Whether you’re a man or woman, using razors, tweezers, waxing, shaving or hair removal creams, if you have naturally curly or coarse hair you’re probably familiar with annoying little things called ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are typically caused by three factors:
- The hair, as it grows out, curls back into the skin/hair follicle.
- Dead skin clogs the pores and causes the hair to grow sideways under the skin instead of coming straight out.
- When the hair is cut to close a sharp edge is created causing it to pierce the skin.
These three factors cause irritation and inflammation in the hair follicle, which results in an unpleasant, unattractive bump. The bump tends to resemble a pimple and can be painful like boils. Ingrown hairs can develop anywhere you have hair. For example, under-arms, bikini area, chin, neck, chest etc.
How to avoid or get rid of Ingrown Hairs
Exfoliate– this helps with many different skin issues, but when it comes to ingrown hairs exfoliating will help pull your curly/coarse hair away from the skin so that it doesn’t grow back in. Exfoliating will also help keep your pores unclogs so that the hairs can grow out of the follicle, instead of under the skin. Its best to do this with warm water before you remove the hair so that the hair is softened and raised and the skin is smooth.
Depilatory– insure that when shaving you remove the hair in the direction the hair grows. For waxing, tweezing and creams make certain that when the hair is growing back you use anti-inflammatory products. For example: Witch Hazel, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Tea Tree Oil etc.
After Care– For those with sensitive skin or who already have ingrown hairs, a cold compress on the irritated area daily will help bring down the inflammation so that you can pull the hair with a sterile tweezer. It also helps to close the pores so that other irritants don’t get into the in bump. [ i.e. dirt, skin creams you may use]. Your cold compress can be in the form of a mask with an Aloe Vera base if preferred.
No matter when or where ingrown hairs can be embracing and annoying. The great thing is there’s a way to prevent and combat them if you’re patient enough to do the steps. So here’s to hair free, baby smooth skin.
Written By: Shahara McGee