Ingrown hair usually appears as a result to shaving. This means that men usually encounter these bumps on there face, while as women have ingrown hair on the legs, armpits or any other area of the body that they regularly shave.
What is an ingrown hair?
Ingrown hair is in fact the hair that has somehow curled up and grown back to your skin. When one or more hairs have grown in to your skin they form a raised red spot on your skin. Usually ingrown hair is harmless but in cases where these spots fill up with pus and get infected and are not soon resolved, some complications may appear.
If ingrown hair is not treated appropriately and in time, it can develop into a mass under your skin that gradually thickens your skin and forms a cyst. These ingrown hair cysts might lead to further infection, therefore it is better to react as soon as you have noticed an ingrown hair. The perfect solution to this problem is preventing it, but if an ingrown hair is already formed it is best to treat it with homemade remedies.
Causes of ingrown hair
As we already mentioned, both men and women can have ingrown hair problems. For men the most common spots for ingrown hair are the cheeks, chin, neck, while for women their pubic area, armpits and legs are the most common spots where ingrown hair may appear.
The development of ingrown hair on the buttocks is also something which is not considered uncommon, especially for men. In case an ingrown hair in this area in not treated in time it can become a pilonidal cyst, which can be a serious issue.
The most common causes for ingrown hair are:
- Clogged hair follicles
Dead skin cells are usually the reason why hair follicles get clogged. Moreover, the hair cannot find its way outside and keeps growing sideways inside the follicle.
- Hormonal imbalance
Hirsutism is a medical condition due to which women experience excessive hair growth. Women who are a subject to this condition frequently get ingrown hair.
- Curly or coarse hair
Those who have curly hair are more likely to get ingrown hair because such hair can easily curl back and re-enter the skin. What is specific about curly hair is the fact that after waxing, shaving or any practice of removing unwanted hair, the hair that grows back has sharper edges and it can more easily re-enter.
How to get rid of ingrown hair
Ingrown hair tends to go away on its own, but if it does not you need to remove it or treat it so that it does not get infected. Doctors mostly remove ingrown hair by either making small cuts to get it out or prescribe medications to treat it. If your goal is to avoid medications, here are some simple home remedies to get rid of ingrown hair.
- Sugar scrub
Sugar helps get rid of dead skin cells that are blocking the way of your ingrown hair and securing a way for it to get out on the surface. You can always combine sugar with water, but adding olive oil or jojoba oil is a better option because these oils make your skin soft and hydrated and ensure the release of ingrown hair more easily. Moreover, adding essential oils as lavender and tea tree oil will certainly make it more effective, due to the former soothing inflammation and redness and the later having anti-bacterial properties.
- ½ cup olive/jojoba oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 10 drops of either lavender or tea tree oil
- Mix all the ingredients and apply on the needed area
- Gently scrub in circular motions for 2 to 5 minutes
- When finished, wash it off with water
- Do so daily for one week, then apply it once or twice a week if necessary
- Castor oil
Due to castor oil being successful in opening clogged pores and drawing out pus, it is perfect for treating infected ingrown hair.
- ½ tablespoon castor oil
- Apply a thick layer of castor oil on the affected area and let it sit for 10-15 minutes
- Next, wet the washcloth and wring out the excessive water and wipe out the oil covered area
- Do so 2 or 3 times a day until you get rid of the ingrown hair
- Apple cinder vinegar
Being both an antimicrobial agent and having anti-inflammatory properties makes ACV the perfect remedy.
- ½ ACV
- Cotton ball
- Soak the cotton ball in vinegar, apply it on the needed area and let it sit overnight
- Repeat until you get rid of ingrown hair
How to prevent ingrown hair
Prevention is always a better choice than treatment. The cause for ingrown hair is mostly unproper shaving, therefore following these simple steps will surely help you prevent it ( if it does not try using remedies to treat ingrown hair).
- Shave daily and gently
- Use a sharp blade and soften your skin before shaving
- Avoid electric razors
- Exfoliate everyday
Cool down your face after shaving.