If you’re a man who has to shave more than once a week, you are probably very aware of ingrown hairs, often called ‘razor bumps’.
Different to the usual type of pimple, razor bumps are hard and dark and appear when a hair is trapped under the skin.
WHY do they appear?
The bumps appear when a growing hair becomes trapped in the follicle or grows back into the skin. It is more prevalent amongst people with thick, curly hair as the hair is more likely to curl back on itself and back into the skin, hence why this is such a big issue for black men.
The in-grown hair can then lead to:
– Swelling (also known as Pseudofolliculitis Barbae)
HOW can they be treated in the short-term?
If you have a few bumps and want a fast, short-term solution, try one of the following:
1. Lift the ingrown hair from under the skin using tweezers, a pin or a needle that has already been wiped with rubbing alcohol to prevent infection.
2. Use witch hazel to reduce the inflammation of the area – wash your face, and then dab some witch hazel on some cotton wool and press on the area.
3. Book yourself in for an exfoliating facial at the nearest beauty salon. Don’t see it as a challenge to your masculinity, the women will thank you for your smooth skin in the end!
AND in the long-term?
There are several long-term solutions you can incorporate into your shaving routine.
1. If you usually wet-shave, try using an electric shaver as the shave won’t be as close to your skin and less likely to cause irritation.
2. Don’t use shaving gels containing alcohol as alcohol dries out the skin and closes pores, increasing the amount of ingrown hairs you get.
3. Make sure you shave in the direction of your hair growth.
4. Try shaving less regularly, for example, every other day rather than daily, or not shaving at all on weekends.
5. Make sure your razor is sharp to minimise the number of times you go over an area with the blade, thus reducing chance of irritation.
6. Look out for products containing salicylic acid, which reduces bumps by exfoliating and moisturising the skin and clearing pores
7. Go for the ‘skinned’ look and get electrolysis or laser treatment to remove your facial hair permanently. Or…
8. Do a Rick Ross and grow a beard. I heard the ladies love it.
Photo credit: logical images inc.