While having ingrown hair isn’t exactly fatal, it’s still a good idea to learn how to prevent them. Ingrown hairs can lead to pimple-like bumps that may even contain pus, and they don’t exactly look good. They may even get infected, and it can leave you with unsightly pigmentation changes and scarring.
So here are some tips on how to prevent ingrown hairs which you ought to heed:
1. The best way to prevent ingrown hairs is to actually stop shaving, or to undergo some drastic (such as laser) permanent hair removal process on the area where you don’t want hair. These options may not be quite practical for you, so you need to learn about other methods.
2. Exfoliate your skin before you shave or wax. Use a light scrub to remove the dead skin cells in the area you wish to shave.
3. Rub pre-shave oil on the skin and let it rest for 10 minutes before you start shaving. At the very least, moisturize and soften the skin and the hair before you shave. This can dull the tip of the hair so that it’s less likely to reenter the skin.
4. Always use sharp razors. Keep the razor dry when you’re not using it, and replace it after every five uses at the most.
5. Do not shave against the direction of the hair growth. In fact, it’s a good idea not to shave too closely to the skin. You may want to leave a very short one-millimeter stubble.
6. Rinse the blade after each stroke or pass. You don’t want hair and skin caught in your razor blade when you make your pass. This increases the risk of a cut, which can result in ingrown hairs.
7. Use just the slightest pressure when you shave, and let the razor glide over your skin.
8. Do not shave the same area more than once per shaving session.
9. If you are using an electric razor, don’t use the closest setting. Don’t press the razor to close to the skin, and don’t pull the skin taut. Keep the head of the razor somewhat off the surface of your skin, and then shave in a gentle, circular motion.
10. Dip your razor in isopropyl alcohol once you finish shaving. This helps clean your blade. It also gets rid of any lingering moisture on the blade.
11. You may want to consider the use of chemical hair removers. These dissolve the shaft of the hair. But some of these creams and lotions can have ingredients which can irritate your skin or even cause painful reactions. So you may want to test the chemical hair remover elsewhere in a small area of your body to see how you will react to it.
12. Ingrown hairs often occur in areas which are subjected to constant friction. For men with ingrown hairs on their necks, tight collars are a no-no. The same thing goes for tight pants in women who shave their legs.