anatomy of an ingrown hair
Ingrown hairs, also known as Pseudofolliculitis barbae, manifest on skin when hair is cut, and the hair grows back in at an improper angle. The process of cutting the end of the hair shaft through shaving can force hair back into its follicle, or even cause hair to double over on itself, re-entering the same follicle and growing inward instead of exiting the surface. The hair shaft can also grow and enter another follicle.
The body recognizes this ingrown hair as a foreign body (similar to a splinter), and triggers an inflammatory response that includes redness, itchiness and a raised area that resembles a pimple that can fill with pus.
To help prevent ingrown hairs, start by exfoliating with physical and chemical exfoliants prior to shaving. Physical exfoliants including micro-fine Silica beads will help remove dulling skin cells, prep the skin’s surface, and lift hairs. Chemical exfoliants including Lactic Acid and Salicylic Acid will help remove dead skin cells, lift ingrown hairs above the skin line, and soften and smooth skin.