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There are millions of hair follicles on our body and if we mess-up with even one of them, an ingrown hair can show up to wreck our lives. Therefore, we have to be extra gentle with them.
An ingrown hair looks like a big black scar on those beautiful legs and arms that you want to flaunt. If it is located in one of the sensitive areas such as the vagina, it can cause severe pain.
That’s why we want you to know everything about how to deal with ingrown hair the right way since it is quite a sensitive matter.
So, what exactly is an ingrown hair?
According to Dr. Madhulika Mhatre, consultant dermatologist at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, it is that hair which regrows but under your skin.
Basically, a layer of dead skin develops on this regrown hair which also clogs the hair follicle which hinders proper growth. Hence, instead of popping out, the hair grows within your skin.
Dr. Mhatre says:
Ingrown hair not only leaves spots on the skin but it also leads to skin rashes and irritation.
We asked Dr. Mhatre if only shaving leads to ingrown hair and she promptly replied saying, “This is the biggest myth among people that only shaving leads to ingrown hair. Waxing is also the culprit.”
Now, let’s see what are the major reasons behind ingrown hair
Wherever you have hair on your body, you can get an ingrown hair problem. Hence, you have to be utmost cautious during the hair removal process. Here are some main causes that can lead to ingrown hair:
1. Wrong technique of shaving and waxing. For example, you need to wax or shave in the direction of the hair and not against it.
2. Shaving or waxing too frequently. “If you don’t let the hair grow properly and try to take it out, there are high chances of ingrown hair”, says Dr. Mhatre.
Moreover, people with curly hair face the problem of ingrown hair more frequently because when the hair grows, it tends to curl down in the skin itself.
Can ingrown hair be prevented?
Thankfully, yes, you can prevent ingrown hair and there is no rocket science that you need to follow. Just remember these simple things that our dermatologist recommends:
1. Moisture your skin before shaving or waxing
“Moisturizing not only helps the razor or waxing strip glide easily but also makes the hair softer so that they can be pulled out”, she suggests.
2. Sanitize your razor
Of course, when you don’t have time and have to get rid of that hair, a razor is your only savior. However, it is very important to sanitize it before using it. “You can dip it in some sanitizer for 5 to 10 minutes before using it. Once done, clean it again properly and cover the blades nicely so they aren’t exposed to dust or bacteria”, says Dr. Mhatre.
3. Don’t reuse one-time razors
Disposable razors or one-time razors are meant to be used only once but to save a few bucks, we tend to overuse them. This increases the chances of ingrown hair.
“While using a razor, we have to ensure that the blades are sharp. Otherwise, there are higher chances of getting ingrown hair. That’s why it is always important to opt for a new razor, especially, in the case of disposable ones”, suggests Dr. Mhatre.
4. Shave in the direction of the hair
The trick to prevent ingrown hair is to watch out the direction of your hair and move your razor or the waxing strip in the same direction.
“Well, this is the most important thing one can do to prevent ingrown hair. Women mostly commit this mistake because they are always in a hassle to get rid of unwanted hair and end up ignoring this basic thing.”
5. Don’t use soap or shower gel
“Soaps and shower gels dry up the skin. Instead, there are various shaving gels or foams that are available in the market that one can use. The formula is prepared for shaving purposes and helps in better gliding of the razor as well”, she said.
Here’s the takeaway
If ingrown hair is right on the surface then, according to our dermatologist, you can easily treat it by exfoliating your skin once in a week. “Sugar is one of the best exfoliators that you can use. You can make a grainy concoction either with water or milk and use it on your skin”, she recommends.
But people with dry skin should avoid exfoliating too frequently.
For those whose ingrown hair is way too deep in the skin, dermatological treatment is the only way out.