Summer is approaching and that mean shorts, tank tops, and pretty summer dresses are making a comeback. But it also means preparing your skin before having fun in the sun. If you’re someone who really hates shaving, tweezing or waxing because it’s painful, then you’d probably hate it a bit more because of the pain ingrown hairs cause. The bumps and irritation that come as a result of shaving are bearable, but ingrown hair just makes it even worse because all you wanted was baby smooth skin and now you’re stuck with painful ingrown hair.
Ingrown hair is the hair that grows back underneath the skin and remains there. This causes the skin to swell up which sometimes also results in an infection. Ingrown hair can be indicated by the redness and irritation that is visible on the skin right after shaving. Since they are right below the surface of the skin, it looks like a pimple. The follicle of the ingrown hair becomes really itchy and sensitive which causes a painful sensation on the skin.
Ingrown hairs depend on many factors such as skin sensitivity and hair type. They are more likely to occur in places where you have thick hair growth. People with curly hair are more likely to be prone to ingrown hair because the hair can curl back into the follicle if it isn’t shaved or waxed effectively. This causes the dead skin to clog the follicle.
Dermatologists and experts have researched a lot about this problem and thus, came up with some ways to prevent ingrown hairs.
Don’t shave too close: Shaving too close is one of the major reasons why ingrown hairs show up. Change your habits and try to shave without causing any possibility of ingrown hair growing. Don’t use a dull razor, old sugar or wax. Don’t pluck unnecessarily and don’t pluck too close as it does cause a possibility of painful ingrown hair.
Prep your skin: Exfoliate, exfoliate and exfoliate! Exfoliation is really helpful in removing dead skin that could clog up the follicles or pores which cause ingrown hair. Exfoliate daily or 3 times a week to make sure this problem doesn’t make its way back into your life, especially in summers when you just want to enjoy the feeling of having smooth skin.
Use oil or shaving cream: Use warm water to soften the skin and put oil or shaving cream to soften the hair follicles, this also allows the razor to slide smoothly. Use a single blade razor to do this.
Direction matters: Shave in the direction the hair grows. This helps a lot in removing short hair completely reducing the chances of ingrown hair. Studies have shown that shaving in the same direction as the hair grows in an uncommon practice but it is the most effective one in reducing the chances of ingrown hair from happening.
Stay cool: Apply a cold wet towel on the area you just shaved to reduce redness and irritation. Apply lotion or organic balms to keep the skin healthy and supple. Try to avoid perfumed lotions or alcohol-based lotions as they may increase the inflammation only causing ingrown hair to grow again.
If you feel that the swelling and inflammation is only growing, it’s best to consult a doctor who can treat the follicle. This way you can easily detect early stages of a possible infection and get it treated a.s.a.p.