Your favorite form fitting jeans or body hugging workout pants may show off your figure, but they could be contributing to your ingrown hairs.
Friction (rubbing of clothing on skin or skin on skin), can create ingrowns by causing hair to break and/or encourage it to twist and turn back into the skin.
When hair breaks off due to friction, it's rather like it's been shaved off. It breaks off just below the pore opening, which gives it a 50/50 change of turning into an ingrown hair (especially for those that are particularly prone).
With skin on skin friction, hairs are also moved around and that movement can send the tip of the hair diving back down into any available follicle to begin the ingrown process.
The tighter the clothing, the more the skin rubs, the more friction generated. If you are prone to getting ingrowns in the Brazilian area or stomach, try wearing loose fitting clothing to help minimize friction. And avoid man made fabrics (polyester, lace etc.) as much as possible as they don't allow the skin to breath and can create more friction due to their synthetic nature.
Finally, as tempting as it is , it's never a good idea to pick, poke or dig at ingrowns as this can anger them causing infection and pain. Hydration, gentle exfoliation and time are the best treatment.
Next week, we'll see why technique makes a huge difference when it comes to the creation of ingrowns.