Most people shave for both good looks and good hygiene. However, after shaving, we face ingrown hairs that have arisen after cutting. It should be noted that this type of hair can appear either with waxing or with a conventional shaver.
Before knowing what we must do to prevent them, we must understand what an ingrown hair is. It is a hair that grows back after being extracted from the skin but now under the skin.
Ingrown hairs arise after epilation frequently and can cause pain, itching, inflammation, infection, etc. You can recognize it since they appear in the form of small lumps, such as the case of a pimple. In addition, they can appear on any part of the body that is usually shaved, but we must emphasize that the most common areas are the armpits and the bikini area.
Symptoms of Ingrown Hairs
As we have previously said, ingrown hairs usually appear more frequently in the armpits and bikini area. However, another one of the places where it can originate is in the beard area. In this case, we refer to the neck, chin, and cheeks.
There are specific symptoms that will allow us to determine if we have an ingrown hair. When these hairs appear, you can usually experience pain, itching, small round bumps, small lesions, inflammation, pus, darkening of the skin, and more.
Causes of the Appearance of Ingrown Hairs
One of the main causes of ingrown hairs is curly hair. Ingrown hair mainly depends on its structure and growth direction. That is why curly hair makes it re-enter the skin due to its curved structure.
Another cause is stretching the skin tightly when you are shaving, as this could cause the hair to penetrate the surface again.
Similarly, tweezing can cause a fragment of hair to be embedded under the skin layer, causing the hair to bury and inflame that area.
Why does this happen? When you remove the hair, it will continue to grow due to the follicles. So when a hair grows out of its follicle, it buries itself back into the skin generating the ingrown hair. Many people avoid this unpleasant situation with laser hair removal.
When using a shaver, you should be aware that some of the hairs may become sharp when cutting hair. Those hair fragments have a high chance of re-burying into your skin.
How to Avoid the Appearance of Ingrown Hairs
We have already said that ingrown hairs are produced after shaving, either with wax or a razor blade. It can manifest itself in the form of small reddish bumps on the skin due to the incrustation of hair after being shaved.
These hairs can generate pain, itching, and infection as the most common symptoms. Sometimes they can be filled with pus just like a pimple. However, you should not worry so much as they disappear on their own over time without the need for any treatment. It is important to note that when this type of hair is infected, it can be dangerous, depending on the situation.
Therefore, the best we can do is to prevent them in time to avoid having to deal with these tedious symptoms.
1. Moisten Your Skin
Before shaving, it is necessary to soften your skin to avoid that the hair removal process is very rustic. Therefore, be sure to moisten the area you are going to shave with a gel or lubricant. You can also just use shaving foam, soap, and water.
It is essential to do this as shaving dry hair, especially with a razor blade, can sharpen cut hair fragments, causing them to re-embed themselves in your skin as they grow back.
Moistening the area where you are going to shave will help soften the hair so that each is easily and gently removed.
2. Choose a Suitable Hair Removal Method
You can shave using wax, but you must be careful not to use the same wax several times as it is not recommended. That is because once you use wax, it can attract impurities. For this reason, it is necessary to use another that is well filtered and free of residues.
If you shave with a traditional razor, you should consider using it only a few times before changing it for another. That is because, on many occasions, you will need to pass the shave over your skin several times until you “completely” remove the hair. As a consequence, the risk of cutting you increases, and therefore, skin irritation and infection also generating ingrown hair.
So be sure to use a new or low-use razor blade to avoid these situations. Also, during your hair removal, rinse your shaver with each cut to remove all the hair that remains on the razor blade so that it does not affect the next cuts.
It is advisable to change the razor blades after two or three uses.
3. Don’t Stretch Your Skin While You Shave
If you stretch your skin tightly while you are shaving, you will give more space to poorly cut hairs that shrink and bury themselves in the skin. That will generate ingrown hair. Simply try to shave the area you want gently and using the moisturizers and exfoliations you need.
4. Use Antiseptics
It is very likely that after shaving, that area is exposed to possible germs. Using a natural antiseptic will help eliminate them. Doing so will help prevent any infection. One of the most efficient disinfectants for these cases is tea tree oil.
5. Exfoliate Your Skin
Before shaving, it is recommended that you use a chemical exfoliant such as lactic acid or glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells. Using an exfoliant will help prevent wrinkles in the areas where you have removed hair.
6. Removes the Surface of Ingrown Hair
If you already have an ingrown hair, a good recommendation would be to remove it gently. In this case, moisten your skin with water and neutral soap. Then gently rub the area with a sponge. Use tweezers, which you must disinfect with alcohol beforehand to remove the ingrown hair from the root. Subsequently, apply alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to the area. Keep in mind that before doing all this, you should wash your hands very well.