If you have spent any time at all removing unwanted hair from your face or body, you will have encountered the problem of ingrown hair. They can leave your face or body looking like a mess. So, let’s take a moment and look at the process of ingrown hair removal. Put simply, an ingrown hair is a condition whereby the new hair grows back into the skin. Instead of breaking the skin surface, at the follicle, the hair “turns back in on itself.” The result is red, sore, and often infected skin. The red bumps are unsightly, and can be painful.
You are more prone to develop ingrown hair on your face, under your arms, or at the bikini line. Typically, these surface areas are hotter, making it easy for bacteria to get a start. In addition, these body areas tend to get covered with clothing, and friction from the clothing can only irritate the skin more. If the condition is bad enough, some form of ingrown hair removal may become necessary.
Many personal habits can also make the problem of ingrown hair occur more frequently. In men, the biggest culprit is “dry shaving,” or not preparing the skin for shaving. Clean your face well, prior to shaving, then use a shaving cream. This softens the hair, removes dead skin, and helps hair grow upward and outward.
For ladies, the biggest culprit is shaving legs too quickly in the shower. A little hot, steamy water will help to soften the hair and skin, making it easier to shave. Again, shaving cream helps. The need for ingrown hair removal is greatly decreased with good shaving habits.
Perhaps the last thing to mention here is the need to use fresh blades. More often than not, a dull blade will make ingrown hair problems more frequent. Older blades are also very full of bacteria, from normal use.
There are some simple things you can do for ingrown hair removal that can be done at home. The first technique to try is using a buffered fatty alcohol. It is different from your normal drug store variety isopropyl alcohol. It won’t sting as much, will still kill bacteria, and will still act as an astringent for the skin. Use a cotton ball, and dab the effected area. Don’t rub or scrub with alcohol pads. Let the area air dry.
You can also use a good topical cream for ingrown hair removal. Typically, these products also contain an anti-inflammatory, to help reduce swelling. Clean the area first, and then apply the cream.
Another great technique for ingrown hair removal on the face is to use a salt solution. Mix a cup of water with 1.5 tsp of salt. Take a cotton ball, and dab the mixture on the effected area. Don’t rinse. Repeat for a couple of days. Don’t use this product with strong exfoliators, as it may make the problem worse. If the salt mixture is not helping, discontinue use.
You can also make an ingrown hair removal salt scrub for the body. One technique is to simply rub Epsom salt over the area, for a good exfoliating technique. You can also soak in a bath that contains 2 cups of Epsom salts. This type of bath really softens up the irritated ingrown hairs, and helps them grow outward again.
Ingrown hair removal does not have to be a hassle. There are lots of good home made and commercial products available to help. With some simple, common sense habits, you can even greatly reduce the frequency of the problem.