Hair BrushCredit: AnnaMiddlewick

What Are Ingrown Hairs?

When you are shaving, waxing or tweezing, ingrown hairs can sometimes occur. This is due to the hair follicle turning in an inwards direction on itself and essentially curling over. It can cause pain, soreness, redness and a bump on the skin which can change in color. It is important to address the irritation because it can sometimes get worse and lead to an infection.

There are several prevention methods you can practice as well as treatments which I will discuss in these six tips below. So let us begin with something you can do frequently to both prevent and help treat those pesky ingrown hairs...

SpongeCredit: pippalou

1. Exfoliating

Exfoliation is fantastic for removing dirt, grime and the general build up of sweat that can settle on the skin and block pores. In addition, it can also help to remove layers of dead skin cells. This process encourages the production and rejuvenation of fresh, new skin which will leave you looking and feeling radiant, glowing and with a silky smooth complexion. It also encourages blood flow and circulation to reach the skins surface.

In terms of ingrown hairs, you could exfoliate the whole body once a week during a bath or shower with a body scrub. The granules in body scrubs available can vary in terms of their ‘grittiness’ or the degree to which they will stimulate the skin. You could choose a harsh or gentler one depending on the area you wish to utilize it on and the frequency with which you plan to use it.

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Bath SaltsCredit: Fclaria

2. Bath Salts

Salt is an excellent help when it comes to removing dead skin cells and its properties will help to aid exfoliation as mentioned above. Bath salts of any sort are going to have the added benefit of de-stressing and relaxing the body.

Epsom Salts essentially consist of magnesium and sulphate[1] and not only can these compounds help to draw out ingrown hairs, they could also help with drawing out blackheads and splinters. Therefore it is worth a try to use Epsom salts and to see for yourself the effects that they may have for you in alleviating hairs that are growing inwardly.

TweezersCredit: EmmiP

3. Tweezers

To help open up the pores on the skin, firstly apply a clean washcloth which has been soaked in hot water first. Apply the cloth for around five minutes to the skin to relax it.

Next up, your tweezers will need to be sterilized in a cup with boiling water. Carefully place them in the cup of hot water for approximately five minutes before use. Allow them to cool slightly beforehand to avoid the risk of burning the skin and the hands.

If tweezing the hair out of the skin on its own does not seem to be working, then applying a product with salicylic acid in it could assist you. Acne creams will often have salicylic acid contained within them so reading the label could help inform you. Alternatively, astringents or toners will help to dry out the area. In addition, most toners also contain alcohol which will help to kill bacteria and tighten up the pores through a drying process.

FlowerCredit: pippalou

4. Tree Tea Oil

Tree tea oil or witch hazel are great remedies for skin aliments and are great at fighting acne. However, when it comes to those ingrown hairs, they can also help to not only reduce the redness and swelling that can form around the area but to prevent them from forming too.

If you purchase a more concentrated bottle of tea tree oil then you could add it to a daily face moisturizer if you ingrown hairs are on your face and/or you suffer from acne. Alternatively, adding a few drops to a body wash or body lotion will help ensure that your body has an overall extra prevention weapon in the fight against both issues again.

Loose ClothingCredit: clarita

5. Comfortable Clothing

One of the many causes of ingrown hairs besides bad habits shaving, waxing and tweezing, is wearing clothes that are too tight against the skin. Tight clothing or ill-fitting garments will press any hairs on the body closer to the skin. This will encourage the hairs to grow in a downward direction and if done repeatedly, you may find that you suffer frequently with them.

Wearing loose fitting clothing and more comfortable items daily from your wardrobe will help you to reduce the risk of getting ingrown hairs in the first place. In addition, if you have suffered with them in the past then you will be able to appreciate the discomfort and pain that they can cause, so prevention methods can be one of your extra tools against them.

VinegarCredit: deegolden

6. Vinegar

A common place ingredient that many of us have in the kitchen cupboards is vinegar. Whilst it is known to also have many household uses as well as cooking ones, did you also know that it can help in the fight against ingrown hairs?

Not only is it going to help bring that trapped hair to the surface, it can importantly help to kill bacteria on the skin and remove dead skin cells too. The last thing anyone wants is for an ingrown hair to form an infection, so practicing and maintaining good body hygiene is really important to consider.

In order to use vinegar on your ingrown hair, you should clean the area first with warm water and then gently pat it dry with a towel.  Next up, soak a washcloth with some of the vinegar and apply this to the infected area and allow it to sit for around ten minutes. This will help to ensure a high level of saturation to the skin so that the vinegar can really do its job.

It is great to carry this tip out before bedtime because then you could leave the vinegar on your skin overnight and not worry about the smell! Otherwise you may wish to wash the area again afterwards with clean soapy water in the daytime.

I hope that these tips can offer you some solutions for ingrown hairs and that hopefully one of these methods can work for you today.