Ingrown hairs is something that most people have to deal with at one time or another. Unfortunately for some the problem is more of an issue than for others and often brought on because of their shaving (or lack of shaving) practices. The hair that has turned itself around and has started to grow into the tissue of the skin can in addition to irritation and pain can also lead to infection. But don’t despair, following a few steps can help curb if not completely solve your ingrown hair problem.
To start off, if you have the time, you should be shaving immediately following a hot shower. The heat and steam from the shower opens the pores, and softens your beard. Failing that, a face cloth folded to a manageable size run under hot water will do the trick.
The next step is to use a good quality pre-shave oil of gel. Inevitably shaving will removes a small layer of your skin along with your hair so preparing your skin is essential. In addition to the pre-shave oil, you want to quality shave soap or cream to your face to help with the shaving.
A sharp blade should go without saying, but it is even more important for those prone to ingrown hairs. Using long strokes, moving with the grain of your facial hair. Contrary to some articles, including ones on this site, you may want to avoid shaving against the grain of your beard even if it is your second pass. Those without ingrown hair issues may benefit from a second pass against the grain giving them that close shave, but sufferers of ingrown hairs run the risk of turning the hairs back on themselves.
Another thing to avoid, and which goes contrary to many articles, is pulling the skin to get that closer shave. When you pull your skin you it causes the hair to rise above the surface of the skin and as a result being cut too low. When the hair grows again you have a greater chance of it resulting in an ingrown hair.
Finally finish in the opposite way than you started. Using a cold cloth apply it to your skin. The cold will help the pores close and at the same time cool the skin. You could go that step further and using some aftershave to assist in any healing that is needed.