7 Easy Steps to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
What is one of the top reasons people don't want to shave or wax? If you answered painful and embarrassing ingrown hairs and razor bumps, you're not alone. There's nothing worse than putting effort into waxing or shaving only to have your skin get horribly irritated, derailing all of your hard work. The good news is there are easy ways to prevent ingrown hairs. Here’s how to banish those unsightly and painful bumps and get skin you love.
What is an Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hair can sometimes feel like the result of some black magic, but they’re really just hairs that have curled back on themselves rather than growing out through your skin. Many times this is because something is preventing those hairs from breaking through the surface of the skin - whether it's clogged hair follicles or having curly hair that's prone to growing in different directions.
Razor bumps, also known as razor burn, are those annoying and embarrassing marks that can crop up after shaving. Razor bumps are often caused because the hair that grows back after shaving has a sharper edge, making it more likely to poke back through the surface of the skin and get trapped.
Both men and women can suffer from ingrown hairs on any part of their bodies. For men, ingrown hairs are common in the chest, neck, and chin area, and even on the head. A lot of women report having ingrown hairs on their legs, underarms, and bikini line. Basically, not a lot of fun. Luckily, we can fix that.
Common Causes of Ingrown Hairs
There are a few things that can cause ingrown hairs, as we touched on above. Sometimes a hair follicle can be clogged by dead skin, causing the underlying hair to grow in the wrong direction. Hair wants to grow, so if it can't grow up through the surface of the skin, it may curl and grown sideways or down. Ouch!
Other times, especially for those with very curly hair, red bumps can be caused by clipping the hair too close to the skin, causing it to curl under. Once again, the hair grows in an unwanted direction. And if you’re one of those people who happens to grow hair at a faster pace than others, you’re more prone to red bumps and irritation, especially after shaving. Unfortunately, it’s a numbers game.
How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs and Razor Bumps
Sometimes ingrown hairs can go away on their own. The big but here is that you can be itchy, uncomfortable, or even embarrassed until that happens. Let’s say it together - ain’t nobody got time for that. Here are a few ways you can prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
Exfoliating is simply the act of removing dead skin cells that can clog pores. On a daily basis, it's a good idea to use a gentle exfoliating scrub or washcloth to slough off these unwanted cells and promote healthy, open hair follicles. To avoid unnecessary drying and irritation, look for exfoliating face washes that are marked for daily use. Make sure to exfoliate before hair removal, whether it's shaving, waxing, tweezing, or electrolysis.
2. Shave at the end of your shower
Since clogged pores are the enemy, it makes sense to shave when they're the most open. Save the razor for the end of your shower session, when warm water and steam have had the most time to open your hair follicles.
3. Shave in the direction of hair growth
For men especially, shaving in the direction that your hair grows causes the least irritation. Go with the grain to avoid unwanted snags on your hair. When it comes to women shaving their legs, the direction you shave isn't quite as critical., but keep this tip in mind for underarms and your bikini line.
4. Avoid multiple passages
When shaving, avoid passing over an area of skin more than once. This means using a clean, sharp razor blade to remove hair. Be sure to rinse your razor blade between each pass, and when in doubt throw an old blade out.
5. Avoid broken skin
It should go without saying, but avoid shaving or waxing broken skin. Though razor burn isn't usually harmful, adding extra friction to already irritated skin can lead to skin infections and can make the unsightly appearance even worse.
6. Use Penchant Bare
While we may be a little biased about Penchant products, we don't create and recommend anything unless we can personally vouch for its effectiveness. Penchant Bare is kind of like the ninja of ingrown hair elimination - it kicks ass and gets the job done.
Simply put, Penchant Bare is an ingrown hair and razor burn skin serum that you apply before and after hair removal to reduce irritation and banish those red bumps. It's a botanically-enriched formula that's designed to calm your skin and give you fantastic results. I created Bare because I, too, suffer from ingrown hairs and they're no fun at all. Now that Bare is in my arsenal of products, it's the one I reach for every day and the one I'm saddest to see run out. When something solves a problem for me, I need it in my life.
7. Dry off before getting dressed
If you're still following along, you've exfoliated your skin, shaved with tools that avoid irritation, and taken the most important step by using Penchant Bare. Once you're shaved or waxed, ensure your smooth results last by drying off completely before you get dressed. The friction between damp skin and clothing can cause irritation, so towel off and get ready to show off your best skin yet.