Dealing with Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs are primarily caused by dead skin cells covering the hair follicle preventing the hair to grow out properly. As children our cell turn over happens every 30 days. With age, our ability to regenerate new skin slows. Because we have more dead skin cells on our body, as we get older, we have more of a risk of ingrown hairs. Any type of hair removal produces a risk of ingrown hairs as the hair grows back. 

To avoid ingrown hairs, it is imperative to keep the skin properly exfoliated so the hair grows up and out of the hair follicle and is not blocked by dead skin cells. Here re some tips to help reduce and avoid ingrown hairs

Types of ingrown hair:

1) Pseudofuliculitis 

The hair growing up the follicle turns around and begins growing back down the follicle. This is primarily due to dry or dead skin cells that are over/blocking the opening of the pore. 

Exfoliation will be your best course of treatment. Sea salt or sugar scrubs, mud masks or the Merben dry brush are best to treatments these types of ingrown hairs. Dyes in clothing can be a concern. White clothing is preferable following a treatment. 

2) Hair running along the surface of the skin 

These superficial ingrown hairs that can also be treated by a good exfoliation regime. 

Sea salt or sugar scrubs, mud masks, the Merben dry brush, and Epsom salt soaks are all great preventatives. 

NOTE: Excessive ingrown hairs, particularly on the legs, can become and issue. This is due to the new hair becoming very refined and thin and no longer has the ability to grow straight. On the bright side, the hair is losing its thickness and strength and is less likely to grow back if you continue to remove it as it is weak. The bad news is that this stage can be challenging and a big upkeep for the practitioner and the client. 

3) Hard lumps or raised red bumps with the hair trapped below the surface 

Practitioners should also be extra cautious when they are treating any area that may be infected. These areas may contain viruses and/or bacteria. Please do not try and extract these on your own. Look for chemical exfoliants that contain AHA’s (Alpha hydroxy acids) and products that are antibacterial and will sooth the skin. It is also recommend that you seek professional advice from your doctor. 

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