Words: Roberta Whitney

In recent years the grooming habits of contemporary men have evolved, and it has become increasingly popular for heterosexual men to primp and prune. But these grooming habits don’t come without challenges.

Life can be a bumpy road, but the path to picture perfect skin doesn’t have to be so rough. We can all appreciate how the condition of our skin can affect our confidence level.

The Threaded Man puts the spotlight on an issue affecting many men of colour: ingrown hairs.

What are ingrown hairs?

Ingrown hairs a.k.a. razor bumps are pimples which can be identified by swelling, inflammation, irritation and pain and shaving is the common cause of these unsightly bumps. People with coarse hair, mainly black man, face this challenge more due to the curvature of their hair follicles.

Ingrown hairs form when a curly hair re-enters the skin or when the sharp tip of a growing hair passes through the follicle wall.

Improper shaving techniques are a major cause with waxing also a culprit. Although an ingrown hair is primarily caused by improper or aggressive hair removal, it sometimes occurs naturally as excessive dead skin blocks the hair follicle opening causing hair to grow sideways.

How to Treat Them

Although an ingrown hair can heal on its own and spontaneously dislodge, in some cases it may be difficult to get rid of.

In severe cases you may benefit from consulting a dermatologist who may recommend the following treatments:

· Chemical peels
· Topical creams
· Antibiotics (topical or internal)
· Medical removal of the ingrown hair by small incision
· Laser hair removal

DIY Removal of Ingrown Hairs 

What you need?

Water

2 tbsp Sugar

Olive Oil

Bowl

Aloe Vera

Towel

Needle

Tweezers

Alcohol Wipes

Facial Brush

 

What to do?

• Boil a pot of water
• Mix 2 tablespoons salt or sugar with olive or coconut oil into bowl
• Using circular movements gently scrub face with mixture
• Rinse well
• Place towel over head to trap steam in and without going too close and burning yourself
• Gently hold your face over pot, allow steam to penetrate skin.
• Keep head above steam for 10 minutes.
• This softens skin and opens pores, allowing easier extraction of trapped hairs.
• Sterilise needle and tweezers and use magnifying mirror to properly view trapped hair. Avoid “digging” into the skin.
• Use needle to gently lift the hair up and use tweezers to pluck it out.
• Wipe with alcohol wipes to avoid cross contamination/infection.
• Use facial brush for several minutes using circular movements to help dislodge stubborn hair and any dirt/sebum stuck in pores.
• Splash skin with cold water to close pores.
• Apply a toner and moisturise
• Apply aloe vera to sensitised skin, its cooling, comforting and hydrating to skin.

Remember cleansing and exfoliation is key!