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How to Stop Ingrown Hairs & Razor Bumps from Waxing & Shaving | Treatments & Products | Black Skin

this video i'll be telling you what

ingrowing hairs are

why do we actually get them i'll tell

you about the two different types of

ingrown hairs that you can have

tell you how to cure it how to prevent


and also i'll give you some tips about

how to modify your hair removal

techniques so that you're less likely to

suffer from ingrowing hairs


hi ladies i'm dr simi former surgeon

current gp and cosmetic doctor

welcome to my channel where we discuss

all things skin and women's health

in today's video we're going to be

discussing in growing hairs

and the medical name for them is

actually pseudofolliculitis well they're

also known as

shaving bumps or razor bumps you tend to

get ingrown hairs in places where the

hair is quite thick

or coarse such as the underarms pubic


beard area or legs pseudofolliculitis is

due to

inflammation of the hair follicle or the

skin around the hair follicle

because of an ingrowing hair so there's

no infection it's just that the

ingrowing hair is causing the irritation

and the inflammation

and the trigger for this is our hair

removal practices so i'm talking about


waxing plucking tweezing and i know that

i'm definitely

guilty of i was going to say one but i

actually think all of those

hair removal methods so how do you know

if you're suffering from ingrown hairs

well classically there'll be a history

of hair removal and then maybe

three or four days later you might

notice that you've developed a rash

which is itchy it can be red it can be


in skin of color it can just be kind of

dark or skin colored bumps

and sometimes these develop whiteheads

on them

when this rash heals you can sometimes

be left

with what we call papules which are firm

lumps in the skin

and they can take months to resolve so

because of that some women think

that they've developed acne in that area

or that they have an infection when in

fact they have ingrowing hair

as that progresses and the spots heal

sometimes you develop post-inflammatory


in the areas where the spots were in

some women

if the irritation is enough it can cause

scarring in the form of keloid scars or

hypertrophic scars so ingrown hairs

actually affect

all ethnicities and it affects men a lot


but us women also suffer from ingrown

hairs there are lots of different

factors that add up together to make you

more likely to have ingrown hairs

the first thing is how curly your hair

is the hair follicle

in skin of color tends to have a wavy

passage through the skin

and this affects the shape of the hair

so the hair follows the shape of the

follicle will come out

curly so having curly hair means that

the hair is more likely to grow back

into the skin and be in growing also

studies have now

shown that there's actually a genetic

component having ingrown hairs

because of a change in the gene sequence

of keratin

which is a protein that's contained in

hair and finally the real trigger

or the thing that sets you up for

getting ingrown hairs is how you are

removing those hairs

so if you are shaving that's a really

big trigger

if you are plucking the hairs or

tweezing or

using sugaring all of these methods

increase your risk of having ingrowing


okay so let's move on to the two types

of ingrown hairs that you can get

the first type is called extra

follicular penetration

so you get this type of ingrown hair

typically if you have

shaved your hair shaving

kind of cuts a little bevel to the hair

so you have a sharp tip

and this means that as the hair grows

out especially if it's curly

it will kind of bend over and that sharp


will pierce the skin next to the hair

follicle and it will grow down in there

now hair is not supposed to just grow


in the skin it has kind of dedicated

channels that it's supposed to grow in

i.e the hair follicle

so when it's just growing randomly in

the skin and outside of a hair follicle

your skin

sees that as a foreign body it thinks

wow this shouldn't be here

and it tries to attack it and to try to

remove it

so that foreign body reaction is what

gives us the symptoms that we

classically associate with ingrowing


that's the itching the redness the

irritation and the bumps

and if you've got skin of color that

irritation will irritate your

melanocytes and they respond

by throwing out more pigment so you'll

notice if you've got skin of color and

you've ever had ingrown hairs that

usually you will get

dark marks in each of those areas where

you've got the

ingrowing hairs or you'll get the bumps

which we call papules

and when they resolve you're left with a

dark mark

the second type of ingrown hair that you

can get is called trans follicular


so in this type which you classically


if you pluck your hair or you tweeze it

or wax in for example

part of the hair is left inside the

follicle underneath the surface of the


as that hair grows and it tries to make

its way out of the follicle

it just can't do it and it starts


through the follicle wall and actually


into the skin that's next to the

follicle and sometimes it'll even curl

itself up

as it's trying to grow out in this kind

of situation the skin develops a lump

that can be

irritated and tender because there's

hair growing underneath it again this is

going to cause that same foreign body

reaction can actually cause

other complications that are worse than

