There’s nothing more irritating — not to mention painful — than discovering an unsightly ingrown hair has set up shop underneath your skin. Ingrown hairs are raised, pus-filled red bumps that occur when dead skin becomes trapped inside the hair follicle, forcing the hair to grow underneath the skin. Though sometimes, ingrown hairs, just like zits, can go away in their own time, if left to their own devices for too long there is a chance they could become infected and lead to scarring. So remember: hands off! We’ll show you the steps and products you’ll need to banish ingrown hairs for good.
Often, the best way to treat ingrown hairs is to prevent them from showing up in the first place. This means taking your time when shaving, and using a high-quality shaving cream. For ladies, I like the Whish Coconut Milk Shave Cream with Hair Inhibitor, which is perfect for sensitive skin and is formulated to ensure it won’t dry out skin. For the gentlemen, I’d recommend anything from The Art of Shaving, especially their luxurious Sandalwood Essential Oil Shaving Cream. If you really want to indulge, treat yourself to a complete shaving overhaul by picking up their Starter Kit, which includes a shaving brush, pre-shave oil, shaving cream, and aftershave balm. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even apply Dermalogica’s Pre-Shave Guard before you get started. It’s marketed towards men, but women can certainly benefit from it as well. Of course, certain types of hair, especially coarse and curly locks, are more prone to ingrown hairs than finer strands.
After shaving, immediately apply a balm to the area. I have two favorites to ensure post-shaving bliss. The first is Dermalogica’s Post-Shave Balm, which is formulated to specifically prevent ingrown hairs and is fragrance-free. If I’m in the mood for something a bit scented, I slather on Shaveworks’ Cool Fix, which helps to free trapped hair as well as to kill any bacteria underneath the skin.
Still, sometimes you can do everything right and still get an ingrown hair, especially if you have sensitive skin. If one shows up, we recommend not trying to dig it out yourself. If you just can’t resist, be sure to place a hot towel on the affected area to open the pores and soothe the skin, then remove the hair with tweezers like the ones in this Anthony grooming tool kit. Still, it’s really better to see a doctor, who may recommend antibiotics or other medication to reduce swelling and prevent infection.
Don’t let an ingrown hair get in the way of a day at the beach this summer!