Hair removal in general is a major cause of ingrown hair. (Pic: Instagram)

Everyone struggles with ingrown hair from time to time, but how much do you actually know about these pesky irritations? An ingrown hair occurs when a hair curls back and grows sideways into the skin, rather than upwards, away from the skin. Understanding why and how they occur is half the battle won. 

Here are 8 facts about ingrown hair, brought to you by FINO Cosmetics:

1. They can occur anywhere
Ingrown hair can occur anywhere on the body, but they are most likely to appear in areas where the hair is curly or coarse, such as underarms, legs and facial hair.

2. They can be caused by various forms of hair removal
It used to be thought that waxing was the main culprit, but other forms of hair removal, including shaving and depilatory hair removal methods are equally guilty! Hair removal in general is a major cause of ingrown hair, which is why it’s important to take caution every time you shave, wax or depilate, and also in between.

3. Your clothing may be to blame
Love your skin-tight tights? Experts believe that the friction cause by skin-tight clothing may lead to ingrown hair (sorry ladies!). This rings true especially for synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester.

4. They tend to be more common on darker skin tones and people with curly hair
Just about anyone can (and often will) get ingrown hair, but research has shown that it’s more common among people with darker skin tones. Though science doesn’t have an exact explanation for this just yet, it is commonly thought that people with darker skins are more prone to them because they are more likely to have curly hair (and curly hair is more likely to become ingrown).

5. They could be caused by dead skin cells
Sometimes, when dead skin cells are not removed from the skin by means of exfoliation, they can clog up a hair follicle, causing the hair inside to grow sideways. Regular exfoliation will help prevent the build-up of these dry and dead skin cells.

6. Dry skin increases the risk of ingrown hair
When you shave over very dry skin, it can encourage more dryness or thickening of the upper layers of skin in the shaved area. This means that more dead skin cells clog up pores, resulting in more ingrown hairs! Use moisturising products daily to ensure your skin stays soft and hydrated.

7. They can become infected
Most ingrown hairs are harmless and will heal by themselves (assisted by a bit of TLC), but if picked and tampered with too much, they can result in nasty and painful infections.

8. They are not inevitable
Just because ingrown hair is common, it doesn’t mean it’s a given. Avoid painful ingrown hair, redness, sensitivity and razor burn by applying FINO Soothe daily. Designed for men and women, it’s safe to use all over your body including bikini line and face ,and is dermatologically tested as non-irritant.

FINO Cosmetics has a range of products to soothe and reduce the appearance of ingrown hairs. (Pic supplied)