Why you get ingrown hairs and how to avoid and treat them
Our skin has pores which allow us to regulate our body temperature. When we get cold, our pores tighten to trap the heat within the body. Some say this is why the muscles around our hair follicles contract and our hair sometimes stands on end when you are cold.
Our body secretes water (sweat) to help cool the body down if you are hot. Pores also house our hair follicles. This means we have a lot going on within the skin's pores. We must keep the pores clean to reduce bacteria from entering, which can lead to infection.
On top of our pores keeping our body temperature balanced, we also naturally shed dead skin. Skin cells shed on average every 28 days; unlike a snake, it doesn't come off in one lot. However, dead skin can get attached to the entrance of pores. It can also get stuck around the edge of the nose or chin. Washing the skin will help remove some of the dirt and the skin. However, a Face wash or cleanser is not abrasive enough to deep clean pores or remove dead skin.
Most black men will shave regularly or visit a barber for a shave. However, if the equipment used is not clean or the skin being treated is not cleaned, this can lead to infection in the pores of the treated area. This will present itself in shaving bumps or a shaving rash. In some cases, you can end up with Folliculitis, a common skin infection.
Afro hair in itself is curly. On the beard area, it has a tendency to grow in on itself as it is growing. In some cases, this can cause ingrown hair. If bacteria are present on the skin, this can cause further difficulties for ingrown hairs.
Two steps to prevent ingrown hairs and skin build-up.
Step 1: Ensure the skin is cleaned with a facial wash or cleanser AM and PM. Use lukewarm water and finish with cool water. Let skin stay damp in preparation for the facial scrub product.
Step 2: 2x a week, use a facial scrub to remove dirt, dry skin and unblock pores. The scrub's base ingredient should help soften and moisturise but will also have added benefits of Pumice/abrasive ingredients, which help to slough off rough skin or blocked pores. When using a Scrub, try and use one of ours that has added benefit of plant extracts or essential oils. These can help heal and balance the skin while using the product.
TIP: Use a scrub 2x weekly or before you visit the barbers. Concentrate the product under the chin, neck and around the nose. Use after you have washed the skin and before you apply any facial or beard oils or moisturisers. If you have got ingrown hairs, use a steamed towel (just place a face towel in warm water) and hold this against the area of concern before using the scrub.