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Stubble and Strife

Fix my... Ingrown Hair

Shaving = short hairs with sharp, pointed ends = potential for problems.

One of the biggest of these problems is ingrown hair. An ingrown hair has basically made a right cock up. Instread of growing in the direction it should (out), it's done a 360 the wrong way.

The good news is that this condition is not dangerous. The bad news is that it's darned uncomfortable. The ingrown hair follicles often become irritated and sore. Each hair follicle base may look like a red pimple, not all that aesthetic. Also, the bases can become infected.

Once you've got 'em, the best advice is to ignore them. Sure, there are lots of products on the market but the experts say to leave them to their lonesomes. Nine times out of 10, ingrown hairs will sort themselves out.

Of course the BEST strategy is not to get ingrown hair to begin with!

There are a number of reasons for ingrown hair. One of the most common is shaving. An easy way to give your skin a rest is not to shave for a while. Perhaps you've always fancied seeing how you look in a facial “hairstyle”. Now's your chance to experiment.

Another reason why you might be getting ingrown hairs is a poor shaving technique. Remember to always shave with the grain. Yes, yes, shaving against the grain could give you a “cleaner” shave. However, shaving against the grain is resonsible for distoring hair follicle shape and encouraging your beard to grow in an irregular fashion. Now, which would you prefer?! You should know that current thinking also recommends leaving a light stubble. This makes it more difficult for hairs to become ingrown and bacteria to infect the follicle openings.

Reason number three is a build-up of dead skin cells. Sounds yucky, right? Well, it happens to everyone. Guys in the know exfoliate several times a week. Exfoliating cleans around the base of each follicle so it doesn't become a holiday spot for dead cells. Exfoliating also helps to lift up short hairs so they grow in the right direction and works to stimulate the hair follicle bases so they stay healthy. Need this type of treatment SOS? Trufitt and Hill No. 10 Cleansing Scrub has come to your rescue.

Sometimes, a gent's face might be plagued by many such ingrown hair bumps, and they might get infected. This condition, called folliculitis, may even include pus-filled spots. If the folliculitis is mild, try stopping shaving for a few days. This should clear things up. Mild antiseptics can help. You can also see your GP. Antibiotics are prescribed only in the most severe cases of infection.

Keeping your facial skin and hair moisturized can reduce the number of ingrown hairs. The Edwin Jagger line of moisturising aftershave lotions (aloe vera, limes and pomegranate, and sandalwood) will do the trick.

What NOT to do is try to shave off your ingrown hair bump(s). If you feel in a doctoring mode and the ingrown hair is near the skin surface, you could try to lift the hair out. First, fill a bowl with hot water. Second, place your face over it so that the steam softens the area. Next, take clean tweezers and ever so gently remove the sharp end of the hair from the skin. Leave the freed hair in place to be shaved during the next razor round.

Now that you're an ingrown hair “expert”, we're sure you'll hardly be suffering from them in the future.

Our shaving community would love to be rewarded by your ingrown hair treatment or prevention tip. Feel free to type away!

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