There is nothing more annoying than ingrown hairs after shaving. The resulting red bumps are not only unsightly but can cause itching, irritation, pain, and even scarring, reasons enough to avoid such bumps. But how is it actually done? This article explains the causes of ingrown hairs and also provides efficient tips to prevent them from occurring in the future.
How Do Ingrown Hairs Occur?
Ingrown hair is caused by shaved or torn hairs that no longer extend beyond the skin’s surface. This ingrown hair often occurs when hairs are shaved too short or pulled out with a pluck or wax. The hairs become trapped under the skin and continue to grow, causing inflammation and the well-known red bumps.
Ingrown hairs can also be caused by hairs growing back into the skin. In this case, the hairs are first allowed to pass over the skin’s surface, but then grow back into the skin in an arc (or curl). Since the body sees the hairs as an intruder, a red bump is formed here, encompassing the strands. The latter type of ingrown hair is often seen after shaving.
Prevention of Ingrown Hair
Fortunately, there are solutions to (almost) all causes of ingrown hairs. Below we have compiled a list of useful tips that you can implement right away to reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and use them as a guide for your next shaving session.
1) Use Sharp, Clean Razor Blades
The main reason hair grows back after shaving is because the razor is dull. The razor is not sharp enough to cut the hairs firmly, and the hairs are more or less “pulled”, which causes branches and thinning of the shaved hairs. This end then lacks strength and sharpness, and the hair will grow back from the skin’s surface. Therefore, it is essential always to use a sharp knife.
2) Be Careful Not to Overshave
Shaving frequently and closely to the skin may sound tempting because you want smooth skin, but it is not recommended. Shaving too closely will cause the hairs to grow more quickly as more hairs are cut under the skin’s surface and try to find their way out again.
3) Shaving Against the Direction of the Hair
Many people do this because shaving against the direction of the hair produces a smooth finish. The problem, however, is that this damages and irritates the skin. Also, shaving against the direction of the hair changes the direction of growth of the hair, which can cause that hair to grow faster. Therefore, it is wise to shave in the direction of the hair. This may result in a slightly less smooth finish but prevent ingrown hairs.
4) Shave On Wet Skin
Avoid shaving in a way that dries out the skin. Therefore, always use shaving foam or gel made for shaving, and make sure to have plenty of water available. Some people have fewer problems with ingrown hairs if they use only water and omit shaving cream. What works best for you is a matter of trial and error.
5) Skin Care (After Shaving)
If you shaved, it is essential to take care of your skin afterward. Use products that are good for sensitive skin and do not contain alcohol. Alcohol dries out the skin, which you do not want. Therefore, look for good creams and lotions or use oils such as argan oil or olive oil (after shaving) to take care of your skin. It is also vital to support the skin from the inside. To do this, drink enough to maintain the skin’s moisture balance. Eating healthy fats, such as fish, can also help achieve/maintain optimal skin fat content. Well-maintained skin is less prone to irritation and inflammation than unhealthy skin.
Let us know if these few tips have helped you in the comments below!