How to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving?
Few skin-related things are more annoying and unpleasant to the eye than ingrown hairs. They create little red bumps, they sometimes itch like hell and they are not so easy to fix. Let’s start with the bad news first: regardless of what method of hair removal you use – waxing, shaving or epilation – you can get ingrown hairs. Sad but true. But here’s the good news: prevention is not so difficult, you just have to do it regularly. Here are some tips on how to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving that you can use in your routine:
Exfoliation is one of the most effective treatments for ingrown hairs. Besides, it’s generally good for your skin. You can either get yourself an exfoliating glove, a loofah, or you can make some exfoliating mixture. Some ideas here include adding salt to your shower gel or mixing a cup of brown sugar with three tablespoons of olive oil and a spoon of milk. Use this second one before waxing or shaving, rinse and dry, then wax or shave. By the way, you don’t have to exfoliate every day, once a week is enough. In case you shave rather than waxing, you’d be happy to know that shaving itself has an exfoliating effect on the skin.
2. Time matters when it comes to hair removal
Another tip on how to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving is to pay special attention to time. Some periods of the day are better to wax or shave than others. First thing in the morning is not the best time. The skin may be puffy from sleep, when blood circulation is slower, pores are tighter and the chances of getting ingrown hairs are higher. And that’s without mentioning the danger of doing one leg and forgetting the other, which can happen if you haven’t fully woken up. It has happened in real life, honestly.
3. Don’t wax often
In case waxing is your preferred method of hair removal, you will either have to reconsider your preferences or settle for life with little hairs most of the time, because experts recommend waxing no more frequently than once every three weeks. If you wax more often than this, some hairs, if not all, will turn out to be shorter than sufficient for the strip, they will get broken and cause ingrown hairs. A quarter of an inch, that’s 6 mm, is the minimum length for effective waxing.
4. Choose your blade carefully
Another good tip on how to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving is to chose your blade carefully. Make sure you pick a good shaver, not just any old blade. Special lady’s shavers are fitted with things like moisturising strips that lift the hairs, making the shaving more efficient and preventing burns and, yes, ingrown hairs. Also, make sure you change the blade regularly – dull blades are a definite no-no, as they increase the chances of getting ingrown hair, not to mention the higher risk of burns and scratches. One more tip: a single blade is better than multiple blades.
To make shaving smoother, always use some form of moisturiser, this tip can also help prevent ingrown hairs after shaving. That could be a shaving foam, gel or natural oil (some people even tried to use hair conditioner instead of shaving cream and many reported that it works well). Shaving dry skin is not just unpleasant, it could lead to various problems, one of which is ingrown hairs. Moisturisers tend to soften the hairs and the follicles, which reduces the risk of the hairs growing the wrong way. If you opt for natural oil (like coconut, olive, sweet almond or avocado oil), it will have the added benefit of sparing you follow-up moisturising, which would be a must, if you choose any of the other substances.
6. How to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving? Follow the grain
One more advice for those who shave. It’s valid for both men and women: though it may seem counterintuitive, the right way to shave is in the direction the hairs grow, not against it. This direction is “the grain”. Shaving against the grain actually increases the danger of hairs starting to grow in directions different from the normal one. Shaving with the grain will help hairs keep growing in the same direction, above the skin. Don’t worry about not getting a close enough shave – the benefits of shaving with the grain outweigh this potential disadvantage.
7. Switch methods
Shaving is better than waxing and epilation, because, as we saw, you’ve got greater control of the direction in which hairs grow. Plus, it can be done more frequently, even though not too frequently, such as every day. Forget about the myth that shaving makes the hairs get thicker and darker, that’s just an optical illusion: shorter hairs with a stumpy end look thicker, than longer ones. You don’t believe it? Leave a little patch of skin unwaxed/unshaved/unepilated for a month and see for yourself.
8. Chemical treatment
In this case, the chemical treatment is depilation. If you’ve tried everything else and those hateful ingrown hairs have continued to bother you, switch to depilatory creams. These basically dissolve the visible part of the hairs, so they do not affect the direction in which they grow. Unfortunately, this hair removal method also has disadvantages: depilatory creams could irritate the skin, if it’s very sensitive or if you use them too frequently. Yet, if ingrown hairs are your biggest problem in this area, these creams could very well be the best solution.
What are your best tips on how to prevent ingrown hairs after shaving?