Before we get into the nitty gritty of how to get rid of those annoying red bumps and unsightly ingrown hairs, lets first quickly go over what ingrown hairs really are and how they occur – so we can fend them off!
Ingrown hair happens when the hair curls back under the skin instead of growing out. It is most often caused by shaving and waxing. When you shave, you are essentially creating a sharp edge to the hair that easily gets trapped under the skin instead of growing out.
Funnily enough, the hair can also grow sideways which causes red bumps to appear. Called razor burn, this is caused by a blunt blade and not using a proper shaving technique, therefore the hair follicle is displaced making the hair grow strangely.
How to be rid of the ingrowns?
Sporadic exfoliation won’t cut it. In order to reduce ingrown hair with exfoliation, it has to be done 2-3 times a week – with no exceptions. It’s also a good idea to exfoliate before you shave or start waxing, so you remove as much of the dead skin as possible to prevent ingrowns.
A great pre-shaving or waxing ritual is to use tweezers to lift ingrowns to the surface of the skin, instead of plucking out by the root. This way you avoid an infection and all of the hair can be waxed or shaved away.
Changing the razor blade often is the best way to avoid ingrowns, as a blunt blade doesn’t cut as effectively, and more often nicks the skin.
Put a warm compress (a warm, wet towel does the trick) on the part of skin with the ingrown. Apply several times throughout the day until the hair comes out.
After using a warm compress for a few minutes, gently tweeze the hair out using sterile tweezers. Try to avoid bloodshed.
Do’s and Don’ts of minimising ingrowns
• Moisturise the skin before attempting to remove an ingrown hair.
• Lift the hair with tweezers.
• Exfoliate before shaving.
• Cleanse the skin regularly.
• Don’t apply much pressure while shaving and try not to stretch the skin.
• Avoid shaving the part of the skin that had the ingrown hair for a few weeks.
• To avoid irritation, don’t use a hair removal cream for 2 weeks after removing the ingrowns.
• Don’t wear tight clothes on areas (thighs, arms, and shins) with ingrown hairs.
• Always use new, sharp razor blades.