Why do you have an ingrown hair? Perhaps you shaved your hairs too close which left the hair roots or hair follicles tilted at an angle, making the hair grown inwards. Else, the hair is pretty much capable of curling up naturally, it could have curled in very sharply and grown back into the follicles.
People with curly body hair are more prone to ingrown hairs in general. Whatever may be the reason, you are now left with a reddish and sore bump on your skin which hurts.
What are the ways to get rid of it and also prevent it from happening in the future?
1 Removing the hair
If you find the hair has curled back into your skin, then you would probably want to get it out. Firstly, place a warm washcloth soaked in hot water over the affected area for around five minutes.
This will soften the hair making it ready for the removal process. Once the hair has softened enough, gently pull the hair up using tweezers, and get the tip of the hair away from the skin, and trim it off using nail scissors.
2 Swap the shaver
If you are someone who frequently deals with ingrown hairs, then the main culprit to your problem could be the shaver you are using.
If you are a regular user of electric shaver, then try to shave with a blade. If you shave with a blade regularly, then try to swap it with an electric shaver. On most occasions, this simple swap does the trick.
3 Stay away from an ultra-close shave
Many razors in the market today come with a double, triple, and even quadruple blades that promises ultra-close shaves.
However, if you have ingrown hairs problem, the best way to prevent it would be to avoid ultra-close shaves. Try to use the old fashioned single-bladed razor.
While using a single-bladed razor, try to replace your blades as often as necessary. This is because if you keep using the old blades, the ingrown hairs can easily get infected make the problem much worse.
Always sterilize your blades by dipping it in rubbing alcohol. Make sure to rinse off the alcohol before the shave as it can have a burning effect on the skin.
4 Prepare your hair before a shave
Dead cells sitting on top of your skin could block your hair follicles making the hair to grow inwards. To prevent this from happening, rub the area with a dry loofah or washcloth before a shave.
This will brush away the dead skin cells and also lift the hair away from the follicles effectively preventing ingrown hairs.
5 Shave it down, not up
Whenever you shave your hair, make it a rule to shave it in the downward motion. Most men especially while shaving their neck area they tend to shave it upwards. This must be avoided. Also, women should follow the same policy while shaving their legs and bikini area.
Although this motion doesn’t give the closest shave, it will effectively prevent the hair follicles from tilting at an angle, and prevent the hair from growing inwards.
Also, do not pull off the skin while shaving, this will make the hairs to protrude slightly, and when you relax the skin, the remaining hair can easily get into your skin surface.
6 Waxing does not help
While waxing is one of the best ways for ladies to remove the excess hair, it is not the best way to go about when you are problems with ingrown hairs.
If you are someone dealing with this problem on a regular basis, then waxing can make it worse. After a waxing session, your hairs are most likely to grow at an angle, increasing your risk.
7 Ways to reduce inflammation
Ingrown hairs can make the affected place inflamed and bumpy. In order to reduce the inflammation, you can make use of over the counter options.
You can apply a cream that contains hydrocortisone. Follow the instructions on the label for application.
You can also apply a cream that contains Benzoyl peroxide, this ingredient helps to minimize hair bumps.
Lotions that contain Alpha-hydroxy acids help to minimize the number of hairs that are trapped under your skin surface.
Do note that Alpha-hydroxy lotions can be irritating for some. To make sure your skin adapts to it, try to apply it every other night and check if you can tolerate it.
8 Try Alternatives
Close shaves will always increase your probability of ingrown hairs. So, it is better to give up the idea to reduce your risks.
There are many modern available now that helps to remove the hairs safely and more gently. Some women prefer using depilatory lotion. There are many similar products available now for men as well.
No matter what product you use, do not use it for more than two times a week, as these products can irritate the skin on frequent use.