Any man who's suffered from ingrown hairs will know what a pain in the neck they can be—literally. Caused when a hair curls back under the skin and begins growing sideways, they can lead to irritation, inflammation and unsightly bumps. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take to prevent them. And in the unfortunate event that you find yourself suffering from one, here's how to treat it fast.
When it comes to skin, a good defense is always the best offense. Prep your face before shaving by exfoliating with a quality scrub. This will lift any hairs that might be starting to grow inward and prevent dead cells and grime from blocking hair follicles. If you have especially sensitive skin and don't want to risk irritation, use the scrub the night before shaving to minimize any redness. When shaving, don't stretch skin—use as few strokes as possible and only shave in the direction of the hair growth. But remember that facial hair doesn't always grow in the same direction, especially around your neck.
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If one of those damned hairs ends up ingrown and you're left with an inflamed bump, don't simply shave it off. You'll want to apply a wash cloth soaked in warm water for two minutes. Then, use a pointed pair of tweezers to lift the hair and pull it out from underneath the skin. Finish by applying a topical treatment that will reduce redness and also kill any bacteria under the skin.