How To Prevent Ingrown Hair When Epilating

how to prevent ingrown hair when epilating

Here is a question about ingrown hair I got in my inbox:
" I have been using the epilator for 3 years now, but i keep getting ingrown hair, the little thin hairs coil up and settle into a bump and I HATE IT, I changed my epilator to one for sensitive skin and still no use, I exfoliate and moisturize all the time :(
I hate shaving and waxing takes a lot of time that I can't afford; please can you give me some advise?"
    Hey, thanks for writing in! First of all, it's great that you tried switching your epilator. I used to have an ancient epilator that I bought as a teen, and when I recently switched to a new one I had way less ingrown hair.

     From my experience and research, there are a couple of things you can do to minimise ingrown hair: epilate correctly, moisturise the skin, exfoliate, try something anti-bacterial, and chemical exfoliation.

Use the epilator correctly

     If you're not epilating the right way, the hair follicle gets pulled into an unnatural position, causing the new hair to grow in the wrong direction. A lot of us epilate in horrible little jerky movements, learned from the first days of epilating when everything hurt like hell. The correct way to do it is hold it at a right angle to the skin and drag it in a slow, steady movement.


    I really recommend a DIY coffee scrub, it's one of the most effective body scrubs out there. Just take used coffee grounds, mix with a moisturioser and scrub. The coffee grounds exfoliate way more thoroughly than many scrubs on the market.

Moisturise intensively

     Keeping the skin soft is key. But it's also pretty important to stick to simple, natural stuff. Nothing with mineral oil, as that blocks the pores. Plant-based oils are the best, as well as plant-based butters. I love a mix of jojoba, wheatgerm and olive oil, with a dash of essential oil.

Topical treatments

     I've heard many good things about using something anti-bacterial before epilating. I have too few experience with this kind of stuff to recommend anything, but you could ask at a pharmacy.
    Also, many people have success with products like ingrow go. So I checked the ingredients of a couple of products for ingrown hair, and it's usually the same pattern: there is something antibacterial (like isopropyl alcohol or witch hazel), some kind of moisturiser (like aloe vera, glycerin or Propylene glycol) and some kind of hydroxy acid (chemical exfoliators that loosen the bonds of the top layer of the skin).
     The interesting thing here are the hydroxy acids: it totally makes sense that they minimise ingrown hair. If you want to try something DIY, the aspirin mask is a great beta hydroxy acid while pineapple and papaya contain alpha hydroxy acids.
     Wait, I got a brainwave: why not try urea? Urea is a great moisturiser, it works like an acid peel and it's anti-bacterial! Here I have written a bit about Urea. You can buy products that contain it (it seems to be in fashion right now), or just buy it separately and mix into your preferred moisturiser. You know what, I'll play along. Spring is coming soon (I hope) and when it gets warmer I'll be epilating often while using urea regularly. I'll be blogging about the results!

    On another note, have you tried sugaring? I haven't tried it myself but it's supposed to be be way easier and faster than waxing.

     I hope this gave you some ideas of things you can try out. And now over to you, my lovely readers. Are you struggling with ingrown hair? Has anyone discovered a trick to prevent ingrown hair? I'd love to know!

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