An ingrown hair is something that both men and women today have a lot of trouble with. This is primarily caused by shaving but can have several other reasons as well.
The worst is the ingrown hairs that occur on your face. The ingrown hair can be quite troublesome for some of us making the hair removal process tedious and painful!
Here we look at some of the best ways to prevent ingrown hairs and how to remove them in case you already have it. Also, how to ensure the ingrown hair does not lead to skin inflammation and other effects.
Table Of Contents
- What Are Ingrown Hairs?
- What Causes Ingrown Hair?
- How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs?
- How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs?
What Are Ingrown Hairs?
They are simply hair that curls in back into your skin instead of growing straight as it should.
You will experience mild skin irritation. It will also leave a raised red bump similar to an acne on the skin. They can be itchy and uncomfortable.
For women, ingrown hairs occur on legs, pubic areas and armpits due to waxing or epilating, while men will have the bumps on their face or neck due to close shaving.
What Causes Ingrown Hair?
The ingrown hair occurs due to several reasons and the few common causes are listed below:
1. Curly Hair
Anyone can get an ingrown hair, but it’s more prevalent in people with curly, coarse hair. They have more chances of having ingrown hairs after any shaving as the sharp edges of curly hair can penetrate skin once it grows.
2. Waxing and Shaving
This is one of the common cause of ingrown hair. If you are a regular shaver, then chances are that you will have an ingrown hair.
Shaving cuts the hair close to the surface making the edges of hair very sharp. This sharp hair can easily penetrate and is more likely to grow back into the skin rather than growing outward.
Waxing and epilation removes the hair from the root. This process of pulling affects the hair follicle. And if they are damaged or affected by the pulling, the new hair won’t be able to grow outward properly.
3. Tight Clothing
The ingrown hair can also be caused by tight clothing. The tight clothing and synthetic fabrics like nylon or polyester put pressure on the hair follicle and forces the hair to grow back into the skin. In most cases, they will curl back into the skin than growing out naturally.
4. Dead Skin Cells
Sometimes dead skin cells prevents the hair from growing outward. Instead, the hair grows back into the skin causing ingrown hairs.
5. Razor Blades
A cartridge razor can cause an ingrown hair. A cartridge razor have multiple sharp edged razor blades causing pulling and tugging of the skin which causes the hair to go back into the skin.
Using a safety razor or straight razor can be used to avoid these type of ingrown hairs.
Also get rid of dull edged blades as they can also pull skin and cause ingrown hairs.
Now that we have seen the causes of ingrown hair, let’s see how we can prevent them in the first place.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs?
1. Proper Skin Care Routine
To prevent ingrown hairs it is essential to have a proper skin care regime that includes the following routines.
Keep your face and body clean using good quality liquid cleansers. This will remove all dirt, oil and makeup residues from the skin making hair removal or shaving more effective and thereby reducing the chances of having ingrown hairs.
This happens to be the best way to remove dead skin from your skin. The dead skin blocks the hair from growing by blocking the hair follicle. If you don’t exfoliate regularly, you stand the chances of having an ingrown hair.
Exfoliating twice a month will help remove all dead cells and keep your skin free of dead cells. You can use exfoliating scrubs or even gloves for this.
The moisturizing step should follow your exfoliation routine. The exfoliation makes your skin dry. You need add enough nutrients and hydrate the skin so that hair doesn’t break easily while shaving. It is also better to use a good moisturizer after shaving or epilation.
2. Shave and Epilate the Right Way
The various shaving and epilating techniques may be the reason you have an ingrown hair. But following the proper procedures to remove the ingrown hair will make all the difference.
You should follow these tips while shaving:
- Don’t shave too frequently as you need to give your skin time to recover from the previous shaving.
- Make sure the blade you are using is very sharp and avoid using a dull razor.
- Always hold the blade at a 30 degree angle to the skin while shaving for efficient removal with least effort.
- If you are getting ingrown hairs when using a multi-blade cartridge razor, switch to single blade safety or straight razors.
- Wet your skin with warm water and use shaving gels to soothe the skin.
- Always shave in the direction of hair growth with few strokes as possible.
- Apply after shave gels or skin solutions to prevent any skin inflammation.
- If you are using an epilator, make sure to hold the device perpendicular to the skin surface and against the direction of hair growth for proper removal.
3. Avoid Tight Clothing
The tight cloths pressure your hair follicle and prevent the hair from growing. They are most likely to push the hair back into the skin and cause the ingrown hair. You should avoid putting on tight clothing made from synthetic materials on the area affected.
4. Pre-Shave and Post-Shave Products
Nowadays one can get a variety of pre-shave and post-shave soothing gels and creams that can protect skin from damage and prevent ingrown hairs.
Pre-shave creams prepare skin and soften the hair making shaving or hair removal much smoother. Post-shave gels usually contain alcohol helps to prevent any skin infection and also reduce irritation.
Now that we know how to prevent ingrown hairs, how can we remove them if we already have them on our skin?
5. Change Method or Products
You can try a different method or product if the current one is causing ingrown hairs. If you have been waxing you could try epilation, laser hair removal or electrolysis removal methods.
For shaving you could switch from a manual razor to an electric shaver and see if it is comfortable on your skin.
For those with sensitive skin it is recommended to use shavers or epilators with hypoallergenic blades, tweezers or foils. Sometimes different brands will work better for you so check out few of them to see the results.
How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs?
Once you discover an ingrown hair in your skin don’t scratch the surface or try to squeeze it out, these method can lead to a scar or even an infection. Check out these methods to see how to treat ingrown hairs.
This is the number one method we will recommend here. Exfoliating thrice or twice daily can help remove all the dead cells in the skin and allow the ingrown hair to come out, and this can be all you need to do to get remove ingrown hairs.
For exfoliation you can use baking soda paste, sugar scrub, exfoliating wash cloth or gloves.
Use a good quality pair of tweezers to pull out the troubling hair. Rub the tweezers in alcohol before using to prevent any infections.
You can use medical products like Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide or Hydrocortisone. These can help you remove all the dirt on your skin after exfoliating. They can suppress the swelling and allows the hair to grow out.
Use A Warm Towel
Put a towel in hot water and place it on the area you have the ingrown hair. This softens the skin and widens the pores thereby allowing the hair to grow out. Allying this techniques regularly everyday will make your skin free of all the ingrown hair.
Sometimes the hair might be stuck, in such cases you apply the following steps:
First exfoliate and clean the surface with a towel. Make sure the tool you want to use is sterilizes to avoid any infections. You can do this by placing the tool in a boiling water or alcohol.
Use the warm towel on those are for few minutes. This softens your skin and makes all the process very easy.Be sure to be gentle not to cause any infections. Locate the hair and gently pull it to be straight. If you can’t pull it immediately, try another day.
To avoid all infections you must treat that surface. All you have to do is wash the area of that ingrown hair, and apply anti inflammatory cream in such areas.
For those who wish to use only natural remedies can use products listed below to help ease the irritation and discomfort due to ingrown hairs.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
2. Tea Tree Oil
3. Coconut Oil
5. Olive Oil
6. Black Tea Bags
7. Honey or Sugar
8. Milk and Bread
9. Egg Shell Membrane
11. Aloe Vera
12. Witch Hazel
We hope you can tackle you ingrown hair issues much better with these simple tips and achieve a smooth silky skin.