October 11, 2021 7 min read

When it comes to grooming, there are some top essentials for men’s skin care. Of course, there are facial washes andmoisturizers. Naturally, there is sunscreen and deodorant. And, unsurprisingly, we have our shaving products.

Shaving is an exercise that men must follow judiciously on a regular basis. Additionally, grooming our facial and body hair can add energy and stamina to our appearance. Having acknowledged that shaving is both a necessary and beneficial procedure for men, how do we improve the experience?

One of the worst parts of shaving is theingrown hairs. On top of reducing the feel and look of skin substantially, they are outright annoying. 

Today, we will discussingrown hair, how to prevent it, and how to treat it.

What Are Ingrown Hairs?

Hair follicles are tunnel-shaped structures located on the outer layer of our skin. We have about five million of these follicles located all over our bodies. Hair grows from the bottom of thesehair follicles and up out of the skin to the epidermis, which is the surface of the skin. The sebaceous glands near the follicles produce sebum, an oily, waxy substance that nourishes hair and skin. 

Once the hair has reached the surface, you have the option of continuing to let it grow or to remove it. Unless you are undergoing laser hair removal treatments to damage the follicles and permanently prevent the hair from returning, it will continue to grow back through your follicles.

After being removed from shaving or tweezing, ingrown hairs are hair that re-enters the skin and grows back into it, rather than out of its follicle.Ingrown hairs result ininflammation, red and itchy bumps on the skin, a bacterialinfection,hyperpigmentation, andscarring. The likelihood of developing theseingrown hairs increases if you have curly or coarse hair, such as the hair in yourpubic area,armpits, orbeard area.

Preventing Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs are annoying and unattractive. Thankfully, there are several different ways to reduce the chances of getting any. Making adjustments to how you remove your hair from your body is probably the best way to preventingrown hairs

Here are some effective tips for preventingingrown hairs while shaving.

Shaving Tips

Before you begin to shave, try gentlyexfoliating the targeted area. While you have the option of using mechanicalexfoliation — which isexfoliating manually with tools — orchemical exfoliation – which isexfoliating with achemical solution — we recommend the latter option. 

Exfoliate 

Applying achemical exfoliant that contains glycolic orsalicylic acid or even a prescriptionretinoid to the skin can help to dissolvedead skin cells sitting upon the skin’s surface. These samedead skin cells, when not removed, are typically responsible for trapping in the hair and causing it to re-enter the skin. 

Applying a product containing a littlechemical exfoliant with yourwashcloth before shaving can help to preventingrown hairs from forming.

Choose Quality Tools 

Next, when it is time to begin your shave, consider the tool that you are using. An extremelyclose shave might promote the growth ofingrown hairs. For this reason, you may want to consider opting for an electric razor rather than a manual one.

Regardless of which razor you are more comfortable applying to your skin and choose to use, the razor must be sharp. Dull razors typically require that you shave over the same area more than once to successfully remove the hair. This puts you at risk of not onlyingrown hairs but also cuts,razor burn,irritation, andinfection.

Make sure your razor is sharp and contains a single blade. It is recommended that you replace yourrazor blade after every five to seven uses.

Wet the Hair 

Now that we have gotten to the point of actually applying the blade to your skin, we are going to caution against dry hair. Without having first been soaked, the hair that you are shaving is likely to have sharp edges, increasing the chances of them growing back into — rather than out of — the skin. 

Quality Ingredients 

In addition to warm water, you are going to want to use a goodshaving cream orgel to assist you with the hair removal process. For your convenience, we recommend The Resetter. This product doubles as a facial cleanser and shavinggel to save you time in your already busy life

Instead, it is a water-based product that uses all-naturalingredients that leave your skin and hair feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated. Theseingredients include coconut oil with glycerin, sunflower seed oil formoisturizing, rosehip oil, and eucalyptus leaf oil.

Start Shaving

After leaving the shavinggel to soak for a few minutes, you can begin to shave. As you shave, let your skin sit naturally. A common misconception about shaving is that by pulling the skin back as you use your razor, you will achieve a cleaner shave. In actuality, performing this action and making your skin tight will make the tips of whatever hair remains after you have shrunk into your skin and grow there rather than grow outwards.

