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What Is An Ingrown Hair?


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An ingrown hair curls and goes back into the surface of the skin. When the tip of the hair is under the surface of the skin, the area may become inflamed. In some cases, the inflammation may lead to the development of a pocket of pus under skin. Ingrown hairs can be uncomfortable and when extreme can be quite painful.

Other times, the hair creates a cyst under the skin and can cause a bump or bumps on the surface of the skin.

How to handle ingrowns
You wax, therefore you suffer ingrowns. It's almost that simple. People with dark skin, who wear tight pants, stockings or who have curly hair are more prone to ingrown hairs. Conversely, they're less likely to occur when the wax job has been well done. The other secret to warding off painful and pesky little pustules is to loofah regularly (but don't leave your gloves hanging in the moist shower where bacteria will thrive) and to exfoliate with an AHA exfoliator such as YSL Gommage Action Biologique, $81.

Ina Clow explains that forcible removal of hair stimulates oil flow to the follicles. This can attract bacteria and a little pustule forms, trapping the hair shaft. But according to those in the know, ingrown hairs are not a case of better out than in. “We absolutely do not recommend digging them out, " she scolds. “If you must, then have it done professionally. " Use an anti-bacterial wash, such as Dermalogica Anti-Bac Skin Wash, $19, to cleanse the area and discourage bacterial growth.


1. Skin suffering from lack of moisture

2. Stiff beard hair

3. Embedded oil in the hair follicles

4. Build up of dead skin cells in the pores and on the surface of the skin can cause ingrown hairs - some are more prone to this than others due to genetics

5. Coarse curly hair growing in a curved hair follicle

6. Improper shaving technique with a blade such as too close a shave

7. Hair removal methods such as shaving, waxing, tweezing, electrolysis, often irritate the hair follicle. Dead cells can accumulate at the site of the irritation and form papule which can also contain pus while the skin heals. While this process continues any hair in the area can get trapped under the formation and is prevented from exiting the skin properly. Ingrown hair is the result.

Treating Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hair is generally not a serious skin care problem, but it can be unsightly, painful and very bothersome for men and even for women. This skin condition can also be known as razor bumps or in medical terms pseudofolliculitis barbae. Ingrown hairs are more common among individuals with curly hair, especially African American men.

Hair Growth and Ingrown Hairs

A strand of hair is an outgrowth of dead cells and the protein keratin that grows up from the hair follicle. Each hair shaft grows about 1/4 inch per month, depending on what stage of growth - active or resting - the hair is in. Genetics determine determine how many hair follicles we have since no new follicles are formed after birth. A woman's legs and arms contain an average of 13,500 hair follicles.

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