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How can you prevent ingrown hair?

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To prevent ingrown hairs, try these tips every time you shave:

  • Every day, rub your face in a circular motion using a wet washcloth or an exfoliating scrub to tease out any stubborn ingrown hairs.
  • Shave with a sharp, single-bladed razor.
  • Wet your skin with warm water before shaving and apply a lubricating gel.
  • Shave in the same direction your hair is growing.
  • Use as few strokes of the razor as possible. That lessens the chance of a hair slipping back into your skin.
  • Rinse the blade with water after every stroke.
  • Don't shave too closely to your skin. Leave a little bit of stubble if you can.
  • If you're using an electric razor, hold it slightly above the surface of your skin.
  • Apply a cool washcloth to your skin after you shave to reduce irritation.

You can also try other hair removal methods that are less likely to produce ingrown hairs. Those methods include depilatory creams that dissolve the hair, and a laser or electric current (electrolysis) to permanently remove the hair follicle.

SOURCES:

Komaroff, A. L. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, Simon & Schuster, 2004.

Blume-Peytavi, U. Hair Growth and Disorders, Springer, 2008.

Chamlin, S. Living with Skin Conditions, Infobase Publishing, 2010.

Hall, B. J. Sauer's Manual of Skin Diseases, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2010.

Merck Manuals: "Ingrown Beard Hairs."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 7, 2020

SOURCES:

Komaroff, A. L. Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide, Simon & Schuster, 2004.

Blume-Peytavi, U. Hair Growth and Disorders, Springer, 2008.

Chamlin, S. Living with Skin Conditions, Infobase Publishing, 2010.

Hall, B. J. Sauer's Manual of Skin Diseases, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2010.

Merck Manuals: "Ingrown Beard Hairs."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 7, 2020

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