Let’s face it, ingrown hairs are annoying. What’s worse - ingrown hairs can pop up on any part of the body that grows hair. The underarm area, in particular, is a very common place to get ingrown hairs. Every time you remove hair from your armpit you increase your risk of developing an ingrown hair. This blog will get into the causes of ingrown hairs in the armpits and how to prevent/treat this skin concern.
Causes of ingrown hairs in the armpits
The underarm area undergoes quite a lot of friction. Friction from working out, changing clothes, or simply just moving your arms around causes your shirt to rub against your skin leading to irritation.
Solution: Use a treatment oil to nourish and moisturize the underarm on a daily basis. This will soften the skin and minimize the irritation caused by constant friction throughout the day.
Aluminum is a key ingredient in antiperspirants that forms a barrier and acts as a shield against sweat. But just as the sweat cannot break through, neither can the armpit hairs. Aluminum build up can clog the pores and lead to unwanted razor bumps.
Solution: Exfoliate the underarms on a regular basis. Exfoliation will give the underarms a deep clean and unclog the pores.
Preventing underarm ingrown hairs
Shave with the grain!
Move the razor in the same direction that your hair grows. This will minimize tugging and ensure a seamless interaction between blade and skin. Shaving against the grain increases the risk of nicks, cuts, and of course ingrown hairs.
Although, I will admit that shaving with the grain will not give you as close of a shave. So, if you insist on shaving against the grain here's what to do: on the first pass only shave in the direction your hair grows. After this step, shaving against the direction of growth is much more safe. Reapply your moisturizing agent and shave against the grain.
Trim before shaving
Trimming the hair will give you a better view of the skin and the direction of hair growth. This will make shaving with the grain a lot easier.
Wash your underarms before shaving
Give your skin a thorough cleanse before shaving the hair and opening up the hair follicles. Without a proper wash, dirt, oil, and old deodorant residue will seep into the pores and trap the new hair strand as it attempts to grow. A gentle body wash will clean the skin to ensure that no unwanted debris clogs the pores.
Use a shaving gel/cream
Dry shaving is the worst! Think about it: you’re dragging a razor blade over the skin with no lubrication to let it glide. Instead the razor will tug, pull, and nick the skin. Always use a moisturizing agent (whether it's conditioner or shaving cream) to let your razor glide effortlessly on the skin and minimize tugging.
Apply a treatment oil after shaving
Apply a treatment oil that is specifically designed to combat ingrown hairs. For instance, the picture below was sent in from a Bushbalm™ customer who used our Nude Oil on a daily basis. Look at those results!!
Wait before applying deodorant
After we shave, the hair follicles are completely open and vulnerable. The only thing that should touch the skin after hair removal is a treatment oil designed to protect the skin, reduce irritation, and combat bacteria. Applying a deodorant too soon after shaving the armpit increases the risk of irritating the skin and blocking the pores. We recommend waiting 10-20 minutes before applying your deodorant after a shave.
Dealing with an existing ingrown hair
Don’t shave over the ingrown hair
According to dermatologist Dr. Elbuluk, "one of the worst things to do when having ingrown hair is to continue to shave and remove hair in the affected region...it is best to wait until razor bumps have resolved before going back to shaving or engaging in further hair removal at the site." Enough said.
Keep the area dry and clean
To avoid infection, make sure to keep the ingrown hair and the surrounding area as dry and clean as possible. This will avoid bacteria build up and speed up the recovery process.
Bushbalm™ treatment oils were formulated to tackle your ingrown hairs by softening the skin/hair, making it easier for the hair to grow back normally. One of the star ingredients is Tea Tree Oil. Tea tree oil is a holy grail ingredient because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that kill bacteria and keep the skin clean. Regular application will help prevent but also repair ingrown hairs. We recommend using a treatment oil on a daily basis. For the best results, apply the product within two minutes of stepping out of the shower since the skin is most absorbent during this time.
You should refrain from tweezing and tugging at ingrown hairs. This will open the pore and leave the hair follicle vulnerable to further irritation and infection. The best course of action is to keep the area dry, clean, and avoid touching the ingrown hair until it has cleared up.
Apply a warm damp cloth or compress to the ingrown hair for a few minutes. This should help soften the skin and bring out the hair to its surface. If it is deeper than expected, you might want to apply a warm compress several times a day to, at least, relieve discomfort.
Let's keep our underarms smooth and bump free! Click here to learn more about grooming the underarms.
Have any questions? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd be happy to assist.