Anyone can get an ingrown hair. But the problem is more common in people who have very curly or coarse hair. Curly hair is more likely to bend back and re-enter the skin, especially after it’s been shaved or cut.
Also, people with high levels of certain sex hormones can have excessive hair growth, which makes it more likely to get ingrown hairs, especially after shaving.
Many African-Americans, Latinos, and people with thick or curly hair develop a type of ingrown hair called pseudofolliculitis. More commonly known as “razor bumps,” this collection of little bumps is common on the beard area after you’ve shaved, waxed, or tweezed to remove unwanted hair. The hair that grows back has a sharper edge, so it can more easily poke back through the skin and get trapped under the surface.
To prevent ingrown hairs, try these tips every time you shave:
Every day, rub your face in a circular motion using a wet washcloth or an exfoliating scrub to tease out any stubborn ingrown hairs.
Shave with a sharp, single-bladed razor.
Wet your skin with warm water before shaving and apply a lubricating gel.
Shave in the same direction your hair is growing.
Use as few strokes of the razor as possible. That lessens the chance of a hair slipping back into your skin.
Rinse the blade with water after every stroke.
Don’t shave too closely to your skin. Leave a little bit of stubble if you can.
If you’re using an electric razor, hold it slightly above the surface of your skin.
Apply a cool washcloth to your skin after you shave to reduce irritation.
You can also try other hair removal methods that are less likely to produce ingrown hairs. Those methods include depilatory creams that dissolve the hair, and a laser or electric current (electrolysis) to permanently remove the hair follicle.