the ingrowing hairs so for example

true folliculitis which is inflammation

of the hair follicle

because there is now a bacterial

infection in there so this

looks like painful red spots if you've


caucasian or lighter skin in darker skin

types it might just be

irritated you might not see that redness

as much and it can be really itchy

and tender sometimes it can be difficult

actually to tell the difference between

the pseudo

folliculitis barbae and the true

folliculitis one of the clues though is

that if you have a folliculitis

sometimes each of those individual spots


whiteheads which is basically pus from

the bacterial

infection that's there so if you see

this that really needs antibiotics so i

would see your doctor for a prescription

the other complication that can happen

we've already talked about is


so anything that irritates skin of color

can lead to hyperpigmentation also the

irritation that can occur

in the bikini area on the underarm can

be really difficult not to scratch the


it's not a good look going around

scratching your bikini area so

it can be awkward it can be socially

shall i say embarrassing or should i say

unacceptable to be scratching the bikini

area probably both

okay so i know what you're thinking now

you're like okay dr simmer that's enough

i just want to know how do i cure it you

can cure it but

you might not like what i'm going to say

next you need to stop

certain hair removal practices so that's

shaving waxing sugaring plucking


all of those ones that i mentioned

before now before you switch off the

video and you're like dr simi just tried

to tell me that i can't wax or shave my

pubic region

or my underarms or my bikini area i'm

not watching this video anymore

don't shoot the messenger it's not my

rule it's just that studies have shown

that if you

stop shaving or stop those other hair

removal practices that i've mentioned

for a month so about 30 days

you will allow the hair to grow and once

it reaches about 10 millimeters or a


the problem tends to resolve itself

usually for some reason that's enough

for the hair to be able to extract


from the skin and also it gives time for

those papules which are the bumps to

improve i know that for many women that

option is

not a great one because it's not

socially acceptable

to kind of have hairy underarms or hairy

bikini lines

or hairy faces as women so the next best

option to cure this

is laser hair removal so the reason why

laser hair removal

cures this is because it destroys the

hair follicle

it actually prevents the hair from

growing back

or it will kind of damage it so that the

hair that does grow back is kind of like

a really thin

peach fuzz hair like baby hairs so that

kind of hair is just so soft it can't

really penetrate the skin in the same


and the problem with the ingrowing hairs

is resolved

now for many people laser hair removal

you know might be out of the question

it's expensive you need

more than one session and that's because

the laser actually

targets hair that are in the growing

phase of the hair cycle

so at any one time a certain proportion

of your hair will be in the growing


laser hair removal will reduce those

hairs but for the other hairs that are

in the resting phase

it won't work for those so the way that

lasers work is that they target the

melanin that's in the bulb region of the

hair follicle

and they destroy the follicle so that

the hair doesn't grow back or is

less able to grow back this means that

the ideal candidate for

laser hair removal is actually somebody

who's got fair skin

and dark hair because there's a really

good contrast between

the target for the laser and the rest of

the skin but in skin of color

there's more melanin in the skin so the

laser can get confused and it can try to


the melanin that's in the hair follicle

but by accident it can also target the

melanin that's in the surrounding skin

and this is why

certain lasers are not good for black

skin and they can cause problems with


scarring and hyperpigmentation it

doesn't mean that women with skin of

color can't have laser hair removal or

can't have treatments with lasers if

you're interested to learn more about

lasers in general how they work and also

which lasers are safe

for skin of color then comment down

below and i'll happily do a video about

this too

okay so let's say neither of those

options are for you

you're like there's no way i'm stepping

out of my house

without waxing or shaving and there's no

way that i'm spending

x amount of pounds or whatever your

currency is

on laser hair removal so what other

options have you got chemical depilatory


so these hair removal creams they're

less likely to cause ingrowing hairs so

they work by

breaking the disulfide bonds between the

hair shaft and they

basically weaken and soften the hair you

might have noticed if you've used them

before that when you wipe

off the cream the hair almost it's

almost like it's frazzled

or melted and it comes off really easily

when you remove hair in this way

the tip of the hair is blunt or

sometimes it's even feathered when it

grows back so because it's so weak

it just cannot penetrate the skin in

order to cause ingrowing hairs

but one of the downsides of using these

creams is that they can be

really irritating on the skin and for

skin of color they can actually cause

hyperpigmentation i know from personal

experience that whenever

i use these creams on my underarms i

would get

hyper pigmentation of my underarms and

