All about ingrown hairs
What are ingrown hairs?
Ingrown hairs are hair shafts that have curled round and grown back into the skin instead of growing outwards. They can feel itchy, become inflamed and, if left untreated, lead to sores and infections. It’s very common for lots of us to develop ingrown hairs and in the majority of cases they are easily removed or clear up on their own. Ingrown hairs are also known as razor bumps.
Does shaving cause ingrown hairs?
Yes shaving can cause ingrown hairs. This is because the hair shafts that have been cut by a razor blade are sharp and can easily re-enter the skin. Lots of women develop ingrown hairs on areas of the body that they shave regularly, like the underarms, legs and bikini line. Men can develop them on their face.
Other causes of ingrown hairs are clogged follicles — sometimes dead skin cells can block the hair shafts from growing outwards, forcing them to curl back on themselves and poke back into the skin.
People with naturally coarse¬†and curly hair are more susceptible to ingrown hairs simply because of the texture of the strands of their hair.
How to prevent ingrown hairs
Exfoliating the skin regularly to remove dead skin cells gives the hair follicles the space they need to grow outwards. It can also be useful to avoid shaving to allow persistent ingrown hairs to clear up on their own. Waxing the legs and underarms can be much more beneficial than shaving because the entire hair shaft is pulled out from the root and no sharp hairs are left behind that can re-enter the skin. Waxing simultaneously exfoliates the skin too by removing the dead skin cells sitting on the surface.
Moisturising daily, even if you’re skin doesn’t feel dry, will¬†also prevent ingrown hairs. Always moisturise after exfoliating to re-hydrate and protect your skin too.