As far as general annoyances are concerned, ingrown hairs are pretty high up the list. After all, they're bound to develop at the worst possible time, like when you're about to go on a beach vacation. So learning about the ways to prevent ingrown hairs now can save you a lot of irritation in the future.
First, it's helpful to understand a little more about ingrown hairs and what causes them. When a hair curls back into the hair follicle and grows into a person's skin, it creates what is known as an ingrown hair, according to WebMD. This often results in a red, irritated bump on the skin that resembles a pimple. And, yes, sometimes they hurt.
Although they are most common in people with curly hair, anyone can get an ingrown hair, as further noted in WebMD. They will often go away on their own, but sometimes a doctor's help is needed to remove a particularly bothersome or infected one. Oh, and in the wake of Dr. Pimple Popper's popularity, there are tons of ingrown hair removal videos on YouTube. (Only consider watching these if you have a very strong stomach.)
In general, ingrown hairs are just a nuisance for most people, but one that is best avoided. Here are a few key ways to stop those annoying blemishes from forming in the first place.
1. Exfoliate Regularly
If there's one tip that shows up in every article about ingrown hair prevention, exfoliation would be it. "Ingrown hairs are caused by a buildup of dead skin cells. Continued exfoliation helps prevent the hair from becoming trapped underneath the skin," Amy Tice of Stark Waxing Studio says via HuffPost. Plus, gently scrubbing your skin just feels lovely. Consider it self care.
2. Use A Sharp Razor
Keep your blades fresh. Dull blades require more pressure and irritate the skin, making ingrown hairs more likely, according to Tend Skin. Replacing your blade as often as necessary is a smart move.
“If you’re shaving every day, you should be tossing your razor and getting a new one at least once a week,” Joel Schlessinger, MD, board-certified dermatologist, told Prevention. It's an easy way to cut down on razor bumps, as well as bacteria that might live in your old blades.
3. Use Shaving Cream
Yes, it adds an extra step to your whole routine, and some days you just can't be bothered, but, in general, using a moisturizing shaving cream helps protect your skin and get a close shave, as noted in Women's Health. It gives your razor a better chance of taking on those tough, curly hairs, too.
4. Rinse The Blade Every Swipe
Once you try it, you'll never shave without this step. Seriously, rinsing your razor blade with water after every swipe helps you get a much cleaner, closer shave, as noted in WebMD. It's another way to help prevent those stubborn ingrown hairs, and it makes the chore of shaving feel a whole lot easier.
5. Try A Benzoyl Peroxide Cream
For some next-level help, get some over-the-counter medication in on the action. For instance, a benzoyl peroxide cream may help dry out the irritated area and prevent future ingrown hair problems, as noted in Healthline. It's the same ingredient found in many acne treatments.
6. Get Laser Hair Removal
For a more lasting option, consider blasting those pesky hairs away with lasers. (OK, the actual treatment is probably not so dramatic.) At any rate, laser hair removal permanently takes away most unwanted hair, as noted in WebMD. And no hair means no ingrown hairs.
Sure, it's a straightforward tip, but simply applying moisturizer may help get rid of excess skin cells, which can clog hair follicles, as noted in Healthline. With any luck, at least a few of these tips will help you get rid of pesky ingrown hairs for good.
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