Many of us have them. Those with curly hair are more likely to get them than others. The good news they’re not impossible to get rid of! This article will discuss how to get rid of ingrown hair and how to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
What is the cause of ingrown hair?
Ingrown hair is a condition where hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin. The condition is most prevalent among people who have coarse or curly hair.
It may or may not be accompanied by an infection of the hair follicle (folliculitis) or “razor bumps” (pseudofolliculitis barbae), which vary in size.
While ingrown hair most commonly appears in areas where the skin is shaved or waxed (beard, legs, pubic region), it can appear anywhere.
Anything which causes the hair to be broken off unevenly with a sharp tip can cause ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are also caused because of lack of natural exfoliation in the skin.
After a hair has been shaved, it begins to grow back. Curly hair tends to curl into the skin instead of straight out the follicle, leading to an inflammation reaction.
This can make the skin look purple and red, and in some cases, it can even look like pimples. These inflamed papules or pustules can form especially if the area becomes infected.
This is especially problematic for black men who have naturally beautiful, coarse, or tightly curled thick hair. Curly hair increases the likelihood of ingrown hairs by a factor of 50!
Two types of ingrown hairs
There are two types of ingrown hairs transfollicular and extrafollicular.
The extrafollicular hair is a hair that has exited the follicle and reentered the skin.
The transfollicular hair never exits the follicle, but because of its naturally curly nature curls back into the follicle causing fluid build-up and irritation.
There is even a gene that has been linked to razor bumps. There is evidence that those with a keratin gene mutation are more likely to have ingrown hairs. This is because the gene structurally weakens the hair shaft making it more likely the beard will ingrown.
If left untreated over time, razor bumps can turn into keloid or raised scarring in the beard area. This especially happens if the razor bumps become infected.
A keloid scar is a result of an overgrowth of scar tissue at the site of a healed skin injury. Keloid scars are firm, rubbery lesions or shiny, fibrous nodules, and can vary from pink to the color of the person’s skin or red to dark brown in color.
A keloid scar is benign (non-cancerous) and not contagious, but sometimes accompanied by severe itchiness, pain, and changes in texture.
In severe cases, it can affect the movement of skin. Keloid scars are seen 15 times more frequently in black people than whites.
Old school ingrown hair removal
The tried and true old-fashioned method to get rid of ingrown hair is with a warm damp washcloth and a pair of tweezers.
Step 1: Sterilize your tweezers by holding the pointed end on a flame for 30-60 seconds
Step 2: Soak a clean washcloth in warm water
Step 3: Press the washcloth against the skin for 3 minutes. They say it will soften the hair to bring it closer to the surface.
Step 4: With your sterilized tweezers gentle grab at the hair and pull out the embedded end
Step 5: Clean the area with Dr. Squatch Men’s Soap Bar. It’s organic and handmade in the USA
Here is a video of this being done with a needle.
As you can see this method is quite time consuming and painful. Luckily for us there are better ways to remove ingrown hairs.
New school ingrown hair removal
Use an exfoliating brush to help dislodge the hair. This brush has a patented design to easily and painlessly expose ingrown hairs via exfoliation.
Step 1: Clean the area to be treated
Step 2: Soak it with a warm damp washcloth.
Step 3: Move the brush in a circular motion around the affected area.
Most people use it in or after the shower
2. Use TendSkin liquid ingrown hair treatment
This animal cruelty-free product is very popular to remove ingrown hairs. I actually recommend you use it in combination with the Wizker brush.
This is the best aftershave to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps on the market. Aftershave is really the wrong word since you need to apply it for a few days after you’ve shaved.
It works by using Acetylsalicylic Acid (ASA) as its active ingredient. The ASA unblocks pores and soothes skin. It then uses Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, and Diglycerin.
These chemicals help deliver the ASA and give a soothing feel good sensation to the skin.
Yes, it really works!
Step 1: Dry the skin first! Using it on wet can may cause an adverse reaction
Step 2: Apply a thin coat once in the morning after showing to the affected area
Step 3: Apply a thin coat to the affected after after shaving and drying the skin
3. Use a Good Shave Gel
A good shave gel will help to prevent ingrown hair by minimizing the irritation caused by shaving. Bump Patrol Shave Gel is dermatologist approved and proven to prevent and get rid of ingrown hairs. People have reported positive results within one week.
Step 1: Put a warm towel on the area to be shaved and leave it for 2 minutes
Step 2: Shave with the grain
Step 3: Apply warm towel to clean the shaved area
Step 4: Shave again this time using the side stroke across the face from the ear to the mouth
Step 5: Apply Bump Patrol After Shave
Watch a video on the shaving technique here
4. Use pfb Vanish
PFB is used by women and men to remove ingrown hairs. It contains natural ingredients such as willow bark and camphor oil. These work in tandem with other gentle ingredients to get rid of ingrown hair and keep your skin looking healthy .
Step 1: Dry the skin first!
Step 2: Roll on the affected area after shaving and again at night
If waxing apply pfb Vanish for two days prior to the waxing treatment.
How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hair? Prevent! Prevent! Prevent!
Option 1 Liquids + Good Razor
As always prevention is the best medicine guys. If you want to prevent ingrown hairs we recommend using a good quality razor.
Now despite what some guys might try and sell you a $500 golden razor is not needed to prevent ingrown hairs from occurring in the first place.
First, you can use Tend Skin or pfb Vanish in the morning prior to shaving.
Then you want a good razor.
I love these because they’re inexpensive and they get the job done.
Option 2: Philips Norelco Oneblade QP6520/70 Pro Hybrid Electric Trimmer and Shaver
I love the Philips Norelco Oneblade Razor!
It trims close and can shave even closer but not too close to avoid skin irritation. The blade lasts up to 4 months and is replaceable.
It’s wet dry capable and of course, contains a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. With its 14 length settings, you can choose whatever length is best for you.
I recommend the second to last shortest length to leave 1.5mm of stubble in order to prevent ingrown hairs.
I hope you found this article useful and I value your feedback!
Finally, consider Turmeric and Bioperine to keep your skin radiant and less susceptible to scaring from ingrown hairs.