Ingrown Hairs, Don't Panic Help is Here

Ross White
Banbury Waxing Hut
March 2023

So you have shaved your pubic region for the first time and are loving the clean smooth look and feel. Probably wishing you could show everyone you meet.

Then disaster a couple of days later an itchy and uncomfortable red lump appears, it's a dreaded ingrown or worse still several.
Don't panic, this article will explain what ingrown hairs are, what causes them, how to treat them and best of all prevention.

What are ingrown hairs?
To understand how to prevent these itchy eye sores, first it's important to understand what causes them. So a quick physiology lesson. Naturally each hair follows a life cycle.

The hair grows from a germ cell deep in your skin. It gradually pushes through a small tube or follicle until it emerges outside.

The hair matures and then rests fully grown for all the world to see.

The hair detaches from its root and a new hair grows through the same follicle to push it out.

It's important to note, all your hairs will be at different stages of this cycle (unless you regularly wax).

When you close-shave, you remove the majority of a growing hair. This creates a thick flat end which may struggle to find its way back through the narrow follicle. Instead it gets stuck under the skin.

Smooth pubic region

Initially this might only cause a small red lump, but hairs are determined to grow.
If this trapped hair continues to be stuck under the skin getting longer and longer your body might start to think it's an alien artifact, like a splinter or thorn.

At this point your body setup and immune and inflammatory response incursion team. Increased blood flow, heat swelling, pus and pain will follow. At this point you probably do the same as most people, squeeze scratch and pop and whilst you may see some puss and make it bleed you are unlikely to release causal hair.
Resulting in an unsightly red scar that will be with you for several months. If the hair has remained under your skin another inflammatory attack will soon be set up.

Don't panic, help is at hand read on….

Part Two
Causes and Danger Areas for Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs are caused when the hair is unable to grow unhindered along its natural channel through your skin called the hair follicle.

This problem can affect any hair but it is most likely when the hair has been cut into a blunt thick angle by shaving or broken by careless tweezing. They are other factors too that cause an increased likelihood in ingrown hairs even in waxed hair.

Type of hair
Pubic hairs are particularly thick and often curly, this can predispose them to becoming trapped under your skin. If shaved the large transverse section needs to find its way through the follicle and the natural curl will only hinder this.

Rerowth red spots in pubic waxing
Day 16 after pubic waxing, this photo was taken directly after thorough exfoliation and shows small red lumps where the hairs are growing through the skin. With proper aftercare this stage will quickly pass. The skin will clear and the hairs completely erupt and continue to grow long enough for the next waxing session.

Friction and pressure In areas where there is pressure or friction on your skin it makes it more difficult for the hairs to take their natural path and increases the risk of getting stuck.
This is most commonly seen in the pubic region where knicker elastic rubs your groin or around the waist band where we all have a little role of skin.
Rubbing and the subtle friction from tight gym leggings or jeans can aggravate this especially around the groin, bum and thighs. Men are prone to ingrown hairs on their chest and shoulders where cloths rub and backs where the seat belt sits.

Tight gym pants can cause ingrown hairs

Dry dehydrated skin Our skin is the largest organ in the body and like every other part needs us to drink lots of water in order to maintain optimum health and suppleness. Dry and dehydrated skin loses its elasticity and is more likely to obstruct the passage of new hair growth resulting in ingrown hairs.
Dead skin fragments can also block the follicle, exasperating the problem. Very oily skin prone to blackheads can also result in blocked follicles.

Skin Reactivity This will depend on our own immune response to allergens. How sensitive your skin currently is and how many circulating inflammatory markers we presently have will affect skin reactivity.
Sometimes our skin does not react, other times we will get a full-on inflammatory response. Factors like hay fever, diet and menstrual cycle will also affect our skin's sensitivity.

Part Three
Stages of Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs are caused when the new growth is unable to push through the follicle to emerge above. Not all ingrown hairs are the same and some cause more issues than others.

Stages of ingrown hairs

Stage One - These are when the hairs grow out of the follicle but are stopped from emerging by a fine layer of outer skin. These can often be seen as lines under the skin and they may be accompanied by a small red dot. Stage one ingrowns are often not associated with any particular inflammation, yet.
These ingrowns can often be removed from the skin by exfoliation to remove the outer layer of dead skin. Remember the outer layer skin naturally sheds exposing and releasing the hair over time.

Stage Two - If left untreated from stage one, the tip of the hair continues to grow, but instead of outwards, curl back into our skin. Our body will not like this one bit. Reacting like there is an alien body, like a sting or splitter and starting an inflammatory reaction.
If caught early enough when the hair follicle is still open a trained waxologist will be able to hook the hair out. If successful it can be removed before it progresses causing further problems. The Waxologist will use a special tool developed by SarahLouisa, together with advanced training to prevent further skin damage.

