Let's be honest — one of the worst parts of shaving can be the possibility of getting an ingrown hair. Not only do those tiny bumps look red and scary, but they are also pretty painful as well. Skip out on those angry bumps this summer by learning how to shave properly so you don't get an ingrown hair. When it comes to shaving, most of our mishaps occur due to our own human error. Whether it's by using an old razor or *gasp* dry shaving, there are plenty of ways that your own shaving habits could be causing your ingrown hairs.
Wondering what ingrown hairs are, anyway? Well, an ingrown hair occurs when a strand of hair can't properly pierce the outer layer of the skin. This causes the hair to grow and curl inside the skin, which leads to those red, painful bumps. Now, the reason that the hair can't pierce the skin could be due a variety of factors, however, the most common one being a buildup of dead skin cells. To prevent this buildup from even happening, be sure to wash your body using either a hand towel or loofa to exfoliate your skin. It's a simple alternative to nasty bumps. Wondering what else you can do to prevent ingrown hairs? Here are 7 easy steps for properly shaving your skin and avoiding ingrown hairs.
1. Exfoliate Weekly
Exfoliant, $22, Lush
According to IntoTheGloss.com, a quick and easy way to prevent ingrown hairs is by exfoliating your skin prior to shaving. An exfoliant will help to slough away dead skin cells that could potentially block new hair from growing in properly. Removing the cells prior to shaving ensures that nothing blocks the delicate hair regrowth.
2. Use The Right Tool
XOVain.com recommends using a clean, sharp razor is integral for reducing the chances of an ingrown hair. Sharper razors have a better chance of cutting the hairs sharply without nicking or cutting the skin.
3. Use A Moisturizing Cream
Dry shaving is so passé. Get a clean, comfortable shave every time by using a moisturizing cream (or even your conditioner) as a lubricant when shaving. Not only will your skin feel better afterwards, but a hydrating cream can help cut down on nicks, according to Birchbox.com.
4. Go With The Grain, Not Against It
Despite what you may think, shaving in the direction of your hair's natural growth, instead of against the grain, is actually better for your skin. According to IntoTheGloss.com, shaving against the grain can cause strands to get stuck under the skin as they grow causing painful ingrown hairs.
5. Switch Up Your Water Temperatures
The temperature of your shower can actually do wonders for your shave. According to XOVain.com, warmer temperatures can help to soften the hair prior to shaving, while colder water is perfect for rinsing as it helps to close the pores.
6. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Post-shave moisturizing is essential for rehydrating the skin and protecting your skin's delicate moisture barrier. Personally, I love reaching for baby lotion as it's super hydrating and doesn't feel heavy on the skin.
7. Use Salicylic Acid The Next Day
Another key factor to eliminating ingrown hairs is to use salicylic acid on the shaved area a few days after shaving. Salicylic acid is a topical exfoliant (often found in acne medications or even witch hazel) that helps to remove dead skin cells buildup that can block pores. Remember, if you pores are blocked, new hair can't grow through properly. Topical or chemical exfoliants are key for keeping ingrown hairs at bay.
Shaving doesn't have to be a painful experience. Keep ingrown hairs at bay this summer by knowing how to properly shave your skin.
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