Ingrown hairs result when shaved hairs get trapped inside the follicle or grow back into the skin. Dirt and oil can build up around the trapped hair causing a bump to form under the skin. This bump, if infected, can cause the skin to become red and swollen. Afro – Caribbean men can be more prone to ingrown hairs due to the fact that curlier hair is more prone to looping back into the skin.
One of the best ways to avoid ingrown hairs is to shave properly and use the right equipment. If you don’t currently wet shave then give it a go. If you already wet shave you may want to try an electric razor or try following the steps outlined in the perfect shave. (link to the perfect shave article). Keeping the skin wet during the shaving process gives you a more effective shave and better looking skin. The hot water opens the pores of your skin and softens your stubble for more effective cutting – reducing the risk of ingrown hairs.
How to prevent ingrown hairs
• Use a facial scrub prior to shaving to remove the embedded oils and dirt from the skins surface while lifting embedded hairs from their follicles for a less irritating shave.
• Use a shave brush to apply a good quality lubricating shave cream in a circular motion. This, again, helps to exfoliate the skin and prepare the stubble for shaving.
• Always shave in the direction of the grain with a light amount of pressure on the razor
• If you suffer badly from ingrown hairs you may want to try using a double edge razor. Many Afro – Caribbean men in particular find switching to a traditional double edge razor clears up their skin and can make shaving much more comfortable. A double edge razor cuts through tougher facial hair more effectively without pulling at it and requires a lighter amount of pressure.
• A disposable razor with double or triple blades can actually increase the risk of ingrown hairs because the first blade often pulls at the hair while the second and third cuts it below skin level, this provides a closer shave but increases the chance of ingrown hairs occurring.
• Moisturising the skin after shaving will keep the skin smooth and supple while keeping the hair follicles moisturised and growing in the right direction.
How to treat ingrown hairs
• Never forcibly dig out ingrown hairs by the roots as you’ll only make things worse.
• Use a sterile needle or sharp tweezers to gently tease out and unfold the hair. Do not pull the hair out initially allow the skin to heal around the hair before removal to prevent the problem reoccurring in the same area. If hair is very long trim with scissors but do not pull out at the root.
• If area is red apply an antiseptic cream to the area.
• Do not use any product that contains alcohol, it can exacerbate the problem area by drying the skin out and closing the pores.
Shane Corstorphine is a founding member of www.metro-sexual.co.uk and Dress2kill Grooming. He is now considered to be one of the leading consultants within male grooming. For more articles http://www.metro-sexual.co.uk/allarticles.
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