Smooth Appeal Expert, Helen Hepburn, gives us the lowdown

WHAT IS AN INGROWN HAIR? 

An ingrown hair appears when a shaved or tweezed hair grows back into the skin. It can cause inflammation, pain and tiny bumps in the area where the hair was removed. Ingrown hairs are a common condition that results from hair removal. They aren’t dangerous but can be incredibly painful. 

WHO IS PRONE TO INGROWN

Anyone who shaves, tweezes or waxes their hair can develop ingrown hairs. If you shave often, you’re more likely to have ingrown hairs. You’re also more likely to have ingrown hair if you have thick, coarse or curly hair.

HOW DO I KNOW IF IT’S AN INGROWN HAIR?​

Ingrown hairs can look like raised, itchy bumps on the skin. On white skin the bumps may look red. Redness may be harder to see on black or brown skin, but they may look a different colour to the surrounding skin. Sometimes you can see a hair trapped under the skin.

WILL IT GO AWAY? Ingrown hairs will typically go away on their own if you leave them alone. But if they don’t, stop all hair removal attempts. Don’t try to pluck, pull, shave, wax, or cut hair in the area where ingrown hairs are. See your healthcare provider for medical advice if you think it may be infected.

CAN I POP AN INGROWN HAIR?

Picking or popping the ingrown hair will only increase your risk of infection because it exposes the follicle to bacteria. Picking the skin can also cause scars. Although ingrown hairs can be uncomfortable at times, they’re best left alone.​

HOW TO AVOID THEM? The trick is to get hairs out so that you can see the bulb at the base, you can achieve this with smaller, more deliberate pulls. Be sure to follow directions very carefully prepping skin, applying product and removing it. Lightly exfoliating before waxing, as this helps remove dead skin cells allowing for easier access to the hairs. Also, gently exfoliate a day after the wax if the area isn’t red, inflamed or irritated. Any kind of body waxing requires your skin to “breathe,” rather than be constricted. Not only can tight clothes irritate freshly waxed areas, but weeks also later it can encourage the hair to grow back into the skin.

UNDER £10 SOLUTIONS!

Smooth Appeal Ingrown Hair Lotion, £8.40, Amazon. Smooth Appeal Ingrown Hair Lotion uses a professional formula to gently exfoliate and decongest pores to minimise and reduce ingrown hairs pre & post hair removal. The formula is enriched with Aloe Vera alongside active, natural extracts that are 100% vegan, paraben-free, gluten-free & cruelty-free. It offers mild exfoliation that decongests skin to minimise the appearance and discomfort of ingrown hairs,  leaving you with the smoothest skin. Prepare skin for hair removal by applying lotion to targeted areas daily for a few days prior to waxing, shaving or using an epilator. It’s also perfect for soothing post hair-removal bumps and burns.

Smooth Appeal After Wax Gel, £7.20, Amazon. A professional gel moisturiser to nourish, calm and soothe skin after hair removal on your face, bikini line, underarms and more. Achieve professional results with Smooth Appeal After Wax Gel, a salon-strength moisturiser for after hair removal. Packed full of aloe vera to soothe and calm skin after hair removal.  Ideal for delicate areas including bikini line, underarms & face after hair wax. Apply 2-3 times a day to calm & soothe irritation for silky smooth skin.