What Causes An Ingrown Hair
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
The hairs that curl around and grow back into the skin instead of rising up are called ingrown hairs. Its a common problem and can happen to anyone. People who have curly or coarse hair are more prone to this problem because curly hair easily bends backwards and gets inside the skin. This often happens after hairs have been cut or shaved. These ingrown hairs are also called pseudofolliculitis.
People who have excess $e* hormones like testosterone have higher hair growth and are more likely to get ingrown hairs. African-American people who have thick, curly, and coarse hair are more prone to this problem. Direction of hair growth and structure also plays an important role in development of ingrown hairs. There is a thick, curved hair follicle which leads to tightly curved hair.
This follicle encourages the hair to re-enter the skin once they are cut and initiates their grow-back process. When we shave dry hair it creates sharp edges which curl back and become ingrown hairs.
The major cause of ingrown hair is improper shaving techniques. Alternative hair removal techniques such as waxing are also a contributing cause. Wearing too-tight clothing leads to friction which can contribute to the development of ingrown hair. Using a double-edged razor can also result in hair re-entering the skin. In two-edged razors the first blade pulls the hair out and the second one chops it off which allows it to retract. It can also happen naturally, excess dead skin known as debris blocks the openings of hair follicles which causes the hair to grow in sideways. When the hair re-enters the skin, our skin reacts to it as it does to a foreign particle.
Symptoms of ingrown hairs may include rash, itching skin, hair that remains even after shaving, and infection. Other less common symptoms may include small solid round bumps, skin darkening, pain, and embedded hair. Ingrown hairs can be prevented by following some simple guidelines. Proper shaving techniques and preparing skin before shaving are things we can do to avoid ingrown hairs. Before you shave apply the proper amount of lubrication to your skin, shaving cream, soap, or shaving gel can be used. Some people use excess force on the razor while shaving which causes the hair to be cut shorter than the dermis surrounding it. Do not pull the skin taut while shaving to prevent this. Its recommended to use a single-blade razor. If possible use an electric razor or trimmer. Do not try to shave in the opposite direction of hair growth. Rinse the razor with water after every stroke.
Generally most ingrown hairs go away on their own, there are various products available in the market to help you get rid of ingrown hairs. Some of these products are alcohol-based, some are alcohol-free, the alcohol-free products are less irritating to the skin.