Ladies- beauty is pain…
By Alexia McKay
But I’m sure you knew that right? Hope so. The self-inflicting, painful, aggravating, things we as women put our bodies through for the male species and self-love can be damn-near torture. One of those tribulations is waxing. The idea of rubbing hot wax on our pubic hair area and snatching it out has become just as much as a rite of passage for females as getting your first menstrual cycle, buying your first set of makeup or getting your first pleasure toy (yes we went there).
Now before we get too waxy or bumpy with you, please note that there is nothing wrong with keeping the kitty 100% au naturale. But for those us who prefer the smooth as a baby’s bottom and landing strip looks, be aware of the common pest; ingrown hairs. They’re ugly, not really appealing to look like and will surely kill your sexy bikini and lingerie panty line look you were going for.
Mayo Clinic describes ingrown hairs as a common condition that could result from hair removal (i.e. shaving, tweezing or waxing) and occurs “when a shaved or tweezed hair grows back into the skin.” The result could be tiny red, bumps that could look like blackheads on women of color. These bumps can be painful and cause discomfort, but doctors say resist the urge to scratch! Doing so could increase your risk of infection and cause scarring. Other symptoms include; pus-filled, blister-like lesions (pustules), skin darkening, itching, and embedded hairs.
For women, ingrown hairs are like yeast infections; they’re common, annoying BUT easy to avoid and get rid of.
Below are some preventive methods you can take :
- Before shaving or waxing, wash your skin with warm water and clean with a mild facial cleanser or gel.
- Before shaving or waxing, apply a warm compress to the area or use a shaving cream or gel a few minutes before to soften the hair follicles
- When shaving, use a sharp, single-bladed razor and use as few strokes of the razor as possible
- Rinse the razor with warm water after every stroke.
- For wax: dispose the stick after each wax. If you are seeing a professional, make sure they are using a fresh stick each time they apply your wax. Reusing the same stick can incrase your risk of bacteria spreading.
- IMPORTANT: Shave and wax in the direction the hairs are growing
- Consider non-razor and waxing hair removal treatments
- Chemical hair removal is a popular method. But if you have sensitive skin, consult your doctor.
- Healthline.com lists a permanent hair removal treatment called Electrolysis , which uses an electrode to destroy the hair root. Electrolysis are similar to laser hair removal and can take several weeks or months to fully remove the hair.
If you already have an ingrown hair, have no fear…
Ingrown hairs typically go away on their own, but there are a few DIY methods you can try at home to speed up the process.
- The first thing to keep in mind, DO NOT scratch or pick at the bumps. As we mentioned above, doing so can cause infection and scarring. Also, do not shave, wax, pluck or tweeze the area until the ingrown hair is treated.
- Witch hazel: apply with a cotton ball. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities keeps ingrown hairs at bay and helps with irritation and skin-toning.
- Aloe vera: apply with a cotton ball. The active cooling and anti-inflammatory ingredients found in the leaves of the aloe alleviate soreness.
- Tea tree oil: apple with a cotton ball. Helps the ingrown hair to come out from beneath the skin by preventing further growth of ingrown hair.
- Castor oil: opens the pores and releases the pressure and puss.
Homemade scrubs such as oatmeal, lavendar, sugar and sea salt scrubs are also ideal. To learn more about these scrubs click here. However, if the condition worsens, consult your doctor. You may have an infection and will need an antibiotic.
By Alexia McKay