There’s rarely anything more irritating and painful than an ingrown hair. Not only do they look unattractive, they also cause pain and itching that can make your life a misery. Ingrown hairs can occur anywhere on your body where you grow hair, so whether it’s your eyebrows, armpits or facial hair that you’re having a problem with, it’s time to find out how to address the problem. Prevention is always better than cure, so we’ll give you some top tips about how to prevent them from happening in the first place so that you won’t have to endure the discomfort.
How Do Ingrown Hairs Occur?
Ingrown hairs happen when hairs curl back around and then end up growing back into the skin. The result is itching, red spots and unattractive whiteheads. They tend to happen in areas where you shave regularly since this encourages the hairs to grow the wrong way. This is why men tend to find this happening around their beard and mustache area, and why women often find it occurs on their legs, armpits and bikini line.
What Can You Do To Prevent Them?
The first step in preventing ingrown hairs is to exfoliate a lot. Ingrown hairs often happen because the hair follicle has become clogged up with dead skin cells, forcing the hair to grow out to the side rather than straight. You can resolve this problem by exfoliating problem areas at least once per week to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface. Products such as Ameliorate’s Skin Smoothing Body Polish combine micro-dermabrasion granules and lactic acid for a powerful effect.
Switch To A Hair Removal Cream
Because shaving tends to be a primary cause of ingrown hairs, it makes sense to consider switching from a razor to a hair removal cream product. Shaving gives the hair a sharp edge when it grows back in, and this pokes into the skin causing irritation. Of course, the best method of prevention is simply to stop shaving at all, by switching a depilatory cream or an epilator. If that sounds too extreme, a product for sensitive skin such as Veet’s BodyCurv is a good alternative.
Use A Quality Razor Blade
Perhaps you’re allergic to hair removal creams, or perhaps you just don’t like the idea of using one. If that’s the case for you, you can give yourself the best chance of avoiding ingrowing hairs by avoiding disposable razors. After all, they’re designed to be thrown away, however far too many of us use them for far too long. This causes problems because the blades rapidly become blunt resulting in a bumpy and uneven shave and causing worse shaving rash than before. Gillette’s razor blades are high quality and are built to last, and since their replaceable you’ll be investing in a long term quality product.
Switch To Electric
Perhaps you’re fed up with manual shaving and have decided to opt for an electric alternative instead. While electrical shavers don’t give quite such a close shave as manual wet razors do, they are still very good and will avoid the problem of ingrowing hairs because they don’t get down so close to the skin. Philips Satin Shave Prestige is a great choice thanks to its impressive results and affordable price tag.
Use Shaving Cream
Most of us have decided to save money and forgo the shaving cream from time to time, however this is a very bad idea. Using a manual razor on skin without some kind of shaving cream product means that the blades can drag causing irritation on sensitive areas. Using a shaving gel or cream will create an effective barrier and will make your skin smoother and easier for the blades to glide along to cut down on irritation. Whenever possible use a sensitive, alcohol free formula as this will help to hydrate the skin rather than drying it out.
Shave The Right Way
If you shave in the opposite direction to which your hair grows, you’re more likely to develop ingrown hairs. This is because the hair is cut to a sharp angle and it becomes more likely to grow under the skin. Switch to shaving in the opposite way. If you shave in the same direction as that in which your hair grows you’ll be less likely to have this problem.
Treat Your Skin After Shaving
A product such as Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads are ideal for caring for your skin post shave. Having been soaked in glycolic and salicylic acid, these pads can dissolve the dead skin cell build up on the skin’s service to prevent clogging of the pores and ingrowing hairs, and since its formula also has oat extracts and lavender oils in it, it will soothe that feeling of post shave irritation.
What To Do With Ingrown Hairs When They Happen
Sometimes, even though you’ve taken all of the precautionary measures on this list, you’ll still end up with a few ingrown hairs. However, don’t despair. Knowing how to deal with the problem will reduce the pain you’re experiencing. Never squeeze the spot that rises up out of the skin as this will usually just push the hair down deeper under the surface, exacerbating the problem. It’ll also spread the bacteria through the pores and could result in an infection which is not only painful but unsightly.
You can usually leave a minor ingrown hair alone to go away by itself with time, however if you are able to see the hair close to your skin, you could use tweezers or a needle to tease it out gently. Remember to sterilize the tweezers or needle first and never try to dig below the surface to drag the hair out as this will just make the area look more inflamed, cause you more pain and make the problem worse.
Follow these top tips and you’ll find that ingrown hairs will be a thing of the past. You’ll be able to look forward to smooth, attractive skin without unsightly blemishes and itchy red spots.
For more of our beauty advice and expertise, as well as all sorts of fun lifestyle guidance, head to our homepage! That’s the best place to find links to all our content.