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:

  • 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.
March 13, 2015