shaver, soap, and towel

Anyone who has experienced ingrown hairs knows how painful and uncomfortable it can be. Ingrown hairs appear as small bumps on the skin and are caused by hairs that curl back into the skin instead of growing past the surface as they should. One of the best ways to prevent ingrown hairs is to change your shaving routine. A Northern Colorado dermatologist can also recommend personalized treatment and prevention options. Here are seven shaving tips that may help avoid ingrown hairs.

Did you know that ingrown hairs can appear anywhere on the body? They most commonly occur in sensitive areas like the beard area or the bikini area and are more common in people with naturally curly or thick hair. Most of these tips can be used for any shaving area.

Exfoliate Daily

Before you shave, rub an exfoliating scrub on your skin. This primes the skin for shaving and can encourage stubborn ingrown hairs to come out so they can be shaved. Exfoliating also gets rid of dead skin that can clog pores and lessens the chances of ingrown hairs. When pores are clean and open, hair can grow more freely without getting trapped by other particles.

Apply a Hot Towel

Before shaving, hold a hot towel to your face for a few minutes. This opens up the pores, which makes it easier to get a close shave without irritating the skin. Another option is to shave in the shower or as soon as you get out of the shower when the room and your skin are skin warm.

Shave in the Same Direction the Hair Grows

When possible, try to shave with the grain of your hair. This cuts the hair in the same direction it’s growing instead of pushing it in the opposite direction. When shaving, try to use as few strokes as possible to remove the hair, which lessens the friction that happens between the razor and your skin and helps avoid irritation.

Use a Clean and Sharp Razor

The best razor is clean and sharp. A dull razor or one with too many blades doesn’t provide a clean shave, which can cause hairs to curl back into the skin. A sharp razor glides more easily across the skin and makes for a cleaner shave. Wash your razor regularly. Rinse your blade after every stroke to avoid spreading hair or dead skin to other areas of the skin. If you use an electric razor, be sure to order new parts as things become dull. With a manual razor, replace the blades regularly so that they are always sharp.

Use Shaving Gel or Cream

Shaving without any product may seem cleaner and quicker, but it can be devastating for your skin. Shaving gel or cream helps the blade glider more smoothly over the skin, which can reduce irritation and create a cleaner shave. Gels and creams are also designed to hold in moisture, which can help fight irritated skin.

Leave Some Stubble

If possible, don’t shave all the way to the skin. A small amount of stubble can protect your skin from ingrown hairs. Shaving too close can push on the skin and irritate the hair, which can lead to ingrown hairs.

Apply a Wet Washcloth After Shaving

If your skin is irritated after shaving, apply a wet washcloth to the skin for a few minutes. Irritated skin can be red and bumpy, which can lead to ingrown hairs. Applying a gentle moisturizer after shaving can also calm irritated skin and reduce ingrown hairs.

Ingrown hairs are not only painful, but they can also get infected and lead to more issues. If you are constantly fighting ingrown hairs, be sure to visit a Northern Colorado dermatologist for treatment options. Follow these shaving tips to try to avoid ingrown hairs in the first place and enjoy smooth, healthy skin.