Everything You Need to Know About Ingrown Hairs
No matter where they appear, ingrown hairs are uncomfortable, unsightly and annoying. Ingrown hairs are those painful bumps and blemishes caused by hairs which are trapped in their own hair follicle.
We get ingrown hairs in different ways and in different places, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to fixing the problem. However there are certain things we can do to reduce the symptoms of ingrown hairs. In this post, we’ll go over some of the ways in which ingrown hairs form, how to prevent them, and how to get rid of them when all else fails, whether they’re on your face or pubic area.
How Do Ingrown Hairs Happen
Ingrown hairs usually happen due to improper shaving techniques. When hairs are cut short, they sometimes double in on themselves within the hair follicle. The hair absorbs moisture and grows thick and hard under the skin as it continues to grow in length. Since it’s folded in half, the hair can’t properly emerge from the follicle. This causes inflammation around the hair follicle and can cause itchiness, swelling and discoloration.
Tight clothing can cause ingrown hairs as the friction creates a degree of inflammation and traps short hairs.
The hair follicles most affected are in areas where shaving frequently happens. Ingrown hairs usually appear on men in and around the beard area, while they mostly appear on women around the pubic region, specifically around the bikini line.
There are treatments for this skin condition but it’s better to prevent ingrown hairs than treating them when they appear.
How To Prevent Ingrown Hairs
For the most part, preventing ingrown hairs comes down to proper shaving techniques.
In order to best prevent ingrown hairs:
- Start trimming longer hairs with a pair of sharp scissors or an electric razor.
- Soak the area in warm water to soften the remaining hair, skin and follicles.
- Use an exfoliator to clear the skin of dirt, oil and debris which can trap the hair.
- Apply a pre-shave lotion or cream to further soften the hair.
- Use a new, sharp razor. Although razors are expensive, avoiding ingrown hairs and irritated follicles is worth it. Pull the skin taut and go over each area only once to minimize irritation and scratching.
- Wash the shaven area and pat dry with a dry towel.
- Apply another layer of skin cream or antibiotic ointment to further reduce skin irritation.
Unfortunately sharp razors and the best shaving techniques won’t prevent all ingrown hairs, irritation or bumps. Sometimes you just can’t stop ingrown hairs.
When you start noticing bumps around your hair follicles, it’s time treat your skin.
How To Treat Ingrown Hairs Around Your Beard
Treating skin problems around the bearded area of your face is different from treating bikini line problems. Do the following to remove ingrown hairs around the face and neck.
- Give shaving a break. If possible, try not shaving for a couple of days to let the inflammation settle down before treating the skin.
- Use a lotion or oil to soften the skin and hair.
- Take warm showers and make sure the affected area receives plenty of heat and moisture.
- Carefully and gently, move the poke and massage the area with clean hands in order to loosen the skin. Take care to be extra gentle. Touching the affected area too much will just irritate the razor bumps exacerbating the problem.
- Use a gentle exfoliant to get rid of excess dirt and dead skin.
- Repeat these steps until part of ingrown hair can be seen from the follicle.
- Use sanitized tweezers to gently pull the ingrown hair until it’s completely removed. Do not pluck the hair.
- When the hair is out of the follicle, use proper shaving techniques to remove it if necessary.
- Apply another layer of antibiotic ointment or some kind of lotion to minimize irritation.
How To Treat With Pubic Area Ingrown Hairs
Removing ingrown hairs from the pubic area is similar to removing them from your face but there are some minor differences. You’ll still want to stop shaving for a couple of days, but the way to soften the skin is a bit different. Here are some tips to remove ingrown pubic hairs around your bikini line.
- Moisten the affected area with a warm compress. Apply the warm compress to the affected area for 10-15 minute intervals.
- Gently wash the area with a mild soap, warm water and a wash rag to exfoliate.
- Apply a layer of antibiotic ointment or some other type of lotion.
- Repeat this process for several days. This skin is usually thicker than the skin on your face and takes several days more.
- Use a pair of sanitized tweezers to gently pull the hair out of its follicle when visible. Make sure not to pluck it.
- Use proper shaving techniques and apply one last layer of lotion.
Ingrown hairs are painful and unsightly, but they are usually easy to prevent and treat. If you develop a skin infection of any kind, make sure to contact a doctor as regular hair removal techniques might not be effective when treating a skin infection.