Knowing how to concoct a few ingrown hair home remedies can come in quite handy when that dreaded irritation occurs. These simple tips might reduce the pain and inflammation, and may even speed up the healing process.
About Ingrown Hairs
Most women are familiar with ingrown hairs. This pesky problem occurs when hair that has been shaved or plucked grows back or sideways into the skin. They are especially common on parts of the body where hair is coarse, like women's bikini lines and underarms, and men's beards.
Though they are painful and unsightly, they are not generally considered harmful. Ingrown hairs manifest themselves in a number of ways. Usually a raised, pink or dark colored bump forms on the skin. A small, pinprick-size dark spot, indicative of a hair, may be visible. This spot is often quite tender to the touch, and can feel hot and itchy. If it is very inflamed, it may be surrounded by a red, angry-looking circle.
Types of Ingrown Hair Home Remedies
There are a number of ingrown hair remedies on the market today, ranging from soothing antioxidant-rich pads to gentle creams designed to loosen the offending hair. Though many have been proven effective, there are also a number of ingrown hair home remedies to consider. Often, these are preferred because they're quick and easy fixes. They don't usually require a trip to a beauty store, and they can be concocted at home in mere minutes.
Aloe Vera Treatment
One of nature's most soothing gifts is aloe vera. It has been used for centuries to heal cuts and bruises, and its natural anti-inflammatory powers make it perfect for relieving the discomfort associated with ingrown hairs. Since most people do not have regular access to an actual aloe vera plant, the next best thing involves using aloe vera gel. If you do happen to have an aloe vera plant, trim the top of a leaf and squeeze its gel onto your fingertip. Then apply it to the skin.
One of the most popular and purportedly effective at-home treatments is the aspirin mask. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, a potent exfoliator that scrubs away dead skin to loosen the offending hair. Note that this treatment should not be used on very inflamed skin; it is best used on healthy skin to prevent the recurrence of ingrown hairs. You will need:
- 4 aspirin tables
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp water
Simply crush the aspirin tablets to a fine powder, then add the honey and water to create a paste. Apply it to clean skin and let it rest for 10 minutes. After rinsing, gently pat the skin dry.
Baking Soda Scrub
Salt might be too irritating to some individuals, particularly if they are susceptible to ingrown hairs. To slough off those dead skin cells, try a gentle homemade scrub instead. You will need:
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground oatmeal
- 1 tbsp water
Combine these ingredients together to create a paste. Apply it gently to the skin and allow it to sit for just a couple of minutes. Then rinse and gently pat the skin dry.
Other Helpful Tips
In addition to these remedies, you might wish to try some precautionary techniques to prevent the occurrence of ingrown hairs in the first place.
- Shave in the direction of the hair's growth.
- Press a warm washcloth onto the skin before shaving. This will soften the hairs and make for a smoother, closer shave.
- Shave towards the end of your shower, when the hair and surrounding skin are especially soft.
- Consider another hair removal method, like waxing or electrolysis.
Ingrown hairs can be treated using a variety of over-the-counter and at-home remedies. If none work for you or you find yourself constantly plagued by these pesky bumps, seek medical attention.