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How to Treat & Prevent Ingrown Hairs

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The pleasure of having silky, smooth skin is unmatched. Unfortunately, the annoyance of ingrown hairs is also unmatched. They’re painful, itchy, and generally irritating. Whether they appear as red bumps or whiteheads, they’re never fun to face. Ingrown hairs develop when hairs curl and grown back into the skin, and they can develop just about anywhere you usually shave.

Thankfully, there are several key tips and tricks for treating and preventing ingrown hairs. Keep reading to discover how to maintain your soft skin, ingrown hair-free.

Exfoliate well

This is perhaps the most crucial step of any shaving routine, regardless of where you are shaving. You should always exfoliate before shaving, as it removes the dead skin and gives you a smooth, even base to shave. When a hair follicle becomes clogged with dead skin, an ingrown can form. To exfoliate well, use a scrub once or twice a week and gently rub your skin in slow, circular motions under warm water. Regular exfoliation with a gentle body scrub can prevent this, leaving your skin free from pesky ingrown hairs.

Intoxicating Beauty Sweet Hops Radiance on Tap.
Intoxicating Beauty Sweet Hops Radiance on Tap

Use a good blade

How long have you had your current razor? If you really have to think about it, then it’s time to replace it. A dull, old blade is often one of the biggest culprits behind ingrown hairs. Dull blades don’t provide a clean, even shave, giving you a bumpy mess that only further encourages ingrown hairs. When shaving the pubic area, using either a brand-new or practically new blade is especially critical to ensure a smooth finish. Using a new, fresh, sharp blade will give you a much better shave, so you won’t have to worry about bumps and ingrown hairs.

Don’t underestimate shaving cream

We’ve all been there – sometimes you’re rushing out the door and just splash some water before shaving. Try to avoid this at all costs, though. A good shaving cream will help make the shaving process a piece of cake, allowing your razor to better glide on your skin. Shaving cream prevents the razor from roughly dragging, which can lead to bumps and ingrown hairs.

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Photo by Lexie Barnhorn

Shave with the grain

Though it’s often easier and faster to shave against the grain, if you are prone to ingrown hairs, try shaving with the grain. Shaving in the opposite direction of hair growth causes the hair to be cut at a sharper angle, making ingrown hairs more likely to develop.

Don’t pick or squeeze

Sometimes, even if you do everything right, ingrown hairs are inevitable. If you do find yourself with some, do not pick or squeeze them. This can end up pushing the hair deeper into the skin, and it can also cause an infection by spreading bacteria into your pores. Digging at these hairs will only make matters worse, so you should only remove them with sterile tweezers or a needle, with caution.

Avoid shaving the area

If you do have ingrown hairs, give the area a few days without shaving. This will allow the area to calm down and not face further irritation. As the hair grows, it will be easier to remove, too. If needed, apply a warm compress to ease any irritation and soften the hairs.

Ingrown hairs are an annoyance, but with these preventative methods and treatments, you’ll have smooth, even skin in no time.

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