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?
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 your 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 DIY 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 an 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.
The measurements will differ. I know I’ll use the mixture many times throughout the month so I use 1 cup of Epsom Salt and then eyeball the amount of oil. You should pour the oil gradually until you get the consistency of wet sand.
And that’s it! You have an awesome exfoliating product at home!
You should do this BEFORE and AFTER you shave. What? After? That’s crazy!
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.
For people with super dry skin (e.g., people with Keratosis Pilaris) – just baby oil won’t work, in that case, use a moisturizing cream instead of a lotion. Advice: use a non-scented cream.
- Once you’ve applied baby oil and patted the skin so it isn’t wet anymore use body cream/lotion/butter. Cocoa butter and Shea butter are my personal favorites.
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 our 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.
Aspirin + Honey
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 a circular motion (GENTLY!). Leave it on for up to 10 minutes. Then rinse it off.
Black Tea Bag (May Be Chamomile Tea Bag)
Easy peasy lemon squeazy! (No lemons were harmed in the making of this DIY project)
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.
Apple Cider Vinegar + Cotton Ball
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.
Baking Soda + Cotton Ball
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!