To help prevent ingrown hairs, avoid shaving, tweezing and waxing, if possible. If that's not an option, use these tips to make ingrown hairs less likely:
- Wash your skin with warm water and a mild facial cleanser before shaving.
- Apply lubricating shaving cream or gel a few minutes before shaving to soften the hair.
- Use a sharp razor every time you shave. Further study is needed to determine whether a single- or multiple-blade razor is best for preventing ingrown hair. See what works best for you.
- Avoid close shaves.
- Don't pull your skin taut while shaving.
- Figure out which direction to shave in. Generally, men with razor bumps have been advised to shave in the direction of hair growth. But a study found that men who shaved against the grain saw their rashes improve. Experiment to see what works for you.
- Rinse the blade after each stroke.
- Rinse your skin and apply lotion after you shave.
The following hair removal methods also may help prevent ingrown hairs:
March 13, 2015
- Electric razor or clipper. With the razor, avoid the closest shave setting and hold the razor or clipper slightly away from your skin.
- Chemical hair remover. The chemicals in hair-removing products (depilatories) may irritate your skin, so test on a small area first.
- A cream to decrease hair growth. A product called eflornithine (Vaniqa) is a prescription cream that decreases hair regrowth when combined with another hair removal method, such as laser therapy. Further study is needed to prove the usefulness of this method.
- Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary. 32nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: W.B. Saunders; 2011. http://www.dorlands.com/index.jsp. Accessed Jan. 27, 2015.
- Pseudofolliculitis barbae. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/print/sec10/ch124/ch124d.html. Accessed Dec. 5, 2014.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Pseudofolliculitis barbae. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 27, 2015.
- Alexis A, et al. Folliculitis keloidalis nuchae and pseudofolliculitis barbae: Are prevention and effective treatment within reach? Dermatologic Clinics. 2014;32:183.