Ingrown hairs are a hassle. They feel bad, look worse, and it seems like no matter what you try, those little suckers just won’t sprout out.
Those who suffer from the unsightly and unbearable problem of ingrown hair can hope they go away, but prayers won’t even will those buggers to peek out and play. Once they’ve burrowed beneath the surface, it’s like waiting for a groundhog to seek its shadow. And if you still believe in that crap, you’re doomed.
What’s The Deal?
Most times, an ingrown hair is a result of dead skin or oil clogging up a hair follicle. When a hair grows it gets blocked under your skin and grows sideways under it, rather than sprouting up like a beautiful flower.
Understand that there are some common causes for an ingrown hair. Tackling these culprits can ward off the situation in the first place.
Guys with curly hair tend to have it worse. When a new hair emerges, the shape of the follicle is ideal to curl under and go back in. Not to say that any type of hair (especially thick hair) can’t become ingrown, but those curly ones are primed to piss you off.
Most dudes see ingrown hairs in their beard area. Shaving often sets the whole thing off. You think you’re getting a nice clean shave, only to wake up the next day with red razor bumps and irritation, and you know ingrown hairs are embedding themselves beneath the surface causing the itching and soreness.
Is it your fault? Could be. Your shaving technique may be aggravating the issue. You can prevent the pain by shaving with a bit more care and caution.
Exfoliating the skin pre-shave is important. Use an exfoliating cream or rub a special washcloth over the area with warm water in a circular motion. This exfoliation preps the skin by removing dead skin cells and dry skin, and the hair is ready for hair removal. Even some hairs that were on their way towards becoming ingrown can be redirected to rise. It really makes a difference.
Use a quality shaving cream and shave with the direction of hair growth, not against the grain as you may be inclined to do to remove hair. Post-shave, clean the skin, apply an aftershave lotion, and you’re good to go.
The same protocol applies for body hair.
Is Shaving The Only Issue?
Unfortunately, that’s a big nope. There are other things that can lead to ingrown hair.
Chafing is a biggie. Is your workout clothing rubbing against your skin? All this friction is not only irritating to the skin, but over time, it can affect hair growth in the area. Mixed with sweat and such, you’re creating just the right environment for ingrown hair to thrive.
Pick up some new gear to work out in more comfortably, especially if the bumps are getting bigger. You may wind up with painful boils and potential infection.
Are Things Really Bad?
Some people get serious ingrown hair issues. You may not be able to handle the care on your own. A dermatologist can help you battle your busted-looking skin with prescription creams for the surface of your skin, and even extractions. Before you start picking with tweezers and squeezing (which we all know doesn’t do a damn thing), see a doc to tame the beast. Your “home remedies” aren’t working. An ingrown hair treatment prescribed by a doc is a must-do.
You may even consider hair removal methods such as laser hair removal or electrolysis if shaving keeps getting you down. Even waxing may be an option if you’re not ready for such measures. If the ladies can do their bikini line, you can man up too.
Is There Hope For Ingrowns?
There is a light at the end of the ingrown hair tunnel. A tunnel no one would ever want to travel through...blech.
Follow the aforementioned shaving tips, or even consider not shaving for a stretch. The scruffy look is trending, so see how you look with a little facial hair. The female response will give you a gauge if it’s working in your favor.
As per a study referenced by Big Think, “Women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.”
Keep clean and avoid tight clothing that rubs repeatedly. The friction is your foe. You can’t change your curly hair, but be more aware of the issue if you have curls. And straight-haired guys aren’t off the hook, so pay attention and be proactive. If all else fails, don’t be shy about seeking help. A decent dermatologist will guide you. They may not be able to end every ingrown, but alleviating the problem is a plus, and you can get that pimple or other skin conditions checked out while you’re there.
Don’t let ingrown hair ruin your mood or your mojo. Put your best face forward and take care of those wayward follicles.