Ingrown Hair Prevention and Aftercare Tips
Ingrown hairs are a natural yet unfortunate part of hair removal. If you’re prone to getting these pesky post-shave hairs, you may be wondering how to get rid of them and how you can care for the ones that already exist on your legs, underarms, or bikini area (ouch!).
These irritating, painful bumps pop up when a hair is trapped under the surface of the skin. This inward growth creates a little bubble that resembles a pimple and can occur anywhere – your eyebrows, underarms, bikini line, legs. Basically wherever there’s hair.
People with curly hair are more prone to ingrown hairs than straight-haired individuals. Since curly hair’s nature is to grow in askew directions, hair can curl under itself and ultimately grow inward, resulting in ingrown hairs.
But what to do about them? And is there a way to prevent them? Here’s your guide to treating and preventing ingrown hairs.
HOW TO TREAT AN INGROWN HAIR RIGHT NOW
Use Salicylic Acid
Exfoliation is key for removing ingrown hairs. According to the NHS, “an ingrown hair can occur when the hair follicle becomes clogged with dead skin cells.”
Salicylic acid is an effective natural exfoliating ingredient that will help prevent build up of dead skin cells and slough away the existing ones. Using a product containing salicylic acid will leave your skin feeling smoother and less susceptible to ingrown hairs.
Glycolic and lactic acid are other great choices for tackling the issue, as they can loosen the outermost layer of skin cells to both treat and prevent ingrown hairs.
Opt for Truly’s Ingrown Aftercare Kit, which features a salicylic acid-formulated body mask to shed dead cells, and a body serum and potion to reduce inflammation and prevent infections.
Bring in a Body Brush
Another wonderful way to exfoliate the skin is dry body brushing. Besides boosting your immune system and diminishing cellulite, body brushing can reduce ingrown hairs.
“As we get a little older, our skin becomes less efficient at this whole detox/elimination process and less effective at naturally shedding the layers of dead skin cells that clog up the surface,” say body brushing experts Mio.
A quick, dry brushing session before each shower fires up cell turnover, which helps to decongest pores so that hairs can grow out normally. It’s also a super excuse to enjoy some much-deserved self-pampering time!
If you have an ingrown hair, it’s worth keeping a distance between your razor and it. There’s nothing wrong with shaving. It’s just that shaving an ingrown hair could worsen the situation by causing it to regrow ingrown. Not what you want!
It’s not just us saying it. The Mayo Clinic recommends stopping all hair removal methods until it heals. That includes everything from shaving to tweezing and waxing.
We know it’s tough, but honestly, you’ll thank us later when you see your painful bump going away rather than returning or not disappearing at all. In the meantime, embrace your natural body hair.
Stick to Lightweight Lotions
It might feel right to top your skin with thick, heavy moisturizers when it’s feeling dry and irritated. The trouble is, heavy creams sabotage your exfoliation efforts. To treat ingrown hairs properly, the goal is to unclog the pores. Thick lotions do the opposite.
To keep your pores clear and ingrown hairs at bay, invest in a lightweight, breathable body moisturizer that’ll keep your skin hydrated without suffocating it.
THE NEXT TIME YOU SHAVE …
Use the Best Blade
Disposal razors are useful, but they’re not designed for long-term use. The blades dull quickly, leaving you with a bumpy, uneven shave and prone to ingrowns.
Invest in a high-quality razor to guarantee a smooth and pain-free shave after every use. It’s worth doing a bit of research to find out which one works best, but you’ll notice a huge difference once you start using it.
“Choosing a firm, sturdy razor with soothing strips will make a huge difference,” says esthetician and hair-removal specialist Eileen Bischoff.
Just remember to stock up on a few extra razor heads so that you don’t end up reusing the same one repeatedly. That’s just as bad as using disposable razors again and again.
Alternatively, treat yourself to an electrical shaver. They won’t give you as close of a shave as a manual razor, but they’re practically ingrown-hair-proof and really convenient!
Don’t Forget Shaving Cream
Always use some sort of lubrication like shaving cream or gel when you use a manual razor. It’ll minimize dragging and the need to pass over the hair more than once – the leading culprit of ingrown hairs. Opt for an alcohol-free, nourishing formula to prevent your skin from drying out.
“Conditioning your skin before shaving will soften the hair and the hair follicle,” says NYC dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D. “That way there’s less irritation when a razor goes across your skin.”
We recommend Truly’s Silky Smooth Shave Set for an ultra-close shave minus bumps and irritation. It includes a redness-reducing scrub to get rid of stubborn ingrowns, a super-smoothing shaving cream to prevent nicks and cuts, and a moisturizer to hydrate and heal the skin. Everything you need for a perfect shave!
Shave in the Right Direction
Unfortunately, not a lot of people know that shaving in the opposite direction is a recipe for ingrown hairs. Except for on your legs!
Shaving against the direction of hair growth means each hair gets cut at a sharper angle. This makes it more likely to grow underneath your skin. From now on, remember to always shave in the same direction as hair growth to steer clear of pesky ingrowns.
WHEN THAT INGROWN HAIR WON’T GO AWAY
There are plenty of prevention and aftercare tips for ingrown hairs, but what happens when you’ve tried everything and it’s still there?
Don’t try tweezing it out yourself. This could cause an infection and end up making things worse. Visit a professional instead.
Your doctor will have all the necessary tools to do it properly and guarantee safe ingrown hair removal.