Let me be transparent (which I don't like being), but I am a person that suffers from ingrown hairs along and under my jawline. Well now I can't believe I wrote it, but there it is. I wanted to share this because a couple of weeks ago I had sent an email to my subscribers and asked what is your biggest challenge when it comes to your skincare? I had quite bit of responses but was surprised that some had questions around this and some did not know what it was. This made me want to share more of my skincare woes with you.
As many times as I have shared before, I do not have perfect skin. Whether its due to food, the environment or genetics, my skin is just not "it", lol. But that's ok. I am learning to love myself and all of the "society influenced" imperfections.
So now to be even more embarrassed. Little did I know, I started developing ingrown hair in Junior High School in New York City. It all started with a boy. Yup, you know when boys like you, they bother you. Well I had one of those. I am tall and was tall during this time, maybe 5'8" and he was like 4'11", lol. Anyway, one day he was bothering me and I was not having it. He acted like he wanted to fight me (he was really bating me) and I fell for it. So as short stuff approached me, being he was short, he saw it and yelled out loud that I had a hair growing under my chin. I didn't believe him because I never saw it.
Well some years down the road, I saw it and an I was horrified. At the moment of discovery, my mind went back to that day that when he yelled it to the entire school. He wasn't lying after all, lol. I didn't know that women can have grow hair on their face/chin. Until I chatted with my aunts😂😂😂. Found out mine are due to genetics.🤷🏽♀️
Anyway, I say all of that to say I have skin imperfections just as anyone else. So if you are dealing with ingrown hairs, we are in this together.
What is an ingrown hair?
In short, ingrown hairs occur when a hair is supposed grow out of the skin, instead it curls back under the skin.
What does an ingrown hair look like?
Most ingrown hairs form a bump on the skin. If left unattended too long, it can become inflamed, red and hurt to touch. Pus can also begin to form. (see middle illustration below)
Some ingrown hairs form when a hair grows out of the skin then curls back into the skin. (see third illustration below)
Who can get ingrown hairs?
It was always thought that only males can get ingrown hair but as you can see from this blog, that's not true. Both men and women experience ingrown hairs from puberty onward.
Where do ingrown hairs exist?
Ingrown hairs can occur anywhere on the body but mostly appear on the face, chin, neck, armpits pits and pelvic area.
How can I prevent ingrown hairs?
The easiest way to prevent ingrown hair is to exfoliate. Exfoliating your face, wherever you are prone to have ingrown hairs removes dry/dead skin and aid the hair to grow completely out of the skin. It is recommended you exfoliate 2-3 times per week based on your skincare needs.
Once hair grows out from the skin, either pluck with tweezers or wax to remove it. The longer the hair remains the greater the chance of it embedding itself back in your skin.
As a best practice, look closely at your skin before cleansing. I like to use a magnifying mirror to look at my skin closely to identify any ingrown hairs. Make sure to look closely where ingrown hairs are known to occur. If you are not able to see them, use your hands. Glide your fingers across your skin to identify any hair or bumps.
How to get rid of an ingrown hair if it is a bump?
It is best to keep this area as clean as possible and not to pick at it. If the bump is not painful (inflamed) you can lightly exfoliate to remove the thin top layer of the skin. This will allow the ingrown hair to release. From here you are able to pluck it with clean tweezers.
If the bump is painful, keep this area as clean as possible to with alcohol and/or peroxide. Do not pick at it with your finger or tweezers. It is best to leave alone and allow the bump to heal and the skin to naturally shed, to allow the hair to grow out. You can pluck with tweezers once the hair is exposed.
If bump becomes infected or pain is unbearable, please seek a medical professional ASAP.
Thank you for reading today's blog. I hope you found this to be informative and helpful for you to combat ingrown hairs.
If you should have any questions about ingrown hairs or another skin concern you would like me to address, please add a comment below.
Until next time,