Ingrown hairs are pesky, unsightly and fairly common. They're caused by aggressive hair removal that leaves the hair with a sharp tip, which allows it to pierce and grow back into the skin. Tight clothing that rubs against the skin can also be a cause, as can dead skin cells that block the opening of the hair follicle. Home remedies can help with the situation and decrease the occurrence of ingrown hairs. One of them is to shave properly.
Hydrate your skin and hair before shaving. This will dull hair tips, making them less likely to grow back into the skin.
Use a mild soap and a wet washcloth or soft-bristled toothbrush to rub the skin in a circular motion. It will help dislodge ingrown hairs.
Gently exfoliate the skin with sugar or salt. This will help clear away dead skin cells that can block hairs as they regrow and make skin less irritated and red from ingrown hairs. Just don't over-exfoliate or you might cause redness rather than prevent it.
Note the direction in which the hair grows and do not shave against it. Rather, shave in the same direction the hair grows.
Don't be as aggressive with shaving -- ease up on the amount of pressure you use -- and don't shave too close to the skin.
Dab an acne treatment pad on areas where ingrown hairs occur after you shave. The pad should contain glycolic or salicylic acid. This will clear away sebum, an oily secretion that can cause hair to grow back beneath the skin.
Use tweezers on black spots to gently work the hair out from the skin, then pluck it.
Electrolysis or laser treatments are a permanent solution to ingrown hairs, but it is expensive.
Use caution with tweezing out ingrown hair. It can further damage skin.
Charlotte Gordon has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including "VegNews Magazine," "Skratch" and "L.A. Record." Gordon holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Berkeley.