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How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs When You Shave

November 18, 2021 4 min read 0 Comments

How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs When You Shave

Working at Kent of Inglewood, one of the best parts of my day is when I hear someone say “Shaving? Man, I hate shaving.”. I enjoy this moment so much because I was once that person. Meeting that person means I get to make their day by showing them a way to shave that doesn’t suck and can actually be quite fun!

One of the big reasons folks dislike shaving is ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs truly suck; there’s no way around that. The red, sore, itchy bumps that can crop up after a shave are uncomfortable and unsightly. Nobody likes them.

When I switched to shaving with a safety razor and brush, my ingrown hairs disappeared almost completely! I was shocked, but I didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I didn’t question it. Nowadays, I’m more comfortable with my routine than I was when I started, and ingrown hairs began cropping up again after my lazier shaves. Determined to put a stop to them for good and help others with the affliction, I set to researching so I could eliminate ingrown hairs for good. 

So what causes ingrown hairs? I’m going to teach you and give you a few tips for preventing and treating them.

What Causes Ingrown Hairs?

There are many causes, and like any issue, dealing with the root cause is the most effective approach. Ingrown hairs occur when hair gets trapped under the skin, and your body treats it as an infection. Prevention is all about stopping your hairs from getting trapped under your skin or being able to dig back into your skin.

    1. Lack of preparation. If your hair is too dry and stiff, the razor will pull as it slices, creating a spear-like tip on the hair. This can easily dig into your skin, causing irritation.
      Solution: Prepare your hair before you shave. Have a warm shower or soak your face with a damp towel to get the process started. Next, apply a preshave to soften your hair further. Finally, apply your lather with a shaving brush. This will help your stubble stand on end and soften it even more, allowing you to get a smooth shave.

      A good lather and preshave will go a long way to reduce all kinds of shaving irritation, including in-growns.

 

  1. Dull razors. Much like the first cause, a dull blade will pull the hair as it cuts. 
    Solution: Change your blade every 3-5 shaves, depending on your blade and the coarseness of your hair. Safety razor blades are cheap, so you can change weekly without breaking the bank! You can also try a sharper brand like Kai or Feather.

  2. Shaving against the grain. The closest way to shave is against the growth direction, or “grain”, or your hair. This is also the most likely to trap hair under your skin, so proceed with caution. 
    Solution: Give it a try, but if you notice your skin getting irritated, try this next step...

  3. Shaving too close. Again, a close shave is marvellous, but it can be hard on some skin types. I love having a face as smooth as glass, but my skin does not.
    Solution: Strike a balance. You should always start by shaving with the grain of your hair. It’ll get rid of most of your stubble, but it won’t leave you very smooth. If you want a smooth look without irritation, try shaving perpendicular or “along” the grain, neither with nor against, but intersecting those two directions at 90 degrees. This allows you to shorten the stubble further without causing problems! Alternatively, make a second pass with the grain.

  4. Curly Hair. This one is pretty tough to change, but it’s essential to be aware of. Curly hair types are the most likely to get trapped under the skin, leading to endless frustration after every shave. 
    Solution: Obviously, you can’t change your hair type, and that’s okay! You can try shaving less close, as suggested above, or consider growing a beard. Beards are in-style these days, and you can still keep an immaculate look with the right type of beard. Check out our beard-care articles for more advice.

Beards are fun and fashionable, just ask Johnny!

Like I said, shaving with a single sharp blade and good products will make a world of difference. In general, good skin care is crucial to practice, and it’ll clear up a lot of what ails you. Consider grabbing yourself a good face wash and moisturizer; I guarantee it’ll help.

If you’ve tried everything I’ve suggested and somehow it’s still not working, I do have one magical elixir that you have to try. I know because I still get the odd ingrown, and this stuff has saved my vanity.

Kent of Inglewood Ingrown Hair Serum is the ultimate solution to ingrown hairs that just won’t quit! Made from natural ingredients in Calgary, AB, everyone needs this stuff in their medicine cabinet. Tea tree oil and witch hazel break up the infection with antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, while aloe vera and avocado oil soothe and repair the skin. The perfect 1-2 punch solution!

We haven't been able to confirm, but we're pretty sure this stuff is just bottled magic.

I hope this article helped improve your shave. Our goal is always to help you have the best shave possible, so if you’re ever having trouble, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Nathan Gareau
Nathan Gareau

A famed cocktologist and axe man, Nathan opened the first Kent of Inglewood store in Calgary, and now spends his days writing most of what you are reading here and teaching straight razor shaving classes. Ask him about his world-famous Three Cherry Manhattan. In his spare time Nathan can be found sharpening his axe, making fermented foods, or practicing his amateur butchering hobby. He doesn't slur his words, he speaks in cursive.



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