You're all ready for your summer vacation or your weekend away at the beach, which for some may include ridding yourself of body hair. As you try on your bikini for the hundredth time, you notice an ingrown hair on your bikini line and you inwardly seethe. "Why me? Why now?!" You cry as you curse the old gods and the new, wailing like you did when you witnessed Game of Thrones' Red Wedding. But, before you turn into Ramsay Bolton, you'll be pleased to know that you can actually do something about your ingrown hair.
First off, it's definitely worth checking that what you've spotted is actually an ingrown hair. There are a number of genital lumps and bumps that can crop up for a myriad of reasons. According to fellow Bustler JR Thorpe, ingrown hairs look like, "Red, inflamed pimples." But if your vaginal pimple knowledge isn't so great, take a peek at Thorpe's explanation of a number of different types of genital bumps, so you can be sure you're dealing with an ingrown hair. Once you're sure of your small, scarlet enemy (or enemies!) you may feel the need to either hide it or try to get rid of it.
Much like any blemish, ingrown hairs might make you feel self-conscious and self-aware, so much so, that you might not be able to enjoy yourself as much as you would without them. However, if you're not bothered by your ingrown hair, by all means leave it alone. According to WebMD, "Often, an ingrown hair will go away on its own." So if you're not one to be bothered by a little blemish, leave it be and hopefully it'll clear up by itself.
But, if you feel your ingrown hair might put a dampener on your day or vacation, or raise unwanted attention from nosey relatives and friends, you might fancy getting rid of the little blighter. According to Bustler Kristin Collins Jackson, who has confessed to suffering with ingrown hairs, "It's fairly easy to prevent an ingrown hair by changing small habits, such as avoiding shaving the area that's prone to ingrowns, but treating ingrown hairs requires diligence and some serious self restraint." Her advice to remove an ingrown hair is simple: Exfoliate to bring the tip of the hair up to the head of the pimple, apply a hot compress to open your pores, free the ingrown hair with a sharp tool, and finally use an anti-inflammatory aftershave treatment once you've extracted the hair. Collins Jackson's step-by-step guide is certainly not to be missed if you want to remove your ingrown hair, but you may wish to do this a little ahead of your vacation or day at the beach.
If the thought of removing your ingrown hair makes you feel squeamish, or you'd rather let nature run its course, there are a few methods you can use to cover up your ingrown hair. The simplest method is by wearing a light cover-up. A chiffon scarf, a kimono, or an oversized tunic should do the trick. As long as it covers your blemish, it obviously doesn't matter what style or type you go for, so you just need to take into account your personal taste and what will go with your swimsuit.
Out From Under Mini Caftan Cover-Up, $54, urbanoutfitters.com
An easy breezy kaftan like this style would leave you looking chic and keep your ingrown hair covered.
You could even opt for a pair of transparent trousers, such as these crotchet pants with a distracting pattern, that would look great worn with your favorite bikini top.
Alternatively, if you want as much sun as possible, or you fancy taking a dip, find a waterproof bandaid that fits perfectly over your ingrown hair. The subtlest styles IMO, are the clear ones with a small pad in the center.
If you're really panicking about the visibility of your ingrown hair, you could always apply a water-resistant foundation to the afflicted area. However, I'd use this as a last resort because you never know how makeup will react to it, especially considering ingrown hairs often go away of their own accord – it would seem to be tempting fate to interfere with it, unless you're planning on actually extracting the hair.
Whether you decide to remove, cover, or keep your ingrown hair intact, don't let it spoil your summer. At the end of the day, you want to go home with special memories of time spent with loved ones, not memories of you curled up on a sun lounger, refusing to budge, and missing out on all the fun!