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How To Avoid Ingrown Hair When You Shave Your Underarms

Keep your pits soft and smooth.
PHOTO: istockphoto

One of the most annoying things to have after shaving your underarms is ingrown hair. Not only do they look ugly and feel bumpy, they also tend to get infected if you try pulling the strands out and fail to clean the area.

So how does ingrown hair form?

According to Huffington Post and WebMD, hair sometimes grows sideways or curls into itself instead of shooting up the pore. When you shave, the top of the strand becomes sharper which makes it easier to poke back through the skin and get trapped under the surface.

While shaving is an inevitable part of many women's lives, it doesn't mean that you'll need to suffer from those itchy, sometimes pus-like bumps. Here are ways to lessen or even avoid ingrown hair and keep your kili-kili skin smooth.

  1. Exfoliate first.

    Before you shave, make sure to remove any dead skin and dirt that can affect how your razor glides on your underarms. "Exfoliating before shaving will smooth[en] skin texture and buff away dirt that may be clogging your pores and causing flare-ups," said New York-based dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman, M.D. on Health.

  2. Keep your blades sharp.

    Some razor blades last longer than others, so once you feel that yours aren't running as smooth as they used to be, throw them out. Blunt blades increase your chances of getting nicks that can get infected. 

  3. Make sure the area you're shaving is wet.

    You want your blades to glide easily, so it's best if you use a shaving gel, or if you don't have any, foamy body wash will do.

  4. Shave in the direction of your hair growth.

    You may be tempted to go against the direction your hair grows because it gives you a closer shave, but doing so gives your strands sharper edges which may cause them to stick back through your skin instead of growing upward.

  5. Use moisturizer.

    After shaving, always make sure to soothe the area with moisturizer, either cream- or oil-based. This will calm your skin down and ensure better hair growth.

  6. Love your loofah.

    In the following days after your shave, gently scrub your kili-kili with a loofah or a soft washcloth to help dislodge any bumps and ingrown hair that may have developed. Alternatively, you may use a gentle peeling gel, like the one in this underarm care list.

  7. If an infection happens, don't self-medicate!

    Your underarms have very soft and sensitive skin, plus you also have lymph nodes in the area. If you think that you may have an infected bump, it's always best to go to a dermatologist and get prescription antibiotics if needed.

H/T: Health