Ingrown hairs happen to anyone who shaves regularly, male or female. The small, angry red bumps appear after shaving when the strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. The only 100% effective way to treat them is to stop shaving, but not every guy wants to grow a beard, and few women want to walk around in a dress or a pair of shorts with hairy legs. And, as soon as you do start shaving again, they’re likely to come right back.
While razor bumps generally aren’t harmful, they’re not exactly attractive, and they can turn into a more serious issue known as Barber’s rash, something that’s created by staph microorganisms.
Removing hair permanently with electrolysis or laser treatments does not cause razor bumps, but it can get rather pricey. You can also take measures to prevent ingrown hairs, such as:
- Moistening your skin with water and mild soap before shaving to soften the hair and open the pores.
- Using a thick shaving cream or gel.
- Avoiding stretching the skin while shaving, and making sure to shave in the same direction the hair is growing using as few razor strokes as possible.
- Rinsing with cold water and then applying a moisturizing cream after shaving.
Of course, odds are, you’ll still get those annoying razor bumps occasionally, which is why you might want to consider one of these effective home remedies.
- Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial agent that helps with so many things, including razor bumps, thanks to its antiseptic, and antibiotic properties. Simply dab a bit of 100% pure tea tree oil onto a cotton ball and then apply it to irritated skin. Moisturize with coconut oil or almond oil afterward as it is rather strong.
- Baking soda
Baking soda is something just about everyone has on hand, and it’s also quite mild, meaning it’s good for those with sensitive skin. Using it as a paste helps to keep the follicle from becoming clogged while waiting for the hair to break the surface, and it also helps to ease inflammation. Simply combine just enough baking soda and water to form a paste that can be spread across your skin. Don’t make it so thick that it will just fall off, but just thick enough so that it adheres to the skin. Before applying the paste, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Apply it by using a firm but gentle circular motion with your fingers. Afterward, rinse with cold water and then apply just a small amount of coconut oil to moisturize.
If you want to smell especially sweet and get rid of those flaming red bumps, you can even make an effective paste out of strawberries. Prepare it by mashing up just enough strawberries with sour cream to form a relatively thick paste. Slather it onto the irritated areas of the skin and allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
- Coconut oil
Many oils typically used for preparing foods can work great when it comes to shaving too – in fact, vegetable oils and animal fats are believed to have been used for shaving lubricant ever since the practice of shaving began. They not only moisturize, but they allow the razor to glide easily over the skin, making for a smoother, closer, non-irritating shave. Coconut oil, in particular, can be used on its own to work wonders when it comes to eliminating those nasty ingrown hairs. This incredible gift of nature offers a multitude of benefits, including healing the skin, thanks to its high lauric acid content. It also contains antiseptic properties known to heal cuts, burns and skin rashes while also keeping the skin moisturized. All you need to do is apply a thin layer of coconut oil to your razor bumps, and repeat when necessary.
- Lemon juice
- While lemon juice may seem like it would worsen the problem, and cause razor bumps to sting, it’s actually great for getting rid of them. It’s naturally acidic which helps stop bacteria from colonizing ingrown hair follicles, and its high vitamin C content helps to promote skin growth as well. Applying fresh lemon juice to razor bumps also helps to prevent infection by fighting off bacteria, and reduces redness too.
Oils can practically work miracles, and there are many that are known to treat razor bumps, including calendula oil. This oil that’s extracted from calendula flowers is renowned for its potent antiseptic and skin soothing properties. It helps to calm burning, irritated skin, reducing redness and providing pain relief. Before applying to affected areas, dilute about six drops of calendula oil with a teaspoon of jojoba, almond or coconut oil first, or irritation could worsen.
- Calendula oil
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) – be sure to get the “real” thing, meaning organic, unfiltered ACV with the mother, like this Braggs ACV (available on Amazon here) – is an outstanding remedy for razor bumps as it helps to ease the discomfort and appearance of ingrown hairs. Start out slowly, as some people have skin that is extra sensitive and could experience a reaction, but if you’re not one of them, you may find that this is the best remedy around as it offers especially powerful anti-inflammatory properties and it can help ward off an infection too.Use: apply a cotton ball that’s been dipped in apple cider vinegar onto the affected area. Allow it to dry before rinsing with cool water. Repeat several times a day until the burning sensation has dissipated and the bumps can no longer be seen.
- Apple cider vinegar
If you happen to have some black tea in your kitchen cabinet, you’ve got one of the best remedies there are for razor bumps. It contains tannic acid, which is known to relieve inflammation, reduce redness and soothe burning. To use black tea for your ingrown hairs, just moisten a black tea bag with warm, but not too hot, water. Rub the bag over the affected area for several minutes, repeating a few times during the day if necessary.
- Black tea
Witch hazel is famous for its ability to clear up acne, but few are aware that it can also help address those annoying and unsightly razor bumps. It acts as a natural antiseptic to reduce inflammation, and it also contains tannins, like black tea, which when applied to the skin, can help to lessen swelling, fight bacteria and even heal broken skin caused by razor burn. All you need to do is add witch hazel to a cotton ball and apply it to the bumps to encourage quicker healing and reduce irritation and redness.
- Witch hazel
Do you have a lot of razor bumps, particularly in the bikini area? This remedy is for you. Run a bath of warm water and add two cups of Epsom salt. Soak in the Epsom Salt bath for at least 10 minutes, up to about 30 minutes, applying moisturizer afterward. Alternatively, you can combine two tablespoons of Epsom salt in one cup of water, dip a cotton ball into the solution and allow it to sit on the affected area for 10 minutes to exfoliate dead skin cells and remove ingrown hairs.Source: http://naturalcarebox.com/
- Epsom salt