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Ingrowing Hair

Ingrown hairs are caused when hairs grow back under the skin instead of growing upwards. This creates an unsightly and sometimes painful reaction, which in a few cases leads to infection and red bumps. Our bodies are sometimes more prone to ingrown hairs in areas that are harder to shave and hence need to be treated sensitively. Ingrown hairs is may also be a genetic problem, so it is something to consider if you have a sibling or parent who is known to have ingrown hairs.

What causes ingrown hairs?

Try to use your razor carefully. If a man is shaving his face or a woman shaves her legs or bikini area, they should avoid shaving against the grain, which is the direction that the hair grows. Avoid going over the same area twice with a razor, as that can cause even more irritation.

Try gently cleaning and scrubbing the area you plan to shave just before taking out the razor. This helps to exfoliate the skin and encourages the hair to point outwards for easier removal. Opt to shave just after a shower, as the steam will also make the hairs softer. Use a brand new blade too, as older ones are dull and can cause the broken hairs that eventually turn into ingrown hairs. Also, be sure not to press your blade down too hard or you may remove skin along with your hairs, and that too can cause irritation.

How to treat ingrown hairs

  • Use a pair of sterilised tweezers to gently prise out the hair from under the layer of skin. Be sure to put some antiseptic spray / cream on the area to keep away any possible infections and to help calm the area.
  • Consult a dermatologist for treatment if the ingrown hair(s) have reached a serious stage.
  • Tea tree oil is an antiseptic, it works well as a natural way to keep away irritation and you can try using it instead of shaving lotion.
  • Witch hazel, another natural antiseptic, works in a similar way to tea tree oil. Try applying after you shave to minimise bacteria penetrating your pores. This will keep away infection, which may be a contributor to ingrown hairs.
  • Kalo, an all-natural method of ingrown hair removal treatment, has been shown to work well to get rid of ingrown hairs.
  • Sugar scrubs, glycolic and salicylic acids act as an exfoliating agent and can be a very effective treatment, exfoliating the skin to open up the pores and free the ingrown hairs.

Prevention of ingrown hairs

  • Eat healthily, drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated, and use a reputable moisturiser before and after shaving.
  • Ingrown hairs almost always happen when shaving occurs. Shave slowly and take time instead of rushing through the process, this will help to prevent hairs from curling backwards and growing into the skin.
  • Avoid using lotions that irritate the skin and opt for non-perfumed lotions if your skin is sensitive.
  • Shaving everyday is simply too much for some people‚Äôs skin to handle. Ingrown hairs can occur when hairs are shaved too close to the skin and this causes a conflict with the natural way the hair grows. Try not to shave daily.