Ingrown hairs are not only a cause of pain and discomfort—they can also cause embarrassment because of their ugly appearance.
Having an ingrown hair brings back the teenage experience of having acne. One of the big differences between ingrown hairs and teenage acne is that ingrown hairs are very, VERY preventable.
The key to preventing ingrown hairs is to understand how they develop, and then take the necessary steps to keep that from happening.
This article will present several easy to follow tips that will enable you to make it almost impossible for ingrown hairs to occur ever again.
Tip 1: Keep your skin clean
Even the thinnest layer of oil, dirt or grime can cause a hair to curl inward rather than penetrating the surface of your skin.
Despite how aggressive your hair may seem to grow, the truth is that it will always follow the path of least resistance. Thus, if your skin is less than clean, the hair will redirect to where it can grow freely—back inside.
Keeping your skin clean will prevent this redirection, and thus, prevent ingrown hairs.
Tip 2: Exfoliate your skin
Sometimes regular washing isn’t enough to keep your skin clear for hair to grow easily and naturally.
Dead skin cells can create an invisible layer on our skin, blocking hair from its natural route. The most effective way of removing dead skin is to exfoliate.
Using either soap with oatmeal or other abrasive cleansers is one way to keep dead skin cells from collecting on your skin.
Another option is to use an exfoliating glove or cloth. This will give your skin a good, deep clean, removing oils and dead skin that can block hair growth.
Tip 3: Use an electric razor
There is no question that a good, clean blade will give you the closest shave possible. That said, the closest shave possible might actually contribute to ingrown hairs.
Blades characteristically lift the hair before cutting it. This can result in the hair being trimmed below the skin. Thus, as the hair grows back it will need to penetrate skin level once again, making it susceptible to the risks of becoming ingrown.
Electric razors do not shave so close, thus the hair remains above skin level, and is therefore free from the dangers of becoming ingrown.
Tip 4: Never shave against the grain
For those who refuse to give up the close shave of a traditional blade, it is critical that you avoid those tricks that guarantee the closest shave ever.
Shaving against the grain is one such trick. This method supposedly cuts facial hair closer than any other method. Again, the end result is that the hair has to grow through the skin again, thus running the risk of becoming ingrown.
Additionally, dirty or dull razors can contribute to conditions that can lead to ingrown hairs. Thus, always make sure you shave using a clean, sharp blade.
Tip 5: Never shave dry
Shave creams and shave gels are designed to not only condition and lubricate the skin— they are also designed to soften facial hair, making it easier to cut.
Shaving without gel or cream is a recipe for disaster. Not only will you irritate your skin, but you might also increase the chances of razor burn and ingrown hairs exponentially.
For the most part, the prevention of ingrown hairs and razor bumps come down to a matter of common sense.
Shaving with a clean, sharp razor, while using the proper amount of gel or cream, is just the beginning.
Following all five steps in this article will help make ingrown hairs a thing of the past.