Ingrown hairs (medically known as called pseudofolliculitis barbae) are the result of shaved hairs getting trapped and growing back into the follicle. Left untreated, these hairs can continue to grow in the follicle and cause infection and scarring.
There are several things you can do to minimize the occurrence of ingrown hairs. I would suggest following King of Shaves 3 Step Shaving Routine: PRIME, SHAVE, and PROTECT (PSP) to stop new ingrown hairs from appearing.
PRIME your skin. Cleanse your skin with a product that has a soap free formula. This will clear away excess oil, ingrained dirt, blackheads, and dead skin. If you feel that a face wash isn’t enough (personal preference) try using a gentle face scrub every other day to help remove dead skin and deep clean the pores.
SHAVE using good technique: Using a good shaving technique is vital to avoiding ingrown hairs. Always use a sharp and clean blade. Avoid applying pressure to the razor and NEVER shave against the grain. Hair that is shaved too closely will get stuck in the follicle and grow inward. If after shaving with the grain of hair growth you desire a closer shave, try shaving across the grain. NEVERTHELESS, NEVER EVER AGAINST THE GRAIN!
PROTECT your skin. After shaving, rinse your face with COOL water to calm your skin and close your pores. Apply a high quality facial moisturizer and avoid products that contain alcohol as it can dry out the skin and cause irritation.
If you already suffer from ingrown hairs and need immediate relief, you can try the following recommendations.
Remember that preparation before shaving is the key to a perfect shave! Have you ever had a professional shave and noticed how barbers always apply hot towels before shaving with a straight razor? When hair absorbs hot water, it becomes softer and easier to cut and your skin and facial muscles become relaxed, making shaving so much easier. This is why the best time to shave is after a bath or shower. This effect can also be achieved by soaking a folded small towel in warm water and wrapping it around the face for about one minute.
Take the weekend off. Give your skin a break from time to time, especially if you have ingrown hairs. Shaving over them will aggravate the problem, so skip shaving for a day or two if you can.
Avoid problem areas. If you notice an area with skin irritation or ingrown hairs and you have to shave that day, do not shave over the area more than once. Running a blade over the skin will just aggravate the area making it painful to shave.
Unplug. Avoid electric razors – especially those with rotating heads. These razors can cause the hair to be cut off in all sorts of directions and this can cause the hair to grow back into your hair follicle.
Go Collarless. High, stiff collars will rub against the sensitive skin on your neck and irritate the skin. A high collar can also trap dirt, sweat, and oil, which will clog pores.