How to Prevent Ingrown Hair?

Aug, 15 by Nidhi Jain in
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If you are a woman who waxes or shaves your skin regularly, you might have come across ingrown hair at some point in life. While nail salons takes the utmost care to ensure that your procedure is done safely, ingrown hairs can still develop in your skin. Ingrown hair refers to the hair that curls up back into your skin instead of coming out. This is usually faced by those people who have curly and frizzy hair. Generally caused due to waxing or shaving, ingrown hair can also get infected causing discomfort and pain in the skin. Ingrown hair will go on its own over time, but some kinds of ingrown hair might require external help to put them in the right direction of skin growth.

Ingrown hairs also have the capability to ruin the aesthetics of your skin. These hairs appear as dark spots on your skin, making it appear unattractive. Your skin will become darkened and also develop scars with the presence of ingrown hair.  They are also prone to cause swelling, reddishness, and itchiness in the skin that is not desired.

Ingrown Hair: What are they?

When you shave or wax your skin to remove the unwanted hair, the hair gets cut by the skin level, as in the case of shaving, or it will be cut in its roots which happen during shaving. Sometimes, the hair when it grows out later gets trapped in the skin itself. The hair might have risen up and then curled back into the skin itself. Such a strand of hair will not be visible outside, as it is submerged in the skin. These hairs are known as ingrown hairs. When the hair curls back inside, there will a swelling. From outside this might appear as a small lump on your skin accompanied by a red tint.

First of all, ingrown hairs are painful. And if accompanied by an infection, ingrown hairs can be a real menace indeed! If it gets infected, then you will have to seek medical help. Prevention is always better than cure, so the best thing to do would be to take steps to prevent their occurrence. But before going into the treatment, let us see how these are caused. After all, if the causes can be minimized or rooted out, you can free yourself from ingrown hairs!

What causes ingrown hairs?

Well, to put it simply, ingrown hair does not occur by itself. This goes without saying since unless you cut your hair, your hair won’t be trapped inside your skin. All the hair removal procedures such as waxing, epilators, and shaving can cause ingrown hair. In fact, anything that makes your skin break can lead to ingrown hair. Unless you choose hair removal methods such as laser hair removal and electrolysis, ingrown hairs will show up for most women.

Shaving: While shaving we trim the hair at the skin level of just below it. The trimmed edge is sharp as well. This can cause it to pierce the skin around and grow into it. Shaving in the wrong direction is also potential causes of ingrown hair. Ingrown hair appears when you shave in the direction opposite to the skin growth. If you use unclean razors and blades, then ingrown hairs can also cause an easy chance of infection.

Waxing: It is important to know that waxing does not remove the hair completely from the roots. When a waxing strip is placed on hot wax smeared on your skin, it cuts the skin near the root level the force. The continues remain intact in the roots. Although waxing removes the skin from or near the roots, waxing will also lead to ingrown hair. The hair when it comes up after waxing will find it easy to grow in any direction. And this includes your skin as well!

Epilators: Epilators also function under the same principle as that of shaving or waxing: break the hair but leave the roots intact. The stubble remains inside from which the hair grows. These too can become ingrown hairs trapped in your skin over time.

Wearing tight clothing: Who doesn’t like to flaunt their curves once in a while. Tight, body hugging clothes help us to show our natural body. However, the story can also be a tragedy. When you wear tight clothing, especially after shaving or waxing, the hair in your skin is pressed back into it with a considerable amount of force. It faces resistance that prevents it from coming outside. In such a situation, the hair normally curls around and finds its way back into the skin. Tight jeans, jeggings etc are the primary convicts that cause ingrown hair by being tight on your skin!

Prevention and Treatment for Ingrown Hairs

However bad your situation is, ingrown hairs are not unpreventable. For preventing ingrown hair, you have to be cautious about your hair removal procedures, be it at home or a nail spa. Through some effective tips and the little care, you can get rid of or cure the case of ingrown hairs easily.

  • Exfoliate your skin frequently. Most of the time, the ingrown hairs are trapped inside a superficial layer of skin. By exfoliating a little you can get rid of those dead skins and get the hair out.
  • Use a sharp razor always while shaving.
  • Change your shaving razor or cartridge frequently as continuous use can dull the blade.
  • Moisturize your skin regularly. Moisturizing helps in retaining the natural oils that prevent skin from drying. Ingrown hairs are more common in dry skin.
  • Use a body scrub. You can buy these from the market or make your own body scrub at home.
  • Rub your skin in a circular motion with a wet cloth to pull out any ingrown hair.
  • If you are shaving your skin, then shave only in the direction that the skin is growing.
  • While shaving it is better not to shave too close to the skin, rather leave some part of the hair so that there is less chance of ingrown hair.
  •  Medications: If the ingrown hairs have become infected, then you should approach a doctor. Steroid medicines that are used to rub on your skin are usually recommended. You will also be prescribed medications that are to be taken by orally, in case the condition is severe.
  • If the problem is severe, your doctor may use a small tool to make a cut in your skin and get the ingrown hair out.

Yes, ingrown hair is undoubted, a burden. They bring dark spots on your skin making it look unattractive. Imagine going out on a summer morning with skin that looks as if decorated by ugly polka dots! Ingrown hair also causes itching and swelling that will lead to discomfort in your everyday activities. Thankfully, ingrown hairs are not an unpreventable condition. If you carefully follow the tips given above, you can easily deal with the ingrown hair situation. Show some tender loving care to your skin and your skin will glow, devoid of any menaces such as ingrown hairs, infections, and similar problems. Do not forget to seek assistance from a nail technician or a dermatologist, if you think the condition is unbearable!