that usually lasts several weeks i often

get questions about these devices that

are sold

as home laser treatments and whether you

can use those and whether they prevent

ingrowing hairs

so you can use those and some women do

find that they actually help

reduce the amount of ingrowing hair but

because the output from them is


not as strong as having a laser

treatment in a clinic

they're not going to be as effective

make sure that you check

that they are suitable for your skin

type and for your hair as i mentioned


for those of you who are like well i'm

really happy with shaving

i get good results but i just want to

know how to reduce the ingrown hairs my

recommended skincare routine or hair


is before you shake pre-soak the area so

this means

shave after you've had a shower or a

warm bath

so that the hair has actually absorbed

the water and has had a chance to swell

this means that when you actually shave

you'll be creating a blunt edge

and not a sharp edge to the hair which

increases the chances of the hair

piercing the skin and being in growing

and i know that some of you will be like


i'm about to head out of the door and

i've just noticed that i've got hairy

underarms i'm not getting in the shower

that's fine

all you have to do is just soak a towel

or like a face cloth

in warm water and just hold it on your

underarms for about

three to four minutes just enough for

that hair shaft to get soft

and then you can shave as i've explained

for waxing

i prefer the opposite so wax before you

have a shower

but also avoid moisturizers on your skin

so that the wax can really grip to the


when you're shaving use a shaving cream

or you can use

like a gentle cleanser because this

helps with the slippage it helps to

reduce the friction it helps to reduce

irritation when you're shaving and it

also helps to reduce

the chances of getting tiny cuts and

nicks on the skin which can actually

promote hyperpigmentation

whilst you're shaving avoid kind of

stretching the skin and pulling it taut

this is because when you let go of that


that hair that you've just shaved

retracts back into the hair follicle

and if you're somebody who's prone to

having ingrown hairs then when this

tries to grow

it could actually end up growing inside

the follicle

as an ingrowing hair after you've shaved

or wax

use a moisturizer that's bland and that

doesn't have perfume because shaving and

waxing is likely to have caused tiny


and irritation to the skin using

glycolic acid

on the skin as a moisturizer can help

with ingrown hairs

but definitely i wouldn't do it after

shaving or waxing because remember that

you're going to have done

a physical exfoliation just by shaving

i would wait sort of three to four days

before you start using a moisturizer

that contains glycolic acid in

also before having your wax you can use

paracetamol and antihistamines

30 to 45 minutes beforehand which will

help you with any pain and also that


red rash that you can get immediately

afterwards there are other ways that we

can treat ingrown hairs as well

so if you see the ingrowing hair and you

can almost like see the loop

you can if you're really careful just

pass a sterilized

needle you know just clean it with an

alcohol swab or you can

use a sterilized toothpick just to lift

up that hair you have to be really

careful though because you don't want to

be poking anything into the skin you

just literally want to catch the hair

and lift it out

and that can sometimes be enough to stop

the irritation if you're going to opt


in clinic treatments chemical peels


salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids

can also be helpful because they

exfoliate the skin

that's trapping the hairs try and also

avoid using

products that contain perfumes or

alcohol these will definitely

irritate your skin when you've just

shaved or waxed the area

if the ingrown hairs are causing you a

lot of inflammation and redness

you can buy over-the-counter

hydrocortisone which is a weak

steroid so one percent hydrocortisone

and you can use that as a spot treatment

on each of those individual spots or if

you've got an area

you can just apply a really thin layer

to the pubic region or the underarms and

it just helps to calm that inflammation

and the redness

and the discomfort because ingrowing

hairs affects

the hair follicle you can actually use

treatments that we would use to treat


so benzyl peroxide for example has

really good

antibacterial or antimicrobial activity

so it can be helpful for treating

ingrown hairs

especially if you're getting kind of


in that region and also tretinoin which

is a topical vitamin a

derivative can also be useful because it

helps to exfoliate

the dead skin cells that can be trapping

the hair if there is a lot of


associated with the ingrowing hair and

it also looks like there's infection


then we sometimes have to go down the

route of oral antibiotics

to help to clear that infection there is

a prescription medication that's


and it works by slowing the rate of hair


so certain women find it really useful

so for example if you use the cream and

you also

use laser hair removal or if you use the

cream with other forms of hair removal

so i hope that i've covered everything

and that you found that video useful

if you have please share it and of

course if you've got any questions or

you want to share your

experiences jump in the comments section

below and let's have a chat about