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Are You Making This One Shaving Mistake That Causes Ingrown Hairs?

Tim Boyer's picture
Shaving Mistake

Here is one BIG mistake you can make when shaving that causes painful ingrown hairs and unsightly skin.


Every now and then everybody gets an ingrown hair - and some more so than others on a daily basis. So what causes ingrown hairs and how can you prevent them? According to Dr. Oz, how you shave may be the reason why you have those painful and unsightly bumps.

“They’re painful, they’re unsightly and…well…they’re kind of gross too—I’m talking about ingrown hairs. Today we are going to talk about them and more importantly—how to get rid of them,” says Dr. Oz who tells viewers that their choice of razor they use may be the cause of their ingrown hair problem.

Ingrown hairs are just what they sound like—hairs that rather than stand straight or are slightly flexed wind up curling down and reentering the skin through an open pore. The problem with this is that it leads to infection and inflammation that can result in a pus-filled sore that is not only unattractive to your skin, but painful as well and a health risk if the infection worsens and spreads.

And if you are considering waxing over shaving, pain and serious infections could be a problem too according to this in-depth article about bikini waxing and what you need to know.

Dr. Oz explains that the 3 most common areas of the body where ingrown hairs develop on a woman’s body are the underarms, the groin and the legs. Although an ingrown hair can appear anywhere, these three areas are the most susceptible to ingrowing because the hairs are coarse and more importantly, it’s the area where women shave regularly.

Using a model of human skin with hairs shown in a sectioned view that reveals the hair follicles rising from the roots through the skin, Dr. Oz points out that not only can a curly hair reenter the skin through a pore, but that during shaving the hair can be cut so close that its shaft is trimmed below the skin. Sometimes, when the hair is cut below the level of the skin the hair will tend to grow inward and cause an infection rather than grow outward as it should.

In cases of mild ingrown hair or inflammation of the skin seen as small bumps due to the trauma of a razor scraping too close against the skin, Dr. Oz recommends treating it with aloe or a hydrocortisone cream to reduce the inflammation and soothe the bumps.

Proper Way to Handle an Ingrown Hair

But in cases where the ingrown hair results in a pus-filled sore, Dr. Oz recommends treating the ingrown hair with a 3-step process as follows:

Step #1: Soak the sore with a wash cloth that has been wetted with warm water. This will soften the skin and gently cause the top of the sore to slough off.

Step #2: Using a pair of tweezers, gently grasp the hair at its bend above the sore and pull the free ingrown end out without plucking out the entire hair. Pulling out the entire hair may increase the chance of further infection.

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Step #3: Soothe the affected area with an application of benzoyl peroxide.

So how do you prevent getting an ingrown hair in the first place? According to Dr. Oz the culprit has to do with the type of razor you are using. Dr. Oz advises viewers that when women shave their aforementioned body areas that they should never use a typical men’s multi-blade style razor. The multi-blade razor is designed to cut hairs so that they retract below the skin to give a smoother shaving experience for a man’s face. However, it also significantly increases the chance that those hairs will curl beneath the skin and become ingrown in those problem areas for women.

“When you use your husband’s double blade, you cut the hairs so short that it gets stuck beneath the skin,” says Dr. Oz.

Proper Shaving Technique for Women

Dr. Oz tells viewers that when it comes to shaving, they should use the following steps:

Step #1: Exfoliate the skin briefly to remove dead skin and prepare the area for shaving.

Step #2: Apply a lubricating shave gel to soften the skin and the hairs.

Step #3: Use a single-blade razor designed for women that will cut the hairs at skin level rather than below the skin.

Step #4: Apply a cool compress to the skin to soothe and prevent bumping.

For an informative article on beauty tips to look younger, click-on the titled link, “Look 5 Years Younger with These $5 Beauty Secrets, Says Dr. Oz.”

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: The Dr. Oz Show



Gents - I tried everything to get rid of ingrown hairs when I shave. Electric razors, lotions, all of it. The only thing that has worked (and it works perfectly) is to buy a beard trimmer and set it at the lowest level (1mm usually but some have 0.5mm). Then, instead of shaving you just trim every morning. You can use a standard electric shaver for your cheeks, lower neck, etc. to clean up and make it look nice around the thick areas. It's a light stubble look that I actually prefer now, and I never get ingrown hairs.