Stage Three - Once an inflammatory process has started in earnest the body will want to mount a full alien assault.
This involves the increasing local blood supply causing redness and heat, walling off the intruder with scar tissue and sending white blood cells to the attack. It's these dead white blood cells that cause pus. Eventually an abscess with a head will develop.

Patience is required once the hair follicle is walled off. Usually the abscess will come to a head and burst. Then the offending hair can be excavated by a trained person. Squeezing and poking at the spot may be irresistible but unlikely to remove the underlying hair and causes darkened scars that take ages to disappear.

Looking smart with male Brazilian
Day 27 post shoulder waxing. Note the red small red lumps with hairs just erupting through the clients skin. These hairs are majoritively stage two ingrown hairs, the client has not sufficiently exfoliated or moisturised. Notice how these lumps are exclusively on the shoulders where clothing rubs.

Looking smart with male Brazilian

Same client as above after hair removal with strip wax.
Looking smart with male Brazilian
Most of the visible hairs have been completely removed, notice the few small red lumps with ingrown hairs remain.

Looking smart with male Brazilian
After the waxing treatment Ross took a few minutes to release and remove the remaining ingrown hairs, notice how long these hairs are once removed. The hairs all have a kink of some description. The length and tapered ends confirms these are ingrown hairs now removed, not broken hairs.

Part Four
Prevention is Better than Cure.

Ingrown hairs can be caused by anything that hinders the regrowth of hairs through the follicle and out of the skin.

Method of Hair Removal

Waxing is better than close shaving. With waxing the hairs are removed with their roots resulting in prolonged hair free time. However with close shaving a thick flat profile to the hair end is left, this is much more difficult to get through the follicle, than the soft tipped hair regrowth from waxing. Waxing also lasts much, much longer.
So by the simple probability, if hairs need to grow through the skin less often, there will be a significantly reduced likelihood of ingrown hairs.

Reduction of Friction and Sweat

Ingrown hairs are almost exclusively seen where clothes or rolls of skin rub our skin. Pressure on your skin simply makes it more difficult for the hair to grow straight out. Be super mindful of rubbing or tight pants and leggings.
Swapping the STYLE of your underwear daily will prevent continuous rubbing in the same place day after day. No pants is a great option where practical too. Watch out for the tight waistbands on jeans or very fitted leggings.
A little talc can really help reduce friction and sweating too.

Keep your Skin Supple and Hydrated

If your skin is dehydrated and dry it will be more difficult for the hairs to pass through.
Staying hydrated helps maintain optimum health and is as simple as drinking lots of water. Treat your skin daily with moisturiser or body oil after a shower and before bed.

Regular Exfoliation

Exfoliation helps clear the hair follicles of dead skin, debris and releases stage one ingrown hairs directly.

Great Products to help prevent and treat ingrown hairs
Different types of exfoliant.

Scrubs contain grains of sugar or salt in a base. They can be used during your shower at least twice a week. I use RuffStuff, it works really well and has a coconut oil base. It leaves your skin feeling silky smooth and soft adding a moisturiser too.

Scrub Cloth or Mitts are also used alongside soap while showering. I use A Bit of Rough scrub cloth. It's my preferred choice forlarger areas like legs and back , being long lasting washable and big enough to reach across my shoulders. You will still need to moisturise well after your shower too.

Chemical exfoliants, most of these contain the ache treatment Salicylic acid used to unplug skin pores. However, salicylic acid can dry your skin and strip the natural oils. So I use a roll-on containing Betaine Salicylate. It also helps hairs grow back finer and lightens dark scarring caused by proper stage three ingrown craters too.

Help is at Hand

Wax hair removal is undoubtedly the preference for hair removal.

Ask if your Waxologist has the specialist training and equipment provided by Sarah Louisa’s IngownOut required to effectively treat ingrown hairs.

Ross White at Banbury Waxing is fully trained and certified by industry leaders in Waxology, 'Wax Daddy' Andy Rouillard, ‘The Waxing Guru’ Samantha Marshall and ‘IngownOut’ Sarah Louisa using beautiful equipment and products by Ashmira Botanica, Jack Dunn and Expert Waxes.

So book in with Ross for specific, individual advice. The best products and removal of those pesky ingrowns hairs too.

Andy Rouillard

Sarah Louisa

Samantha Marshall

Ashmira Botanica

Salon System

A bit of rough washcloth

Ruff Stuff exfoliating scrub

Please leave your comments and questions below :


Sat 11 Mar 23 How does this comment bar work?


Fri 10 Mar 23 not been many comments for a while


Fri 10 Mar 23 not been many comments for a while


Fri 10 Jun 22 Annother comment


Fri 10 Jun 22 hello


Fri 10 Jun 22 here is another comment about my waxing


Fri 10 Jun 22 I thinks ross did an amazing waxing job for me and I relly liked it


Mon 23 Nov 20 I enjoy your writing style


Mon 23 Nov 20 Interesting blog about scheduling your appointment


Mon 23 Nov 20 Thank you very interesting