap-only shave and am never going back to overpriced cartridge razors.

    All those extra blades actually cut the hair UNDER the skin, which gives it the smoothness, BUT cutting hair off under the skin also leads to a lot more ingrown hair. I will take a slightly less close shave over a ton of ingrowns and a whole process of managing them any day.

    I use a Merkur Long Handled razor and Feather DE blades, both available on Amazon. Cheaper, with less waste and a simplified shaving routine. Win!

  6. Lexi says:

    2nd PFB in the roll on. I have really sensitive skin and had to stop using Tend Skin. I also use a Salux exfoliating cloth in the shower and couldn’t live without it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Salux-Japanese-Beauty-Towel–Aquamarine/dp/B000MZX6QI/ref=sr_1_8?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1423166011&sr=1-8

  7. Tess says:

    Try the bikini bump blaster at ULTA. It’s $10 there. I also seem to recall getting it cheaper, however…

    https://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod6481596&skuId=2273187&_requestid=298814

  8. Sara says:

    Note on exfoliating gloves – I went to a new aestheticism who grilled me about my routine in care after each wax/sugaring.

    No fragranced body wash – check. Exfoliating gloves – check. Don’t use moisturizer – check. I was doing it all right!

    Finally, a light bulb went off in her head.

    “Wait, when you exfoliate, do you do it DURING your shower or before?” I said, “During.”

    It makes sense, but never occurred to me, that exfoliating during the shower is when your pores are the most open – so I was just scrubbing dirt/oil etc. right back into my pores! It was a huge eye-opener.

    Now I only use my exfoliating gloves when my skin is dry and it really is helping!

  9. Amy says:

    I use Vitamin E Oil with a few drops of tea tree oil after I shave and it works wonders on underarms and the bikini line.

  10. Marti says:

    I’ve found that the PFB works the best. But as others have said you should exfoliate first. I would rec the salux cloth from the “saluxshop” due to 3 out 4 on amazon are the fake ones.

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