If you’ve ever taken a razor to any part of your body, you may have experienced painful ingrown hair bubbling up instead of smooth skin. But I don’t have to remind you how uncomfortable ingrown hairs can be. You’ll know how painful, itchy and annoying they are if you’ve ever had one.
Ingrown hair may occur as a result of shaving, tweezing, waxing, or other similar methods to remove your body or facial hair. The ingrown hair happens when instead a hair that is meant to grow out of its follicle and out of your skin stays in your body.
It causes inflammation which can lead to bumps, discomfort, itching, bacterial infection, hyperpigmentation, and possibly permanent scarring. And, instead of appearing normal, an ingrown hair might look like a hoop embedded in your skin with both ends.
Anyone can get an ingrown hair. But in people who have very curly or coarse hair, the condition is more common. Curly hair, particularly after being shaved or cut, is more likely to bend back and re-enter the skin.
People with high levels of certain sex hormones may also have excessive hair growth, which increases the likelihood of getting ingrown hairs, particularly after shaving.
Most African-Americans, Latinos, and people with thick or curly hair experience pseudofolliculitis, a form of ingrown hair. The series of small bumps is more commonly known as “razor bumps” and they appear on the areas that you have shaved, waxed, or tweezed to remove unwanted skin.
Tips And Remedies For Ingrown Hair
1. EXFOLIATE OFTEN
When the hair follicle gets clogged with dead skin cells, an ingrown hair may occur. This clogging may force a hair to grow sideways, but regular exfoliation will help prevent the skin’s surface from building up dead skin cells.
2. HAIR REMOVAL CREAMS
Shaving is the biggest culprit in causing ingrown hair, because it has a sharper edge when the hair grows back and can quickly dig back into the body. The best way to prevent them is “to allow your hair to grow freely without shaving it.” But if this is not an option, a sensitive hair removal cream should be tried.
3. USE SHARP BLADE
Disposable razors are exactly that – disposable. We’ve all been there, the yellow Bic razor has been lurking for too long in the corner of your shower, and yet you’re still reaching for it. You will have a rash and a rough, bumpy shave the next day, which will only exasperate the condition of the ingrown hair. Invest in a quality razor with sharp razor blades and make sure you are not using them for too long.
4. SHAVE IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Shaving in the opposite direction to the growth of the hair means that each hair will be cut at a sharper angle, making it more likely to grow back under the skin. To prevent this from happening, try to shave in the same direction as the hair growth.
5. MOISTURIZE AFTER YOU SHAVE
Moisturizing helps keep your skin less prone to dryness and irritation, and can sometimes help with exfoliation to prevent a buildup of dead skin on top of a follicle that increases the chances of trapping the hair. Moisturizers containing a chemical exfoliant such as lactic, glycolic or salicylic acid can help to dissolve dead skin cells that can more easily trap ingrowing skin cells.
6. USE SALT
The minute salt granules help exfoliate your skin and slough off the dead cells that could cause clogged pores, one of the main reasons behind ingrown hair. Not only is salt an excellent exfoliating agent, it also increases the circulation of your blood and promotes faster healing to reduce skin swelling.
Get 1 tsp of salt, 1 cup of warm water and 1 cotton ball. In the water, add salt and mix well. Now soak the cotton ball in this solution and apply it to your ingrown hair areas. Gently scrape the cotton over the area. The salt helps by cleansing and exfoliating the skin there to flush out the incubated hair. Repeat every day. If you see, however, that using this salt water solution can give you red or irritated skin, avoid using it.
7. BLACK TEA BAGS
Black tea is full of tannic acid. Tannic acid helps to reduce redness and inflammation. Thus, to get rid of an ingrown hair, you can use a black tea bag. Here’s how you can do that.
Get 1 cup of warm water and 1 black tea bag. In the warm water, dip the tea bag. Let it soak a few minutes. Now pick up the tea bag and squeeze the water out of it. Let some stay in it. Take this warm wet tea bag and press it against the skin that is affected. Keep it for a few minutes. Repeat every day until you get rid of ingrown hair.