3 Reasons You’re Getting Ingrown Hairs - & How You Can Get Rid of Them

black woman shaving her legs with a razor blade

Isn't it the worst when you've just shaved or had a fresh wax, and a few days later, there it is - the dreaded bump? Trust me, I've been there too, and it can get seriously frustrating, especially when you've tried everything to keep those bumps away.

Now, if you've got curly, thick, or coarse hair like me, you might be nodding your head right now. But don't worry, I've got your back! In this post, I’ll cover how to treat those annoying ingrown hairs and keep them from making a comeback. 

Before you can treat anything you need to know what it is and it’s main causes.

So, let's dive in!

So, what's an Ingrown Hair?
An ingrown hair is like a raised, discolored bump on your skin. It happens when a hair curls and grows back into your skin after you shave, wax, or tweeze it. You might hear people refer to an ingrown hair as a razor bump or barber bump, but they all describe the same thing.

black men's beard with ingrown hairs

Why do you get them?  

Here are the top three reasons you might be experiencing unwanted ingrown hairs. 

Reason #1: You have curly, coarse, or thick hair

That’s right, If you have curly, coarse, or thick hair, you're more prone to ingrown hairs. Here's why: Our unique natural curl patterns often cause the hair follicles to curve or grow sideways when the hair regrows after removal.

Reason #2: You’re skipping steps in your pre and post-shaving routine

I get it, we're all busy, and sometimes we cut corners while shaving. But, skipping the prep and aftercare needed can cause more trouble than you might expect. When you have thick and coarse hair it requires a little more TLC to ensure that you have a smooth shave and proper hair regrowth.

Reason #3: You have a build-up of dead skin cells, dirt, or oil

While shaving does provide some exfoliation, it doesn't effectively cleanse your pores or eliminate the buildup of dirt and oils. Now, when you add dead skin cells into the mix, things get interesting. These cells can clog up your hair follicles and mess up the hair's growth direction. Thicker hair? Well, that up the chances of you getting an ingrown hair. 

 So, how do you get rid of them?

You might have heard the saying” The secret of your future is hidden within your daily routine” and that applies to shaving too! 

To make things easy, here's a straightforward three-step routine for both before and after shaving that will leave your skin smooth and ingrown-free.

Pre-Shaving Routine
shaving routine for black women


Step 1: Warm Water Prep

Thick, and curly hair often needs more time to soften before shaving. One of the best ways to soften your hair before shaving is to save shaving for the end of your shower routine. This softens your hair and allows enough time for you to open up your pores, making it easier to shave. If your hair doesn’t get the right amount of moisture, it can result in hair that is still stiff and resistant. This makes it more likely for the hair to curl back into the skin as it regrows. 

Step 2: Exfoliate Gently

Before shaving, use a gentle exfoliator with ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. This helps remove dead skin cells, dirt, and oils and keeps your hair follicles clear. When exfoliating remember to press gently into the skin and rub in small circular motions. 

Step 3: Shave in the direction of your hair growth

This might be one of the most important steps that you can not miss!
Shaving in the right direction is essential for preventing ingrown hairs, especially with curly or coarse hair. Adaya Tip: To determine the direction your hair grows, run your hand over the area you want to shave. You'll notice that the hair feels smooth in one direction and slightly rougher in the opposite direction. Shave in the direction where the hair feels smooth to follow the natural growth pattern.

Post-Shaving Routine

shaving routine for black men

Step 1: Apply Aftershave

After shaving, apply a soothing aftershave lotion or gel. This will help to calm your skin, reduce irritation, and prevent ingrown hairs.

Step 2:  Moisturize, Moisturize and Moisturize

Shaving can strip the skin of its natural oils and moisture, leaving it vulnerable to dryness, irritation, and potential ingrown hairs. By applying a moisturizer, you lock in the hydration you need to keep your skin soft and smooth. Adaya Tip: Choose a fragrance-free aftershave or moisturizer with proven skin-soothing natural ingredients like aloe vera.

Step 3: Clean & Store Your Razor in a cool dry space

Rinse your razor under hot running water to ensure it's thoroughly clean. Store it in a cool and dry place to prevent bacterial growth and not in your shower.

Goodbye Ingrowns!

Following these simple steps can make a big difference in preventing ingrown hairs and keeping your skin smooth and irritation-free, even if you have thick and curly hair.


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