Chances are you have experience with ingrown hairs. Recently I was asked about them from a guy and dug into ingrowns a bit further (pun totally intended) to get him the best answers, treatment, and prevention. And now I'm sharing with you.
First off- What is an ingrown hair?
An ingrown hair is one that grows back into the skin or gets trapped beneath the surface. The skin reacts to an ingrown hair as if its being penetrated by a foreign body-with inflammation. Or the bumps you see on your face and neck.
When hair grows back into the skin-
Hair that is curly/course or cut short and close to the skin can create a sharp tip that can more easily pierce the skin and cause an ingrown hair. Basically the skin does a u-turn as it is growing (hair needs a softening agent like a beard oil.)
When hair is trapped beneath the surface-
Ingrowns form when a hair follicle can't get past a clogged pore and grows sideways (skin needs exfoliation.)
Ok so how do I treat ingrown hairs/keep them from showing up?
The best way to battle the dead skin debris that is blocking the hair from growing properly is to exfoliate
You can use a CLEAN wash cloth in circular motions on your face, a gentle face scrub, or my favorite SkinScript Glycolic cleanser available at Skin Essentials. Also your esthetican can provide you with a professional exfoliation like a glycolic peel or microdermabrasion that will help with ingrown hairs and keep your skin looking great.
If you have course curly hair where the sharp tip is causing it to grow back into your skin it can be softened with beard oil.
Get skin warm with hot water or wrap your face in a hot towel (like the ones we use in facial treatments.)
Massage beard oil into your face then let the oil sit for a few mins before applying your shaving cream. Shave in the direction of hair growth with a single blade razor.
If you have chronic ingrown hairs you need to treat your skin daily to heal and prevent ingrowns
Witch hazel- a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities help keep ingrown hairs at bay and it can sooth irritating bumps.
There are also products, like Tend Skin and No Bump, developed to treat and prevent ingrown hairs. The salicylic acid in the products exfoliates the skin allowing the hair to naturally break free. Beware these products will dry out your skin and you will need to moisturize your skin.