Men's Life Today: Expert Q+A
What’s the deal with ingrown hairs? Why do I get them, and more importantly, how do I get rid of them?
There’s no easy answer as to why you get them. Ingrown hairs are more noticeable in men with really thick hair -- as ingrown hairs are more prevalent in people with thick hair -- or dark hair with light skin. However, there are a couple of key things you can do to heal them and prevent future outbreaks.
First of all, it helps to understand the evolution of an ingrown hair: After hair removal, as the hair starts growing back, the sharp tip of the hair curls back in on itself and digs into the skin, leading to inflammation and irritation. If you do get one, remember this mantra: Put down the tweezers. Plucking ingrown hairs invariably fails and causes additional irritation. Instead, try applying an over-the-counter cortisone cream to help relieve inflammation, then head to a laser dermatologist for laser hair removal (no, not removal of all your hair -- just the problem ones). Realistically, laser’s the only long-term solution for ingrown hairs.
Electrolysis isn’t practical because of the number and thickness of hairs involved. And as for waxing, well, remember the 40-year-old Virgin? Enough said.