Have you ever experienced having a smooth and hairless underarm just to see one small bump in the middle? And when you poke it and use tweezers with it, you find out that it’s not a pimple. Rather, it’s ingrown hair stuck underneath the skin.
Ingrown hair is one of the most annoying things that you will experience in your body. But did you know that there are ways to prevent it? Just like any kind of body problem, it’s always better to prevent ingrown hair than to wait for it to happen and then scramble for treatment. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can prevent ingrown hair.
6 Ways to Prevent Ingrown Hair
One of the most effective ways to prevent ingrown hair is to exfoliate. Since the cause of ingrown is hair getting stuck in the skin because of clogged dead skin cells, it will do wonders if you eliminate the existence of the latter. Exfoliating can do just that.
According to dermatologists, exfoliating 1-2 times a week can already help remove the dead skin cells. Take note that exfoliating every day is counterproductive, especially if you keep scrubbing sensitive skin. Just stick to the 1-2 times a week, and you’ll be fine.
2. Avoid Shaving
If you can help it, finding other ways to eliminate body hair will prevent hair from growing in. Shaving is another culprit to ingrown hair, especially when the tools and the technique is wrong. Shaving is not the best because the edges can push the hair back to the skin. It also leaves tiny hair untouched.
Waxing and laser treatments are a great way to lessen ingrown. They’re harmless and non-invasive. The only downside is that it’s a bit expensive.
3. Use Shaving Cream
On the other hand, if you can’t help shaving, then it’s best to do it right. Start with having a shaving cream that will make your skin smooth enough for the blade to pass. If you shave without cream, you might get chicken skin, or you’ll end up passing the blade onto the skin itself. To lessen the reaction of your skin on more sensitive areas, use an alcohol-free that is meant for sensitive skin. Shy away from gels with fragrances as well.
4. Use the Right Blade
Using the right blade is very underrated. The right blade will make sure that you remove all the hair across the skin in one single move. If your blade is already blunt, then you would have to go over some areas over and over again. This, you’ll know, is annoying and also prone to ingrown. At the end of the day, if you’re going to shave, it’s important to do it right using a razor that can catch all the hair in a few strokes.
5. Follow the Right Direction
Another thing when you shave is to go in the right direction. Proper shaving includes shaving towards the direction of your hair. If your hair is going downward, then you should also pass the blade downward. Going against the grain will only sharpen the edges of the hair, making it harder to remove. When the hair comes out again, it ends up sharper and thicker.
6. Use Post-shave Products
Lastly, when you’re done shaving, you should always put post-shave products onto your skin. When buying post-shave products, look for anti-inflammatory properties and Glycolic Acid to help reduce infection, redness, and remove additional dead skin cells that got stock on your skin.
If you want to exfoliate the skin, make sure that you do this before your shave. Exfoliating after shaving is a recipe for disaster because you’ll end up scrubbing open pores.
How to Properly Remove Ingrown Hairs
Now that you know what to do and what not to, your chances of having ingrown hair will become lower. However, there can be times that there will still be a stubborn strand of hair that ends up as ingrown. If that’s the case, here is what you should do.
First, you have to assess if you should remove the ingrown hair or if you should just let it be. Most ingrown hairs heal after a few days, so you can just leave it at that and avoid poking at it or putting products on it. Your goal here is to just let that part breathe and wait for the hair to come out on its own.
But of course, that’s easier said than done. When you see the hair just outside the skin, it’s so tempting to poke it. Fortunately, there’s no rule not to do it, especially when you already see the hair coming out. All it needs is a gentle pull with a pair of tweezers.
2. Use Sterile Tweezers
Speaking of tweezers, what you’ll need to remove ingrown properly is to have sterilized tweezers. Make sure that the tweezers are clean and they don’t have any rust on them. If there is rust, it’s time to replace it since it won’t do any good for you.
Prepare a warm and wet washcloth as well. Place it over the part where you have ingrown hair coming out. Applying heat (in the form of steam) will help loosen the pores so you can easily remove the hair. Don’t push the washcloth onto the skin because you might push the hair back.
3. Be Gentle
Finally, it’s time to pull the hair out. With the use of your tweezers, gently tease out the hair. Make sure to just target the part that you can see from your skin. Don’t pinch the skin around it because if the hair has an infection, you might end up spreading that infection underneath the skin.
Once you get a hold of the strand of hair, gently pull it out. Make sure that the hold you have on the hair is firm, so you avoid poking on it repeatedly. Remember, you have to be gentle, and you shouldn’t force the hair out. And when you’re done, wash the area with soap and water. Don’t apply any products just yet.
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