How to get rid of ingrown hair: What to do, use, and avoid

How to get rid of ingrown hair: What to do, use, and avoid

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Text: Yong Le Man

So hair we are. We've all experienced this before, where you notice a red bump somewhere along your skin with a single strand of black struggling to reach the surface. At first, you pay no mind towards it. Well, until it starts hurting, like a pimple on your skin, and you're left pondering the best way to get out of this hairy situation. Thankfully, when it comes to hair removal, we've got you covered. Removing an ingrown hair may seem like a minor operation. However, there are plenty things that can go wrong which could lead to the spawn of even more itchy spots, whiteheads and even infections. To prevent such occurrences, we present to you an idiot-proof guide on how to remove them safely from home. Read on, folks.

Step 1: Find out why you're even getting them

Ingrown hairs are actually a common side effect of hair removal. An ingrown hair starts growing in its follicle normally. Upon emerging, it then doubles back and reenters your skin instead of continuing its outward journey. Prevention is ultimately better than cure, so if you shave, we recommend keeping it lubricated — with either a shaving cream or gel — and to clean the blade after every stroke. Do whatever you can to minimize the need to pass over the hair more than once, because every time you pass over it, you increase the chances of developing an ingrown hair. Here's some gels to add to your arsenal.

They say tools don't make the (wo)man, but nonetheless, you can't be shaving using a pen knife you found lying around in your room. Make sure you're using the correct tools for shaving, and ensure that they're dry and sterilised before and after each use. Don't forget to replace your blades often if they start to get blunt or rusty, too. Additionally, ensure that you're shaving with the grain as much as possible.

Step 2: Exfoliate those pores

An ingrown hair can also be caused by the clogging of hair follicles by dead skin cells. This clogging can, thus, prevent hairs from growing normally.

Step 3: Consider alternatives

If shaving is the main culprit for ingrown hairs, consider other ways of removing your body hair instead. Waxing, laser treatments, and even hair removal cream are great (and safer!) options.

Step 4: Post-shave treatments

Once you've run your razor over your skin and see a freshly trimmed barren piece of real estate, apply a nice post-shave gel or treatment to moisturise and keep your skin hyrdated. You should also apply a warm compress over ares commonly plagued with ingrown hairs to soften and relax your skin.

Step 5: If all else fails

If you've done all the steps above and you still encounter those red bumps in your skin, avoid the temptation to squeeze it. Ingrown hairs frequently go away on their own without any treatment. Sometimes it only takes around a month, so sit back and relax. However, if it's been more than a month, and you start noticing pus around the area, or if it gets really unbearable, we recommend you head down to your dermatologist or GP to get it fixed.