And what you can do to prevent them in the first place.
Alright, lady sasquatch. Winter is over and it’s time to get back to shaving, waxing and plucking our way out of hair removal hibernation. You too, gentlemen. It will soon be much too hot for even the most well-coiffed beard. But smooth, hairless skin often comes at a price – ingrown hair. And though watching Dr. Pimple Popper remove ingrown hair is oddly satisfying, experiencing it yourself is decidedly unpleasant. So we’re here to teach you how to get rid of ingrown hair as easily (and painlessly) as possible!
What is Ingrown Hair?
As hair grows, sometimes it takes an unexpected detour and begins growing into the skin, rather than out of it. This is an ingrown hair. They can crop up anywhere you choose to shave, and though harmless, these little renegade hairs usually result in acne-like bumps that are unsightly at best and painful at worst.
Removing Ingrown Hair
First things first, exfoliate the area to remove the top layer of skin that may be trapping the hair. You can also use a toner with salicylic acid to soothe and treat the affected area. Still stuck? Wet a clean washcloth with warm water and hold it against the area for 2 minutes to soften the hair. Then, rub the washcloth in a circular motion to bring it to the surface.
As a last resort, you can use sterilized tweezers or a needle to gently work out the embedded end of the hair. But don’t force it! You might end up making things worse digging around in there, so contact your dermatologist if the little sucker just won’t budge.
Tips for Preventing Ingrown Hair
In this case, prevention is the best treatment. And it’s easy! Here are our tips to avoid ingrown hair:
- Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Give yourself a nice scrub-a-dub before dragging a razor across anything so your hair knows exactly which way to grow. For your legs and underarms, try a body scrub like this one. For your bikini line, check out this cheeky option. For that handsome mug? LUNA 2 for MEN gently exfoliates dead skin cells to help prevent ingrown facial hair and painful razor burn. LUNA ensures you get the smoothest shave possible.
- Stop shaving against the grain! Follow the direction of hair growth and don’t apply too much pressure to your razor.
- Switch razors. If you’re currently rocking more than a single blade, you may be cutting the hair too short below the surface of the skin; that’s just asking for ingrowns. And always make sure you’re using a fresh blade—a dull razor can really cramp your shaving style.
- Heat things up a bit. If you’re shaving in the shower, do it at the end of your lather session so the warm water softens the hair first. Otherwise, make like an old-fashioned barber and apply a hot towel for a few minutes first.