Waxing is the almost-perfect answer to having silky smooth skin with long periods between hair removal. Waxing removes the hair from the root, ensuring that your skin stays hair-free for longer.
However, waxing does come with some downfalls. It can be quite painful for those not used to it and can cause itchiness in the days and weeks following a waxing.
What is the cause of itchy hair growth after waxing? Two common issues after waxing are folliculitis and ingrown hairs. To prevent these, it’s recommended to gently exfoliate the area on a regular basis. If you are looking for relief, then apply a warm, damp compress. Do not pick at or pop folliculitis or ingrown hairs.
There are a few ways to deal with itchy hair growth, all of which can be done at home to prevent it from getting worse. Knowing how to deal with itchy hair growth due to waxing will encourage you to keep waxing, and to keep your legs silky and smooth all year round.
What Causes Itchiness?
There are two different reasons why you might experience itchy hair growth after a wax, and both are treatable at home.
Folliculitis – Folliculitis causes small itchy bumps on the skin, often with a red ring around the bumps. The bumps can appear similar to acne. This occurs after waxing when the damaged hair follicles are vulnerable to irritation and bacteria. If bacteria enter the hair follicles, folliculitis can occur.
Ingrown hairs – Ingrown hairs appear on the skin usually around a week after waxing. This happens when the hair grows back and reinserts itself into the hair follicle. Ingrown hairs are itchy, sometimes painful, and can look similar to pimples. If untreated, ingrown hairs may become infected.
Tips To Prevent Itchiness After A Wax
If you find your skin is starting to become itchy following a wax, normally a few days in, here are a few quick fixes to reduce the irritation and pain if there is any:
- Avoid wearing tight clothes. Choose loose-fitting clothes, as tight-fitting clothes can rub and irritate the skin further.
- Use a cool compress to soothe the affected area. An ice pack or a clean washcloth run under cold water can be applied to the area for up to 20 minutes to give a calming effect.
- A warm compress can be used to draw out ingrown hairs. You can use a heating pad or a washcloth run under warm water to apply to the skin for 5 minutes.
- Do not pick or pop the bumps. This can irritate the skin even more and can introduce bacteria to the skin which increases the risk of infection.
- You can use cortisone cream on the skin to relieve irritation, inflammation, and swelling.
- Clean your skin using a gentle soap and some warm water to minimize irritants. Pat your skin dry to avoid irritating it further by rubbing it with a towel.
- You can apply a fragrance-free moisturizer to the skin to soothe irritation and inflammation, such as an aloe vera gel.
How To Care For Skin After Waxing
Waxing does not stop once you have removed the last wax strip from your skin. You need to care for your skin immediately, and in the days following the waxing to reduce the chances of irritation, itchiness, and inflammation. Caring for your skin is the best prevention, and is much better than having to find remedies to reduce itchiness once it has set in.
Immediately following a wax
- Apply a cool compress to the waxed skin, or have a cool shower to reduce redness, irritation, and sensitivity.
- Only wear loose-fitting clothing as tight-fitting clothing can cause friction and inflammation on the already irritated skin.
- Do not wear perfumed products, creams, and lotions which could further irritate the skin
- Do not exercise for 24 hours after a wax, as any sweat could clog pores or irritate the skin.
Two days following a wax
- Still only wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Do not use perfumes or perfumed creams. Instead, you can use soothing moisturizers such as aloe vera or vitamin E to nourish the skin
Weeks following a wax
- Cleanse and exfoliate your skin regularly to remove dead skin cells and other impurities and bacteria from the skin.
Remedies For Itchy Hair Growth And Ingrown Hairs
Natural is always best, and there are natural remedies that you can use to soothe your skin after waxing that can nourish and protect the skin while avoiding any harsh chemicals that might irritate it even further.
You can mix half a cup of sugar and half a cup of olive oil or coconut oil to use as an exfoliator on your skin. Apply a small amount to the area and rub it in with small circular motions.
This helps to soothe the skin and prevent ingrown hairs from forming, as you will be removing excess dead skin cells that might trap the hairs within the follicles.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a wonderful option to soothe waxed skin. Use this remedy a few days after waxing, as oils can clog pores immediately after waxing. Dilute the tea tree oil with some coconut oil or olive oil, which are known as carrier oils, by mixing 10 drops of the carrier oil to 1 drop of tea tree oil.
Apply this to the affected area three times a day until the symptoms subside. Remember to do an allergy patch test in a small area and wait 24 hours to see if there is a negative reaction, if not, you can use the tea tree oil as advised.
Aloe vera is so soothing to the skin, and the best part is that you could use it in gel form, or straight from the plant. If you have aloe vera gel, you can rub it gently on the skin, and you will immediately feel the relief. It will also give your skin some great nourishment and hydration.
If you are lucky enough to have an aloe vera plant, you can break off a leaf and squeeze some of the plant’s essence onto the affected area, massaging it in gently to soothe inflammation. I also love this aloe vera lotion for daily use.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic. To give relief to your skin, soak a cotton pad in apple cider vinegar, and apply it directly to the irritated area. You can do this three times a day to prevent infection and to speed up the healing of the skin.
Witch hazel also acts as an antiseptic and has astringent properties, which helps to calm and prevent bumps and rashes. You just need to soak a cotton pad in witch hazel extract and apply it to the skin, up to three times a day. My absolute favorite witch hazel is this toner from Mario Badescu.
How To Prevent Future Itchy Hair Growth
The best way to prevent itchy hair growth with future waxing is to continue to practice routine exfoliation and cleansing of the skin. This will help to remove bumps which form after waxing, by removing dead skin cells and any impurities that might cause an infection.
You should stick to your waxing schedule carefully, as they are designed to align with your natural hair growth cycle. Hair should be long enough to wax off properly, and if you do not stick to your schedule, you risk irritation and ingrown hairs.
Caring for your skin should happen every day, and not just when it is time to wax, or when irritation occurs from waxing.
Can I shave between waxes?
You should really avoid shaving between waxes. Shaving between waxes removes hair at the skin level, and over time the skin will become coarse, and the hair needs to be a certain length to be waxed.
Shaving might be a quick fix to remove short hairs, but with waxing, over time the hair will become finer and grow slower, increasing the periods between waxing sessions. Shaving encourages the hair to grow back coarser, faster, and thicker.
Is it normal for itchiness to occur after waxing?
Waxing tugs and pulls at the skin, removing the hair from the follicles. This will more than likely be painful and cause irritation and itchiness, but this should fade soon enough. If the skin continues to itch following a wax, it could be due to inflammation, folliculitis or ingrown hairs.
Should I use coconut oil after waxing?
Virgin coconut oil is a good natural product to use after waxing. It will moisturize and nourish the skin, as well as keeping it protected from irritation and inflammation. Continue to use virgin coconut oil after a waxing session for silky smooth, protected skin.
Itchy Hair Growth After Waxing
Yes, waxing is amazing and gives an easy solution to gorgeously silky smooth legs, but it does come with its downfalls. Unfortunately, most people who wax will experience itchy hair growth, and it can be a learning curb.
Dealing with itchy hair growth as it starts is not difficult, and it is important to ensure the skin does not become infected or even more inflamed, but luckily there are some easy ways to deal with this.
Using natural remedies should be your first option, and they do work really well. Learn how to deal with itchy hair growth, and to prevent it altogether, and enjoy your silky smooth, hair-free legs!