What is Ingrown Hair?Ingrown hair is hair that curls back and re-enters the skin instead of rising up from it. Ingrown hair is also known as razor bumps and usually occurs after shaving, tweezing or waxing.
Ingrown hair appears like little red goose bumps. Sometimes an ingrown hair may cause swelling, inflammation, pain and pus inside the bump. In women, ingrown hair is common on the legs, pubic area and armpits, whereas in men, ingrown hair often pops up on the chin, cheeks or neck after shaving.
Occasionally, if a hair follicle is clogged from dead skin, the hair inside the follicle is forced to grow inwards or sideways instead of outward. Ingrown hair is not a serious issue; however it can be irritating, itchy and embarrassing.
What are the Causes of Ingrown Hair?
- Having very curly or coarse hair - This hair type is most prone to ingrown hair. When such hair is cut, the hair that grows back has a sharp edge, which can easily poke and curl back into the skin. It can also become inflamed and painful.
- Tugging at skin with a dull razor and excessive shaving- Scraping your skin excessively with a dull razor can lead to ingrown hair. This problem can be prevented by using a thick gel along with a sharp razor. Also razors are best used for 2 weeks before being disposed. Do not overuse a razor.
- Inflammation of the hair follicle (Folliculitis) - This may be due to bacteria, fungi or even infection from ingrown hair.
- High levels of testosterone- This hormone causes excessive hair growth, which makes it more likely to get ingrown hair, especially after shaving.
- Wearing tight clothing- The friction between the clothes and hair may pull on the hair and cause it to break. Also, if hair has been shaved then friction between the hair and clothes may cause ingrown hair.
- Shaving or waxing in the wrong direction - Experts suggests having in the direction your hair is growing is the best way to reduce incidence of ingrown hair.
Top 7 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Ingrown HairHome remedies used for ingrown hair remove dead skin cells on surface of skin, which clog hair follicles and help hair to grow in the right direction. They also hydrate skin, help to fight off infection and soothe the skin.
1. Sugar Scrub: Mix one cup of white sugar and half a cup of extra virgin olive or jojoba oil. You may also add ten drops of essential oil such as tea tree oil or lavender.
2. Baking Soda: Mix one tablespoon of baking soda in half a cup of water. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and dab it onto the affected area and let dry for five minutes. Rinse with cold water.
Mix together one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of ground oatmeal and water to make a paste. Gently rub the paste into the skin in circular motions. Rinse with lukewarm water and gently pat the skin dry.
Baking soda has a soothing effect on the skin. It effectively removes bacteria and dead skin buildup that can become lodged inside the pores and exacerbate ingrown hair. Since the grains in baking soda are smooth, they are very gentle on the skin and will not scratch or irritate the skin when used as a scrub.
A tea tree oil soak will help open your pores, loosen up the ingrown hair, and reduce inflammation. The tea tree oil may be used to prevent ingrown hair and should be applied on the skin immediately after shaving or hair removal treatment.
4. Aspirin: Dissolve two aspirin tablets in one teaspoon of warm water. Then add one teaspoon of honey and half teaspoon of water to make a paste. Apply it to the ingrown hair. Leave it on for 10 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and then gently pat the skin dry. Follow this remedy once or twice a week as needed.
Aspirin contains salicylic acid which helps the top layer of the skin to shed its dead cells and reduce skin pore size. Its anti-inflammatory action helps to decrease redness and swelling of the skin. Also, honey has natural hydrating, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties which add to the benefit when applied to the skin.
5. Salt: Mix one teaspoon salt in one cup of warm water. Soak a cotton ball and rub it lightly on the affected skin. Leave it on for a few minutes and then rinse it off with water.
Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water. Add one cup of Epsom salt to the water and soak in the bathtub for twenty to thirty minutes. Epsom salt bath is beneficial for those who have ingrown hair on legs or bikini area.
The tiny granules of salt help slough off the dead cells which may be causing clogged pores and draw the ingrown hair out by exfoliating the skin and cleansing.
6. Black Tea Bags: Moisten a black tea bag in warm water. Gently rub over the affected area for two to three minutes. Repeat several times daily as needed.
Steep a black tea bag in a bowl filled with hot water for about five minutes. Remove the tea bag from the bowl and add one teaspoon of coconut water to the tea solution. Apply this mixture with a cotton ball on the irritated skin. This can be done on a daily basis.
Black tea contains tannic acid, which reduces redness and inflammation and helps soothe the skin. Coconut water contains lauric acid that helps to prevent against skin infections. It is also a natural cleanser and toner.
7. Castor Oil: Spread two tablespoons of castor oil over the area affected by ingrown hair. Allow the oil to remain on the skin for at least fifteen minutes, and then gently wipe it away with a damp towel.
Castor oil is helpful in opening up the skin pores. Once the pores are opened, pus is discharged, thus relieving the pressure and swelling inside the hair follicle.