Ingrown Hairs occur when newly shorn hairs are cut or removed in a way that the hair grows beneath the skin's surface. As it continues to grow under the skin, a bump will appear as a sign of injury.
Step 1: How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs?
• Eliminate improper shaving techniques.
• The following shaving techniques/practices are BAD: shaving upwards against the grain, shaving with too much pressure, shaving with a dull or frequently used blade, or shaving too frequently)
• To prevent IH, shave with the direction of hair growth (usually downwards). Hair growth direction vary across the face and body so double check to be sure.
• Use a new, single or at most, double blade razor.
• Use very light pressure, being careful never to pass more than 1-2 times.
• Moisturize the skin for 5-10 minutes with a hot shower or hot compress.
• Remove dead skin cells by exfoliating the area before shaving using a skin care brush for 1 minute, and exfoliate 1-2 times per day between shaves, preferably before bed, and in the shower the next morning.
Step 2: How to Treat Ingrown Hairs?
• If you already have an IH, wait for the IH to grow a bit before attempting to remove it. We know it hurts to have an IH growing under your skin but if the hair is too short, extricating the hair will prove difficult and you'll cause a lot mirco-tears in the skin trying to locate it.
• After it has grown some, carefully use a sterilized darning needle or sterilized pair of needle-nosed tweezers.
Step 3: 10 Reasons You Are Getting Ingrown Hairs
Ingrown hairs are usually caused by the shaving technique.
The known culprits are:
1. Too many passes with the blade. One pass, going 1-2 inches downward at a time will eliminate ingrowns.
2. Too many blades (if you are prone to ingrowns you don’t need 3 or more blades)
3. Pressing too hard on the skin with the blade. A gliding, light touch is all you need.
4. Not enough prep time. You should be using a warm/hot water prep (5 mins). Then leave the shaving creme on for more than 3 minutes to really soften the hair.
5. Using a used blade (this one is obvious, of course)
6. Use of skin/pore clogging cremes or lotions. These keep hairs from growing up. After a shave, keep your skin bare; let it breath, and allow those newly shaved, really small, microscopic hairs to grow out just in time for the next shave
7. Not enough exfoliation to remove excess layers of skin. Use an ingrown hair brush or bump brush daily.
8. Shaving too many times. This rule is hard to follow especially if you have to shave for your career but if you are prone to ingrowns, try shaving with an electric clipper. The results are not super close but no one but you will know the difference.
9. Shaving against the grain. Shave in the direction of hair growth (usually down, but perform a face map to be sure)
10. Avoid tight fitting clothing around the Adam’s apple (neck) and/or below the waistline region.
If you have any advice to add, please comment below.