WHAT IS THE CAUSE?
Ingrown hairs or pseudofolliculitis barbae occur when the hair follicle gets trapped in the hair pore and begins to curl underneath the skin’s surface causing an unattractive, swollen bump underneath the skin. When hair becomes trapped underneath the skin, the hair follicle becomes irritated and the body’s natural defense is to create fluid to push out what is trapped. This is similar to when an object gets caught in one’s eye the eye begins to tear to wash the object out. The trapped hair can, at times, become infected with bacteria. Ingrown hairs are usually found when the hair is removed from the root, whether by with waxing, laser treatments, or sugaring.
What causes red bumps, inflammation, and redness? These symptoms occur when removing hair from sensitive areas like the underarm, bikini line, and face. This can cause inflammation to the hair pore, resulting in the appearance of red bumps and inflamed skin. Some clients are more prone to ingrown hairs and inflammation depending on their skin type, the coarseness of their hair in that area, and the size of their pores.
Maintaining a good pre- and post-hair removal routine for the client can help to prevent ingrown hairs, red bumps, inflammation, and redness. Here are a few steps to add to the client’s skin care regimen before and after the treatment.
Step One: Exfoliate
The first step in the pre-hair removal routine for the hair follicle is exfoliation. Exfoliation is a critical step as it removes dead skin cells and frees trapped hairs. Without proper exfoliation, dead skin cells will build up, leaving the client susceptible to ingrown hairs and irritation.
Depending on the ingredients, an exfoliating scrub can help by removing bacteria and getting rid of trapped sebum. Tea tree oil eats away at both bacteria and sebum. Peppermint oil has calming, softening, toning, and anti-inflammatory effects on the skin. It is also antiseptic and antimicrobial and extracts other oils that may be clogging the pores in the hair shaft. Shea butter helps to repair exfoliated skin and to soften, tone, and soothe the skin. Clients should always exfoliate before their hair removal appointment.
Step Two: Anti-Inflammatory Treatment
The second essential step is the use of a good topical anti-inflammatory treatment. This step will target ingrown hairs and inflammation. This type of treatment should be used about three times a week or more, both morning and evening, depending on the severity. A liquid formula works best and can reach the affected areas with ease. This will help prevent the daily production of sebum and bacteria that builds up in the hair follicle, all while cleansing and tightening the hair pore. This step will also leave the skin feeling refreshed.
Step Three: Calm the Skin
The third step is to cool and calm the skin. This step is essential and must be implemented immediately following the hair removal service, as time is of the essence. This is because the skin and hair follicle have just experienced trauma. Redness and inflammation can be kept at bay by using an alcohol-free cooling cream. Using products containing alcohol immediately following hair removal can inflame the skin and cause redness and irritation. Later, the client can follow up with a liquid formula in the hours preceding the service.
Always use and retail products for pre- and post-hair removal for both men and women. By offering a variety of products, professionals can cater to all of their clients’ needs. Educate clients on using creams, scrubs, liquids, or no-touch, one-step roll-ons in between their hair removal visits. Clients will communicate which products are working best for them. This will enhance the before and after results of the service, boost revenue, add value, and increase bottom line revenue.