If you’ve ever had an ingrown hair before, you already know that they suck.
An ingrown hair under your beard is one of the most painful things that can happen to your facial hair, and they can even be dangerous if you don’t treat them properly.
For all men, knowing the essentials of beard care is important, because whether you shave regularly or tend to keep your beard long, ingrown hairs can happen to you.
Let us save you a lot of stress by teaching you the basics of what ingrown hairs are, and how to stop them before they ever become a problem.
What are ingrown hairs?
Ingrown hairs can happen in a few different ways…
For those of us with coarser or curlier beard hair, it can happen when a hair that’s already grown out impacts the skin and punctures it.
The pointy tip of your hair that’s left behind after shaving can snag on your skin just as it’s beginning to grow out of the follicle.
Finally, particularly in cases where your pores are clogged up by dead skin, the hair can turn around as it grows, pressing back into the follicle or the surrounding skin.
Whatever the case, the end result of an ingrown hair is a red, swollen bump on your skin and a hair with nowhere to go.
It’s painful and unattractive, and only gets worse with our tendency to touch or pick at them.
Why are they so bad?
If you aren’t already convinced that you need to take care of your beard to prevent and treat ingrown hairs, then maybe knowing the list of complications that can result will help get the point across.
As with any other kind of pimple, the swollen bumps caused by ingrown hairs can become infected, posing a threat to your health.
And cosmetic problems can occur when ingrown hairs are left untreated, including darkened skin and even permanent scarring.
Tips for prevention
The good news is, there are a lot of ways to prevent ingrown hairs from occurring in the first place.
Most of the time, ingrown beard hair and the resulting red bumps are caused by poor hygiene or bad grooming practices.
Here are a few simple tips regarding your everyday routine that might help you stop ingrown hairs before they ever need to be treated.
1. Keep your pores clean
As we mentioned before, one of the principal causes of ingrown hairs is clogged pores.
When your pores are constricted or filled with dead skin and dirt, your chances of getting an ingrown hair skyrocket.
Try opening up your pores before shaving by taking a steamy shower or washing your face thoroughly with warm water.
Dry skin is a lot more prone to ingrown hairs (not to mention acne, flaking, and other problems).
As your newly shaven hair emerges from the follicle, it has a much higher chance of making it out cleanly if the skin around it is soft and smooth, and a lower chance of impacting the skin once it’s all the way out.
3. Don’t go against the grain
Most of the hair on your face doesn’t grow straight out, but instead tends to grow in one direction or the other.
Instinctively, you might want to shave in the opposite direction of your hair’s natural growth in order to get a closer shave.
But this can increase the likelihood of painful ingrown hairs because it brings the tip of each shaft of hair right down to the base of the follicle at the skin.
4. Switch it up
Most of us wait to switch out our razor until it’s totally dirty, rusty, or clogged up with gross old hair.
But the blade tends to get dull long before this point, and disposable razors are called that for a reason…
Once you’ve used your razor a few times, toss it and get a new one, especially if you start to notice razor burns or snagging when you shave.
Products that prevent ingrown hair
The final important step in ingrown beard hair treatment is using products that help, instead of exacerbating the problem.
Here are a few products that you should know about if you’re experiencing trouble with ingrown hairs.
1. Beard conditioner
You might already be using your regular hair conditioner on your beard, but for most people that’s not enough.
Beard hair and head hair are different, with beard hair tending to be coarser and requiring a different amount of natural moisture to look and feel good.
Invest in a specially formulated beard conditioner for the best results.
2. Beard oil
If your beard hairs are coarser and more brittle than you’d like, there’s a good chance that they’re lacking the natural oils they need to thrive.
One way to help with this problem is to wash your beard less often, but you can also give it a boost by applying natural beard oil regularly.
3. Beard balm
Beard balm is another great way to keep your beard and skin moisturized if you tend to struggle with dryness, itchiness, or ingrown hairs.
Not to mention that it makes your beard look and smell awesome.
Keep Learning. Keep Growing.
Preventing ingrown hairs is just one way to keep your beard healthy and looking its best.
Keep learning more about what you can do for your best-looking beard and purchase the best, naturally-sourced products at Wild-Willies.com.