Hair removal is an option for some, but an essential part of a beauty routine for others. There are various ways to smooth and hairless results, but some result in dermatological problems such as ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are a result of shaving. When the hair begins to grow back, sometimes it will either grow under the skin or curl back under the skin.
Ingrown hairs, or razor bumps, can be an unpleasant and unsightly result of shaving. These red, swollen bumps are caused when hair gets trapped inside the follicle and stuck under the skin. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving.
Causes of Ingrown Hair
Ingrown hair forms when a hair is pulled too much during shaving and after contraction grows into the skin; sharp end of the shaved hair also contribute to formation of ingrown hair. The second reason is overly large number of dead cells surrounding the hair and causing it to grow at an angle. By the way, people with curly hair also experience this problem more frequently.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hair After Shaving
Ingrown hairs are painful and itchy, but the good news is that it is both possible to prevent them and to treat them so that they go away quickly.
- There are several techniques to use, to prevent ingrown hairs. The primary technique is to choose a multi-blade razor. Use a two to four blade razor to get the smoothest results. After shaving, it is advisable to use an antibiotic topical ointment on the shaved area. The antibiotic properties will discourage infection of the shaved area, in case any nicks were incurred. The other major ingredient in the ointment is an exfollient.
- Soak the area you are going to shave in warm water for five to 10 minutes before you shave. This softens hair, which makes it less likely that you will have ingrown hairs. If you are shaving your face, head or another area where soaking isn’t possible, apply a hot compress to the area.
- Use new razor blades whenever possible and always shave in the direction of hair growth, according to the magazine Cosmopolitan. If at all possible, consider using laser hair removal, because this damages the hair follicle so that hair cannot grow back and become ingrown.
- You may think you’re saving time by squeezing in a quick shave with just soap between the razor and your skin, but are those saved minutes worth days of dealing with razor bumps? Opting for a rich, creamy shaving cream is a great way to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving. Your shaving cream does more than moisturize your skin. It adds a layer of lubricating protection to give you a smooth, clean, not too-close shave.
- Using a shaving gel is essential in reducing the chance of ingrown hairs. The gel aids in the gliding of the blade over the skin, thus reducing irritation and nicks. It is the irritated and inflamed skin that closes off, and causes blockage of the hair leading to ingrown hairs. One can double your moisture protection by using a razor with a moisturizing strip. The moisture strips are comprised of moisturizers such as aloe, cocoa butter and lanolin.
If you still get ingrown hairs despite taking these measures, try shaving with an electric shaver or using a chemical hair remover. If you get ingrown after using those methods, consult your doctor.