Let’s face it. If you have PCOS you are probably familiar with the annoying facial hair removal battle. Facial hair removal issues can be time consuming and increase levels of social anxiety. Following a routine can help alleviate negative consequences. Keep reading to find out how you can avoid painful and embarrassing ingrown hairs.

Hirsutism is excessive male-patterned hair growth caused by imbalanced hormones (excessive androgens) and a very common symptom of PCOS. In this article, we’ll discuss how to avoid painful ingrown hairs which can be a result of facial hair removal attempts. 

It’s important to note that increasing insulin sensitivity and balancing your hormones is the most effective method to reduce unwanted facial hair growth. Shaving, tweezing, and other methods of hair removal should be secondary line of symptom management.

What Are Ingrown Hairs?

Ingrown hairs are hairs that curve and grow back under the skin instead of away from it. Shaving and tweezing can leave hairs sharp making it easier for them to penetrate areas of dead skin cell build up. Not only can ingrown hairs be painful, they can also get infected, and leave dark spots, or cause scars. People with curly hair and melanated skin might be more prone to experiencing ingrown facial hair and hyper pigmentation. 

6 Step Method to Avoid Ingrown Hairs:

1. Exfoliate

Using a gentle exfoliator before shaving can cleanse the skin and remove dead skin cell build up. Try using a gentle scrub, DIY sugar scrub, or exfoliating cloth. Using warm water before shaving will open pores and make it easier to remove hairs. 

2. Use Clean Tools

Bacteria can linger and grow on old or dirty razors and tweezers. Be sure to clean your tools regularly and always replace disposable razors. Warm water, antibacterial soap, and alcohol wipes are effective methods of sterilization.

3. Use Single Blades

If you’re using a razor to remove unwanted hair try using a single blade razor. Razors with multiple blades pass over the skin multiple times, risk more chances for skin irritation, and increase opportunity for bumps and cuts.

4. Shave With The Grain of Growth

Always shave with the growth of facial hair in order to decrease chances of irritation. Shaving against the grain leaves sharp hairs and irritated skin. Run your fingers over your facial hair to figure out the direction of growth. If you feel sharp hairs rubbing against your fingers you are rubbing against the grain. Facial hair areas tend to grow in different directions, so be sure to check each area separately.

5. Lubricate The Skin

Using warm water, oil, and/or shaving cream can soften hair and make shaving easier. Aloe based shaving creams work to aid in skin healing and decrease irritation. 

6. Don’t Forget After Care

After shaving be sure to use cooling methods. Splash the area with cold water after hair removal to close pores and don’t forget to moisturize to avoid dry flaky skin. Products containing aloe and Shea butter are also great to use post shave.

Explore Other Options

Although shaving with a razor or tweezing might be easy and convenient methods always use caution to avoid painful consequences. Facial hair removal creams, waxes, sugaring,  laser hair removal, and prescription creams might be good options to explore to treat hirsutism.

Did we leave anything out?

Do you have other tips for avoiding ingrown hairs? Feel free to leave them in the comments. 

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Author: Chris

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