Dealing with ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs, also known under the medical term of “pseudofolliculitis barbae”, often occurred on people with curly or afro hair. During the shaving, hair roots are left in the follicle. Most of them will grow out of the follicle, but some will curve and get stuck under the skin. The problem is that these hairs will keep growing under the skin, becoming ingrown hairs. The skin becomes irritated and the body produces a lumpy reaction.

A few products have been created to deal with this particular problem, once the hair already started to grow under the skin. The best solution to cure ingrown hairs is to soak a towel in hot water and apply it on the skin for a few minutes until the skin and the hair get soften. Then, pull the end of the hair out of the bump using sterilised tweezers (to minise infections), without removing the whole hair, just the loose end. The temptation of pluck the ingrown hair is high as it is such a cause of pain, but doing so might imply having the same problem the next time the hair is growing. Helping the hair to stick out of the skin will heal the follicle and solve the problem for a long time.

Understanding ingrowing hairs

Understanding ingrowing hairs

Here is a list of tips to prevent ingrown hairs and shaving rashes:

  • Don’t pull on the skin while shaving as it could make hairs pop out of the follicle. Afterwards, the cut tip retracts into the follicle and might cause an ingrowing hair.
  • Avoid a too close shave: indeed, the closer you cut the hair the more change the hair will grow under the skin. If the hair is a little bit longer, it is almost at the surface of the skin, and will find it way out more easily.
  • Always shave in the direction of the hair growth, so the shave will not be as closed and no hairs will curve under the skin.
  • Exfoliation might help to remove dead skin, often harder, making the growth of the hair easier.
  • In the worst case, try not to shave for a few days for your skin to heal and get strength.
  • The final solution, the most extreme, is to have a permanent hair removal, either through electrolysis or laser.

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