I am the proud owner of one very thick, dark and coarse head of hair. This is all well and good, but it means I’m also the owner of thick, dark and coarse body hair. Ever since I was a teen and began shaving, I have really struggled with ingrown hairs. With that in mind. today I’m discussing ways to get rid of ingrown hairs. Read on to find out the methods I have tried and tested over the years.
Ways to get rid of ingrown hairs
As a teenager, I thought nothing of attacking almost all of my body hair with a razor. Even though I moisturised well afterwards, I still got a LOT of ingrown hairs. In case you’re not familiar with them, they look like a regular spot, until you look closely and realise there’s a hair inside said spot. They are uncomfortable and irritate you if your clothes brush against them. While laser hair removal is one way to prevent ingrown hairs, read on to find out what else you can do.
What are ingrown hairs?
Ingrown hairs cause red, often itchy bumps where a hair has grown back into the skin. In most cases, you won’t need to a see a doctor for treatment. Often, ingrown hairs look like raised, itchy red spots on the skin. In some instances, you can see the hair trapped underneath the skin.
Infected ingrown hairs are painful, and you may see pus in the spots.
As a teenager, I realised quickly that you’re more likely to get ingrown hairs in areas you shave. This includes legs, under arms, chest, intimate areas, face and neck. As a teen, I really struggled with ingrown hairs in intimate areas. I tried everything I could think of to prevent them, including switching to waxing, plucking and threading. Unfortunately, nobody told me that these too can also lead to ingrown hairs. If you have coarse or curly hair, you’re more likely to get ingrown hairs.
Ways to prevent ingrown hairs
There are several things you can do to help prevent ingrown hairs. These include:
- Always hold a cool, wet cloth against your skin after shaving. This helps to reduce irritation.
- Using an exfoliating scrub can help to help release any trapped hairs.
- Consider trying a different hair removal method. This could be hair removal cream, waxing or even laser hair removal.
- Wetting your skin with warm water and using shaving gel when shaving.
- Always shave in the direction the hairs are growing, not against them. (My big mistake).
- Trying to use as few strokes of the razor as possible.
- Make sure you rinse the razor after every stroke.
What to do when you have an ingrown hair
The NHS advise against squeezing or picking ingrown hairs. It has taken me a couple of decades, but I find now the best thing to do is moisturise and leave them alone. I find that they tend to pop and the hair will ping out when it’s ready if I leave it alone. However, if I pick and mess, I am left with a painful, unsightly spot instead.
Finally, this post about my hypothyroidism is well worth a read.