Ingrowing hairs are unsightly red or darkened, painful ‘bumps' which can lead to ‘scarring' in severe cases.
This occurs when curly hair grows out of the skin, curls round and then grows back into the skin. It also happens if the hair is cut too short.
Normal hair cut too short will create the same problem. They result in the medical condition pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB).
An ideal shave cuts the hair flush with the surface of the skin and avoids any undue friction and/or irritation to the surrounding skin.
If you suffer from razor bumps, ingrown hair and shaving irritation, the chances are that you are pulling the skin too taut during the shave and the hairs are cut too short. Don't pull the skin tight and see if it makes a difference.
Other causes of ingrowing hairs include:
Shaving with a razor that's blunt - always use a sharp blade, the sharper the better, a safety razor is much better for your skin than an electric razor and multi-blade cartridge razors such as Fusion and Mach3.
Pressing too hard with an electric razor and multi-blade cartridge razors such as Fusion and Mach3.
Shaving against the grain, i.e. the direction your whiskers grow in, shave with the grain twice and once against the grain in that order to get a close shave - without irritation and ingrowing hairs.
People with PFB and razor bumps often develop ingrown or curled under hairs, which get red, raised and tender. These bumps often leave dark marks on the skin for many months and sometimes even cause scarring.
While PFB can occur in all ethnic groups, it is most common in those with very curly hair and especially amongst black skinned men.
Treatment of tough cases of PFB often requires special shaving equipment. In fact, some black men have opted to wear a beard rather than be subject to the pain and embarrassment that often accompanies severe PFB.
Special electric razors have been developed that cut the hair slightly longer than typical razors. In addition to these products, Skin Food is also helpful for many PFB suffers.
Aloeclear has been specially created to tackle the problems associated with PFB:
Aloeclear Ingrown Hair Treatment - a skin friendly roll-on gel that contains Aloe Vera, Willow Barl, Multi Fruit Acids and Mentha Piperita Oil to combate ingrown hairs.
For most people, these over the counter products provide sufficient control of shaving related problems. In fact, there are no prescription products targeted specifically for shaving related problems.
Vitamin A related products such as Retin A (tretinoin) or Differin (adapalene) may be prescribed in some cases and work by helping exfoliate skin both on the surface and around the follicles. This results in less chance of the hairs getting caught in the skin and growing inward.
Shaving related problems usually respond well to a combination of proper shaving technique, equipment and products (double edge safety razors in particular).
For tough or treatment resistant shaving problems, it is always best to consult personally with a dermatologist.
In addition to the tips on shaving, you might find benefit in the use of certain shaving devices and products. The products and devices tend to be specialised towards serving either those people with tendencies toward ingrown hairs or those with a tendency towards razor bumps and PFB. A large majority of PFB sufferers and sufferers of shaving problems generally tend to be black men. The reason for this is that very curly hairs are most inclined to grow inward or curl around to form razor bumps.
Learn to shave properly invest in a safety razor, a shaving brush and a shaving cream, take your time, enjoy rather than endure your shave, read these 10 STEPS HOW TO SHAVE WITH A SAFETY RAZOR
we recommend are Aloeclear. This roll-on gel is formulated to aid in the relief of ingrown hairs, razor burn/bumps resulting from shaving, waxing, electrolysis and laser hair removal.
Skin Food by Geo F Trumper is another product that can be applied daily after shaving. It is effective at fighting ingrown hairs and helps calm redness associated with hair removal.