5 Foolproof Dos and Don’ts to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Rainy days, losing hair ties and ingrown hairs: file these under "Things that Nobody Wants to Deal With." But at least one of the three is preventable: We spoke with pro Mona Gohara, MD, Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Yale, to get the scoop on how to stop ingrowns, and soothe the ones on the surface.
Don't Shave with Soap
You need something that is heavily lubricated to prep the skin, says Gohara. Shaving creams allow the razor to glide more smoothly and evenly over skin with one pass so it's less likely to cause irritation and trauma to the skin. Look for moisturizing ingredients, like shea butter and vitamin E. We like Acure Foaming shave gel which contains hydrating aloe ($9; amazon.com).
In the days after your shave, make sure to rub down with a oil-based sugar scrub or exfoliating bar to keep new hairs from being trapped under dead skin or to help embedded hairs rise to the surface. Gohara likes Dove Gentle Exfoliating Bar ($10 for 4; drugstore.com).
Don't Use Old Razors
Don't forget to change your blades after about four shaves, dull razors require you to go over the hair multiple times to cut it and this causes trauma to the skin (which can lead to ingrowns). When selecting a razor in the first place, look for one with only a couple blades (try Schick's double blades, $3 for 6; walmart.com); the more blades you have, the more irritation it could potentially cause and create ingrowns, says Gohara.
Do Soothe Skin
If bumps do crop up, apply a one-percent hydrocortisone cream to the affected areas twice a days for two or three days to help decrease inflammation (which will reduce the size of the bump) and mitigate any irritation.