I’m pretty sure no introduction is needed. If you’re here, you KNOW all too well what ingrown hairs are…unfortunately.
Not to worry, you’re not alone.
But before we get into how to avoid ingrown hairs after shaving, we should probably understand why they occur, and how to prevent them in the first place.
Why me? Why is this happening to me?
Ingrown hairs are most likely to happen to people who are either with dark, coarse (and/or curly) hair OR to people who usually use shaving or waxing as a hair removing method. Those are the most common hair removal methods – 58% of women use shaving and 21% use waxing.
Personally, I fit into both categories – I have dark, coarse, curly hair AND shaving + waxing is my go-to hair removing method (especially during spring and summer)
Generally, ingrown hair and razor burns occur when there is:
- Tugging the hair.
This happens when the blades are either too dull or too close to each other, which means that coarse hairs get caught in between the blades. Buy good blades, take care of them and change them regularly.
- Too much pressure.
DO NOT believe that you should pull your skin and hold it taut. NO! For example, if you’re shaving the inner thigh you pull the skin taut to get a closer shave. Yes, at first the area is really smooth.
But when you let go of your skin it goes over the shaved area and the hairs are now under the skin, which means they will grow under your skin. Which means you will get ingrown hairs.
- Lack of skin preparation.
Exfoliation, exfoliation. exfoliation! Let’s be honest, this ultimately is our own laziness to prep the skin before letting a blade scrape our skin.
The blade gets dull if we don’t get the dead skin cells off and the hairs aren’t cut properly. It would be like painting your nails bright red and only when the polish has dried, you start filing your nails because they’re too long. Do the necessary activities in the right order!
Also, shave during a hot shower, so you pores have a chance to open, making it easier to shave.
Best way to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving
Ok, so you’ve had it with ingrown hairs. You shaved yesterday and today you’re already seeing red bumps on your skin. Let’s not let that happen the next time you shave…
The key to this is finding the right products or ingredients (if you’re making a DYI exfoliating product at home) that are neutral and even calming to YOUR skin. For everyone it may be something else. Personally, I preach to every girlfriend of mine this simple mixture which I call The Oily Sea Salt Exfoliator. You will need:
- Some sort of container or bowl (I use and old container from my hair mask. Don’t forget to rinse it out well, though!)
- Sea salt – Epsom salt is ideal!
- Some oil – any will do: from olive oil to baby oil.
And that’s it! Mix all the ingredients together and you have an awesome exfoliating product at home!
You should do this BEFORE and AFTER you shave. What? After? That’s crazy! Hold on! What I meant was – after 1 or 2 days you should also exfoliate your skin which will let the hair find its way out of your skin and NOT stay under it.
If you don’t do it, it would be like keeping your make up on forever and just taking it off right before you put on a new layer of foundation. You never allow your skin to breath in new fresh air, so it gets dirty and infected, that’s how pimples become your friends.
ALSO! You should feed your skin the things it craves A.K.A. moisturizing it. For example, you’ve just shaved, what do you do?
- While there are still some water drops on skin, apply A LITTLE baby oil. It’s meant for babies, it shouldn’t irritate.
Moisturizing the skin (which also means moisturizing the root of the hairs) is VERY IMPORTANT!!! Just imagine you have to give food to your body in order to not let your stomach growl and to not feel starved. The same way we women use hair masks to let out hair grow healthy and long. The same way you have to feed your skin in order to have healthy hair growth (healthy = not ingrown hair).
Ok, but what if I still get ingrown hairs? Keep reading!
Best way to get rid of ingrown hairs
Damn, I still got this one ingrown hair and I was hoping to go to the beach tomorrow.
I have a few go-to remedies at-home when I actually get an ingrown hair. Nowadays it occurs more after waxing my bikini. I will say this once – your kitchen is your friend!
Yes, the things you have in your kitchen is your very own private ER. That’s why I have things like baking soda, black tea and apple cider vinegar in my kitchen and yet I never use them for any of my food.
Crush 2 to 3 aspirin pills until powder consistency. Mix with 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey. Put it on the ingrown hair and massage it in circular motion (GENTLY!). Leave it on for up to 10 minutes. Then rinse it off.
Easy peasy lemon squeazy! No, lemons are not involved in this.
Just dip a black tea bag in warm water, squeeze out the excessive amount of water, and put the tea bag on the ingrown hair. This can be repeated as many times as you’d like during the day. It lessens the redness from the ingrown hair.
Dampen the cotton ball with apple cider vinegar. Put the cotton ball on the ingrown hair. Leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse it off. May repeat this 2 times a day.
Mix baking soda with warm water, making a paste. Dab it on to the ingrown hair spot with a cotton ball. Leave it on for 5 minutes. Then rinse it off. You can use this method for the face as well.
Since there are so many products and ways how to exfoliate, protect, and just pamper your skin – I would REALLY love it if you’d share in the comments what do YOU use, what works best for YOU!