If you have made it into adulthood, you have likely had to deal with at least one ingrown hair. I get them occasionally, and often I only notice them when I think I have acne. I am a woman in my forties and fortunately do not have to deal with pimples often, so when I see one, I usually investigate. ”Excuse me, sir, where did you come from?” Upon close examination, I will find a dark, gnarly hair underneath what I thought was a pimple, and I must work to get it out. My husband, poor dear, deals with ingrown hairs constantly any time he grows a beard. They just seem to want to annoy the heck out of him. So what is ingrown hair, how do we get them, and how do you get ingrown hair out safely? I thought you would never ask.
Table of Contents
- What Is Ingrown Hair?
- How to Get an Ingrown Hair Out Safely
- Top 5 Things to Know About Treatment and Prevention
- Skincare Products for Your Shelf
What Is Ingrown Hair?
An ingrown hair is just what it sounds like. It is hair that grows into your skin instead of the usual up and out. It gets trapped underneath the surface and can cause redness, itching, swelling, and pus, which is why many people mistake ingrown hairs for pimples. Ingrown hairs grow in areas that have been shaved, waxed, or plucked, and they simply grow back incorrectly. They are most common in people with coarse or curly hair; studies show that they are most common in Black males between the ages of 14 and 25, but with more than 3 million reported cases of ingrown hairs per year, they can affect anyone. For women, we quite often find them in our pubic hair or the random plucked chin hair. Fortunately, ingrown hairs are typically self-treatable and quickly resolved.
How to Get an Ingrown Hair Out Safely
Sometimes, ingrown hairs will resolve on their own. You can apply warm cloth, keep the area clean, and trust that it will make its way out. One thing you do not want to do is scratch and pick, annoying the area further. This kind of irritation can cause permanent damage, leaving you with a nasty scar. To remove the ingrown hair yourself, gently apply warm compresses to encourage the hair to rise to the surface. You can also gently apply a soft-bristled toothbrush to the area, rubbing circular motions around the ingrown hair. The key here is patience. It will not usually burst forth upon command, so take your time and wait. Once the hair breaks through your skin, you can pluck it out with tweezers.
Top 5 Things to Know About Treatment and Prevention
What can you do, now that you have plucked the offending hair out? And how can you make sure you are less likely to see another?
- Clean Clean Clean. Both once you have removed the hair and from now on, keep your skin clean! Pimples and ingrown hairs are often caused but excess dirt trapped under the surface and creating small infections (hence the pus). Clean your skin at least once a day, and twice a day for your face.
- Stop Shaving, Plucking, or Waxing. Okay, I know this one sounds a bit extreme (it is for me), but it is always an option. If you find you have excessive ingrown hairs and are simply tired of putting up with them, you can stop irritating your skin through shaving, plucking, and waxing.
- Keep your skin moisturized to reduce inflammation. Dry skin is more likely to get irritated, causing more breaks in the skin, allowing for more dirt and debris to get under the surface and get trapped with hair follicles, leading to ingrown hairs.
- Scrub. Invest in a good skin scrub, both for the face and body, to clear out dead skin cells and excess dirt and debris. Think of it as a weekly self-care routine: apply a good scrub during a hot shower or bath and then wash it away with all your stress!
- Use a single-blade razor. If you must shave (and I must), invest in a single-blade razor. I love my safety razor, and I have found much fewer ingrown hairs since making the switch. The fewer blades cause less skin irritation from “over shaving” your skin.
Skincare Products for Your Shelf
If you suffer from ingrown hairs, it is time to check your skincare routine. Especially as you age, you will find your skin does not bounce back as quickly from irritations or nights gone without makeup removal routines. I have gotten tons of compliments throughout my life on my skin, and I chalk it all up to having had an avid wash and moisturize routine since I was a little girl. I cannot say enough about caring for the largest organ on your body, for more reasons than one. I have included a few links below to get you started on an all-natural, plant-based line of products to integrate into your daily and weekly self-care rituals. Because a clean, soft, free of ingrown hairs you, is a happier you.
Great for a weekly self-care routine, this face and body scrub will make you feel like you had a real spa day.
To keep your skin soft and fresh, this lotion has two of my favorite moisturizing ingredients, shea and cocoa butters.
With the Vitamin C from the orange and the healing properties in ginger, this body wash is perfect for a super clean step-out of the shower feeling.
Click and browse the links above, wander the website, and see what might work for you.