Ingrown hair is generally very annoying, but what if it is literally in your face? Right, even more annoying. If you've ever had an ingrown hair , you know exactly the inconvenience this entails. You can feel ingrown beard hairs when you smile, talk or move your face at all. Not nice, but it is common among all men who shave.
The results of these unwanted bumps can get even more grim: swelling, inflammation and even scarring (on your face). Of course you want to prevent this, but can we do something about it? Well, luckily they can be prevented and removed in the right way. Before we get started, it is important to know what ingrown hairs actually are and how they arise.
How do ingrown hairs occur?
When it comes to ingrown hairs, there are actually two different types. You can divide them into ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
When shaving, your skin is under a lot of tension. When shaving , it can happen that the hairs are pulled, this creates a 'oblique point'. That slanted point can pierce the wall of the hair follicle, blocking the exit. This prevents the hair from coming out and continues to grow below the surface of the skin. The biggest causes of these ingrown hairs are:
- Shave against hair growth
- Using a dull razor
- Too many dead skin cells on your skin
With razor bumps, the hair grows outwards, but then goes back into the skin. This is common in men with curly hair. These types of ingrown hairs actually have the same causes and solutions.
This is how you prevent ingrown hairs
Prevention is better than cure. Fortunately, preventing ingrown hairs is not that difficult at all. These changes will even greatly improve your skin condition.
1. Shave in the direction of hair growth
We understand that you want a smooth result, but shaving against the direction of hair growth significantly increases the risk of ingrown hairs. Even when you shave in the direction of hair growth, you can still achieve a very smooth result. With a safety razor for example. More about that later.
2. Stop using a dull blade
Admit it, you've shaved too often with the same blade. The blunter the blade, the more resistance there is and the more the blade will pull on the skin. So an ingrown hair can develop very quickly. Always use sharp razor blades . Do you use disposable blades? Use them only once and then throw them away. We often hear the reaction that it is so expensive to replace your blades so quickly. But is that really so? Maybe you should switch to a cheaper and much better alternative. You can read that in our next point.
3. Shave with a safety razor
A safety razor uses only one replaceable blade, which is much sharper than the blades from a disposable blade or cartridge system. It cuts through the hair better and the result is smoother. The replaceable blades of a safety razor are called ' double edge blades ' and are many times cheaper than disposable blades. The purchase of a safety razor is often quite a bit more expensive. But it is a one-time investment that will last a long time. Because of the savings on blades, you often pay off that investment within 3 months. In the list of our top 10 best safety razors you can filter according to your wishes and price range. There is a good match for everyone!
4. Warm your skin before shaving
Make your skin warm and moist before shaving. Your skin and hair will become softer and your hair follicles will relax. You can do this by rinsing well with warm water in the shower or by placing a warm wet towel on your face for 5 minutes.
5. Do not shave dry but wet
With wet shaving we mean using a good shaving soap or shaving cream . No shaving cream as they often dry out the skin more than necessary. The foam that you make with a shaving soap or shaving cream makes the hair soft and puts a wonderfully smooth protective layer on your skin so that the knife can glide over it smoothly. Wet shaving is a pleasure in itself.
6. Use a pre-shave
A pre shave is actually a special oil or gel that you apply before using the shaving soap or shaving cream. This provides an extra protective layer that softens the skin, protects against irritation and provides an even smoother layer. This way you reduce the chance of ingrown hairs or irritation in general even more. To make it easier for you, we have already made a top 10 best pre shaves with our favorites.
7. Regularly remove dead skin cells with a scrub
Ingrown hairs can also occur because dead skin cells block the exits of the hair follicles. So use a scrub from our top 10 best facial scrub for your face once a week to remove the dead skin cells. It also gives you a beautiful face.
8. Use a cream especially for ingrown hairs
If you often suffer from ingrown hairs, we recommend that you use a special cream that prevents ingrown hairs, red bumps and irritations. Use these treatments after shaving and before applying a day cream . We are big fans of the formulas of brands such as Malin + Goetz and Anthony .
9. Use a balm or moisturizer after shaving
You want to take care of and hydrate your skin as best as possible. This way your skin is soothed after shaving and there are no irritations or inflammations. Hydrated skin is less likely to suffer from such problems.
10. Use Alum
You may have never heard of this, but we see this mineral stone as the 'holy grail' of shaving products. Alum has a disinfecting effect and will prevent ingrown hairs.
What can you do about ingrown hairs?
If you already have an ingrown hair, you will naturally want to remove it. The best way to remove an ingrown hair is with the following methods.
Loosen them with a cotton swab
When you gently squeeze the skin around the ingrown hair, you can wipe it against the direction of hair growth with a cotton swab. The hair often comes loose.
Remove them with tweezers
Can't do it with a cotton swab? Then try it with tweezers. Especially useful for razor bumps where some of the hair is showing above your skin. Grab the hair and pull the hair out. Always disinfect the tweezers to prevent inflammation. It sometimes happens that you pull the entire hair follicle. So always disinfect the skin well after pulling the hair because otherwise inflammations can easily arise.
Visit a specialist
Sometimes we are good at thinking we can do everything. But when it comes to your skin, you don't want to mess around, especially when it's on your face. If you don't want to handle it yourself, call a beautician or your doctor. These are specialized in this and have different equipment than we have. At least then you are assured that you will not cause permanent damage.
Goodbye ingrown hairs
With these tips it should be doable! Ingrown hairs will be a thing of the past and that annoying bump with stubborn hairs will disappear. If you still have questions, please know that you can always contact us. Then we will try to help you as best as possible, whether it concerns shaving techniques or products that can help you. That's what friends are for.
Your friends, The Alpha Men