When you shave, soak and soften your skin with warm water, apply a lubricator and use a fresh sharp, single blade to shave in the direction of the hair growth. Use a light scrub made of olive oil+sugar or salicylic acid to exfoliate your skin before you plan to shave an area. Apply honey or a mix of tea tree oil and olive oil on the inflamed area twice a day to prevent infection.
Hair that grows back into your skin, grows sideways inside your skin, or curls up beneath the surface of your skin is known as ingrown hair. In the areas where ingrown hair develops, red, raised bumps can be seen. Some bumps can become itchy and some can have pus inside. People with curly hair and people with excessive hair growth are more likely to have ingrown hair. You can develop ingrown hair on any part of your body if you try and get rid of unwanted hair by plucking, shaving, or waxing. Ingrown hair can be very uncomfortable and can be prevented by following a few techniques.
1. Shave The Right Way
When you shave, the tip of the hair becomes sharp which makes it easier for the hair to grow back into the skin. When you shave you should always wet your skin with warm water, apply a lubricator, and use a fresh sharp, single blade to shave in the direction of the hair growth. Since waxing also causes hair to break off, use a depilatory cream (creams that dissolve hair) instead. Do not wax more than once in 3 weeks.
2. Exfoliate Regularly
The build up of dead skin causes pores to get clogged. The blockage of pores prevents hair follicles from growing out of your skin. It is important to exfoliate regularly and to keep your skin well moisturized to prevent ingrown hairs. You can use olive oil and sugar to scrub your skin and can wash it off with soap later.
3. Use Salicylic Acid
Ingrown hairs can cause infection if bacteria is allowed to build up. After removing hair, apply salicylic acid or glycolic acid on the area to prevent infection. Natural sources of salicylic acid are olives, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, tomatoes, and kiwi and sugarcane is a natural source of glycolic acid.
4. Use Papaya Extract
Papaya extract works wonders when it comes to preventing ingrown hair. Papaya is rich in an enzyme called papain which weakens the hair follicle and slows it from regrowing. Apply this extract on the areas of unwanted hair growth 4 to 5 times a week.
5. Apply Tea Tree Oil
Ingrown hair can cause infection and inflammation. Tea tree oil has antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties which can treat infections and can soothe inflammation to release ingrown hair from beneath your skin. You can add tea tree oil to olive oil and apply it on the areas prone to ingrown hair about 2 times a day.
6. Apply Honey
Honey has a calming effect on the skin and has antibacterial properties. Applying honey on your skin will hydrate your skin and will prevent it from getting infected. Apply honey on the inflamed area with ingrown hairs, let it sit for 10 minutes, and rinse it with cold water. Repeat this procedure 2 to 3 times a day.
7. Avoid Wearing Tight Clothes
Tight clothes can prevent hair from growing outward and instead cause them to grow back into your skin. This is common especially in your bikini area. Stick to cotton underwear instead of nylon or lycra as these materials can trap moisture and can cause infections.
You should consult a doctor if ingrown hair causes severe infection and pain.