THE beauty maven’s tips and tricks on treating ingrown hairs
If you suffer from ingrown hairs or know someone who does, you are not alone. From my own experience having also suffered from this unpleasant condition (and constantly tweezing my partner’s ingrown hairs in his beard), enough was enough! I found the winning solution to treat existing ingrown hairs and most importantly – preventing them from coming back. Read on to find out how I became ingrown hair free and helped others just like you.
Firstly, in order to understand what causes ingrown hairs I need to give you a little science behind it.
The word folliculitis describes an inflammation of the hair follicles that can happen anywhere on the skin. Folliculitis happens when shaving damages hair follicles, friction from clothing or blocking of the hair follicle.
Pseudofolliculitis also known as ingrown hairs is caused by an inflammation (folliculitis) of the hair follicles that occur when cut hairs grow back into or under the skin surface. Shaving a hair causes the end of the hair shaft to be sharpened, allowing them to puncture and grow into the walls of the hair follicle. This is popular with curly hair types often causing bumps and irritation.
Ingrown hairs often resemble spots and are usually seen on the neck and beard area (pseudofolliculitis barbae) and the public region (pseudofolliculitis pubis). Both women and men can develop ingrown hairs but are more common in people of course, curly hair types and sensitive skin.
Continuous shaving where ingrown hairs are present can result to post inflammatory hyper pigmentation (dark spots caused by inflammation) scarring, infections and keloids (a scar that is overgrown).
2 types of ingrown hairs and my beauty tips and tricks on how to treat them for good!
1. Extrafollicular hair is when the hair exits the follicle and re-enters the skin.
2. Transfollicular hair never exits the hair follicle, but due to its curly nature the hair curls back into the follicle creating irritation and fluid build up.
• Stop shaving – Prevention is better than cure! The less complex and easiest prevention or cure is to let the hair grow.
• Ingrown hair removal – Using a sterilized tweezer to remove the ingrown hair can temporarily treat existing extrafollicular hair. (Transfollicular hairs in severe cases may require removal from a dermatologist.)
• Medication – If you are concerned about having folliculitis, seek medical attention from your G.P. A course of oral or topical antibiotics would be advised.
• Mechanical exfoliation – use a body brush or scrub to gently exfoliate the skin, which may aid in ingrown hair removal.
• Topical skincare – Glycolic acid is great for sloughing off dead skin cells to increase cell turnover, improving the skins texture and appearance.
Salicylic acid can penetrate the pores by cleaning, unclogging the pores and controlling sebum production to minimize spots and inflammation. Salicylic and glycolic acid are great exfoliants, and both combined is a powerful treatment for treating and keeping razor bumps at bay. Ingrown hairs can cause the surrounding skin to go darker – opt for skincare ingredients such alpha-arbutin, licorice and kojic acid to brighten the skin.
• Laser hair removal – a permanent solution. The laser works by emitting a source of light energy to areas of unwanted hair growth and destroys the hair follicle, for permanent hair reduction. This option was my and my client’s winning solution!
My beauty tips and tricks summary, to combat ingrown hairs, prevention is better than cure – avoid shaving if possible. However, if you prefer to be hair free and want a winning solution – opt for a course of laser hair removal treatments for a permanent solution. Tips to treat ingrown hairs at home consist of using a sterilized tweezer to extract the hair, exfoliate and apply topical skincare ingredients to the affected area twice a day.
“You don’t need to have good genes or wear makeup to have flawless skin, all you need is good skincare and enough beauty sleep!”
- THE beauty maven (Alisha Myer), a former Harley Street Skin Care specialist. Qualified in advance skincare and laser treatments. NVQ level 3 Aesthetician and with over 8 years experience in beauty and aesthetics. Extensive training led her to become a Senior Aesthetic Practitioner working alongside aclaimed Doctors and Surgeons. Ultimate Life's Skin Care Expert