Around the time girls hit puberty, they often feel pressure to start shaving their body hair. Whether it’s armpit hair, leg hair, or pubic hair, almost all women try getting rid of this hair in some way or another. Some girls start with shaving, while others just try to bleach the hair and ignore it. Eventually, many of us try a whole variety of hair-removal methods — shaving, waxing, or using a hair-removal cream. No matter how you get rid of your hair, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced an annoying ingrown hair at some point. Ingrown hairs can be painful, red, and kind of icky (they often look like pimples growing right on top of a hair follicle). But do you really know what they are? Why do we get these nasty little ingrown hairs? And what’s the right way to deal with them? Find out the answers to these questions below!
1. What Is An Ingrown Hair?
According to the National Health Service (NHS), ingrown hairs are hairs that have curled up and grown back into the skin. Ingrown hairs can be small or large, and they may look puffy and inflamed. They usually turn red and are often filled with pus — and they can be itchy and uncomfortable.
2. What Causes Ingrown Hair?
Ingrown hairs are very common — many people experience them multiple times throughout their lives. “Ingrown hair is a common condition that results from hair removal,” explains the Mayo Clinic. There are two primary causes of ingrown hairs: when a hair grows back into the surface of the skin after emerging, and when a hair is blocked and can’t emerge from the skin in the first place.