It is also important that you shave in the direction of your hair. If you decide to shave in both directions, start by shaving in the direction your hair naturally grows. Give your now shortened hairs some time to soften up and hydrate before reapplying your razor in the opposite direction.

Rinse Your Tools 

Between every stroke of your blade, remember to rinse your razor. While shaving, the blade will inevitably begin to clog up with the hair that it has successfully removed from your face or body. Similar to a dull razor, this will negatively affect the efficiency of your blade. Rinsing your blade after every stroke, especially when being used on your face, will keep your razor clean and efficient. As a bonus, this will add additional lubrication to your shave.

If you spot stray hair after you have finished shaving, we encourage you not to tweeze it. Either get back to shaving or wait till your next shave to get rid of it. Though tweezing may seem like the smart solution for this pesky situation, it may actually leave a fragment of hair below the skin’s surface which can later develop into aningrown hair.

Moisturize

Once you have completed your shave, it is important that you moisturize your skin. Applying amoisturizer will reinforce the skin’s protective barrier, prevent the skin from drying out, and reduce the chances ofirritation. We recommend soothing and preserving your freshly shaved skin with MadeMan’s The Refresher.

The Refresher is an all-in-onemoisturizer perfect for fast-tracking long-term skin enhancement. Just like The Resetter, this product is water-based and uses all-naturalingredients. One of theseingredients, for example, is castor seed oil, which is used to restore the skin’s natural balance and increase collagen production to rejuvenate the skin so that it is softer and smoother.

Containing an antioxidant blend that promotes the natural repair process, this fast-absorbingmoisturizer penetrates into your skin layers and can offer your freshly shaven skin the exact nutrients it needs to heal in addition to protection against redness.

Treating Ingrown Hairs

In the instance that you are already dealing withingrown hairs, we do have some tips for treating theinflammation andirritation and getting rid of them entirely.

In general, it is recommended that you wait for the affected area to heal before continuing to remove hair. If you do not have the time to wait, here are some simple ideas for speeding up the process. 

One method for calming theirritation ofingrown hairs is to gently exfoliate. We previously discussed the benefits of chemicallyexfoliating before shaving. Many of those same benefits can be applied to treatingingrown hairs

Applying a product with achemical exfoliant can quicken your cell turnover and, ideally, set the trapped hair free.Chemical exfoliants includeglycolic acid,salicylic acid, andbenzoyl peroxide.

Treating, rather than preventing,ingrown hair also opens up the opportunity for mechanicalexfoliation. To calm down the affected area, you can try using a tool like a brush or wetwashcloth toscrub the spot incircular motions.Warm compresses can also help encourage the hair to come out, whiletea tree oil can help reduce the possibility ofinfection

As for soothing theirritation oritching itself, using products withshea butter may help people withsensitive skin find some relief.

Remember to be gentle and only use the appropriate tools and products to avoid further harming your skin.

Suppose, after correct and consistent use, these at-homeexfoliation methods do not render the results you are looking for. In that case, we advise that you visit adermatologist for professional help. 

Conclusion

Ingrown hairs are common, especially in areas with thick andcurly hair, but they're not impossible to avoid.Ingrown hairs occur when ahair curls back as it grows and re-enters or never exits thepore

Sometimes, theseingrown hairs become infected and filled withpus, becomingpustules. Other times, they remain smallred bumps or createhyperpigmentation. They may also lead torazor bumps, also calledpseudofolliculitis barbae.

Applying some simple adjustments to your shaving routine can make a world of difference. Having self-discipline and implementing good habits while removing your hair will keep your skin looking and feeling fresh. 

Hair removal methods likewaxing may be more likely to createingrown hairs, while proper shaving techniques may help prevent them. Using a fresh,single-bladed razor and shaving in thedirection of hair growth can make a world of difference.

For the unfortunate instances in which you are unable to avoid developing aningrown hair or two, practice restraint and do not pluck out the hair yourself withtweezers or your fingers. Digging into the skin will only cause harm. Not only will it increase the chances of spreadingbacteria and developing aninfection, but also that the hair will be ingrown again when it regrows. 

Instead, try a homeexfoliation method or visit with a physician to see what options they can offer you.

 

Sources:

The hair follicle as a dynamic miniorgan | PubMed

Laser Hair Removal | PubMed

Ingrown Hair: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments | ClevelandClinic

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