Glimpses of sunshine and hints of warmer days to come have me dreaming of days at the beach. Naturally, these days include swimwear and—at least in the past—that often brings up feelings of dread. You see, I am extremely prone to ingrown hairs. For anyone else who is familiar with this problem, you’ll know summer is problematic in that you need to be beach ready more-or-less all the time and once an ingrown hairs sets in it can take a long while to disappear. So here are my top tips for avoiding them altogether.
- Never EVER attempt to dry-shave your bikini line. No explanation necessary—it doesn’t work and will almost certainly result in either cuts, ingrowns or both.
- Give your skin and hair a chance to warm up and soften before shaving. I like to stand in the shower for at least two minutes before picking up my razor.
- Always use some form of lubrication. I shave with both our shave oil and shave soap, but for my bikini line (where hair is often longer/more unruly) I prefer to use soap.
- Use a single SHARP blade (aka a safety razor). Never use a dull blade, this will cause more irritation and more ingrowns. Make a point of changing your safety razor blade before shaving your bikini line.
- Shave in the direction of hair growth. This is really important—I know it’s tempting to pull hair taught and shave against the grain, but this encourages the hair to be cut below the skin making it far more likely to curl in on itself when growing back.
- Try to go over each area as few times as possible—just once is ideal! The more times the blade passes over your skin, the higher likelihood it causes irritation.
- Rinse your blade in between strokes. This ensures your razor is clear of any hair/clogging that might make it less effective at removing hair on the first pass.
- Avoid towel drying recently shaved areas. I like to drip dry in the shower, but if you are pressed for time, make sure you gently pat the area dry rather than rubbing.
- Ensure shaved areas remain moisturized. I like to slather ingrown oil on not only immediately after shaving, but every night before bed as well. Our ingrown oil is both preventative and curative, so the more you use the better!
- Avoid tight fitting clothing for as long as possible post shave. I like to shave at night so I can spend the rest of my evening in my robe and then slip into my pyjamas. Underwear—the seams in particular—are the enemy!
I have to say, while I’ve implemented all of the above, the game-changer for me was switching to my safety razor. Between that and the ingrown oil I can happily say I enjoyed all of last summer practically ingrown free!
***The one ingrown I did get was prompted by breaking one of my own recommendations—I went for a run in leggings minutes after shaving—so silly of me!