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Comment éviter les poils incarnés de la barde ?

Beard: How to prevent ingrown hairs?

Ingrown hairs are unsightly, painful, and can become infected. In the beard area, the risk of developing ingrown hairs is significant due to several factors. In this article, we provide advice on how to prevent ingrown hairs in the beard area.

Definition of an ingrown hair.

Before explaining what an ingrown hair is, it's necessary to recall where hairs come from. Indeed, with the exception of certain areas (hairless areas), our entire body contains hair follicles or sebaceous hair follicles. The lower part of the hair follicle is the bulb, and it includes the hair matrix containing keratinocytes and melanocytes that produce hairs. These hairs travel through the hair canal and exit at the opening of the hair canal (ostium) to end up on the skin's surface.

We refer to an ingrown hair when it fails to break through the barrier of the dermis, which curls up or corkscrews. Thus, the growth of the hair occurs inside the skin rather than on its surface. This often causes inflammation and the appearance of small red bumps that can itch, and even be painful if the problem is not treated in time. If they do not disappear on their own, in some cases, these inflamed bumps can become infected and accompanied by pus with an increase in volume and pain.

Ingrown hairs primarily occur in areas of the body that are subjected to repeated friction with tight clothing and in places regularly shaved or waxed. For instance, in men, the areas most affected by ingrown hairs are the chin, chest, and neck, while in women, these are the legs, underarms, and pubic area.

What about ingrown hairs in the beard area?

An ingrown hair can manifest as simple red bumps, but some can become infected: this is referred to as folliculitis. This corresponds to an infection of the hair follicles, typically caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, resulting in the presence of pus-filled bumps on the skin's surface.

As mentioned earlier, certain areas are more prone to developing ingrown hairs. For instance, many men suffer from this in the beard area (cheeks and neck), a condition known as pseudofolliculitis barbae. This is a common, chronic, and inflammatory skin condition that occurs following shaving due to a structural defect in the hair shaft, a case primarily observed in men of African descent. It is generally characterized by small papules and pustules that are painful on the cheeks and neck, but it can progress to the formation of scars and keloids in some individuals.

Note : Keloid scars correspond to an abnormal thickening of the skin tissue. They are characterized by a fibrous swelling.

How to prevent the occurrence of ingrown hairs in the beard?

  • Adopting the technique of shaving/hair removal.

    Multi-blade razors are strongly discouraged. Instead, favor electric razors, adjustable trimmers , or even depilatory cream to have fewer ingrown hairs. Moreover, avoid going over the same area multiple times with your razor or trimmer as this increases the risk of inflammation. Also, always shave in the direction of hair growth, not against it, regardless of the technique used (wax, electric epilator, tweezers, etc...). Lastly, shaving should never be done dry as it risks irritating the skin. Before you shave, wet your skin and use a shaving gel or cream.

  • Perform a weekly preventive exfoliation.

    A thickened skin is more prone to developing ingrown hairs. Therefore, exfoliation helps to remove dead cells on the skin's surface to prevent them from accumulating and clogging the pores, thereby inhibiting hair growth. Moreover, it facilitates the emergence of hairs lodged under the skin.

    On a daily basis and after cleansing your skin, we recommend using our purifying toner with salicylic acid morning and evening. This is a keratolytic active that eliminates dead cells on the skin's surface. Moreover, salicylic acid possesses excellent anti-bacterial properties, preventing the growth of microorganisms.

  • Hydrate and nourish your skin daily to prevent ingrown hairs.

    Hydrating your skin morning and evening with a cream helps to make it more supple and facilitates the exit of the hair at the hair follicle opening. You can, for example, use our purifying face cream which is composed of zinc PCA and bamboo extract which are sebum-regulating active ingredients. It will be ideal if you have oily skin with imperfections.

    Note : The choice of moisturizing cream should be tailored to your skin type. For instance, if you have dry skin, you should lean towards ournourishing face cream.

  • Opt for permanent laser hair removal.

    This is the only effective method to eliminate ingrown hairs. Indeed, it destroys 80 to 90% of hairs at their roots. However, a destroyed hair can no longer become ingrown! The laser targets the melanin in the hairs. The beam of light emitted by the laser destroys and burns the hair. The specific wavelength of the laser destroys only the hair follicles without damaging the skin: this is the principle of selective photothermolysis. Laser hair removal can be performed on all areas of the body, including the face.

Take note : If your problem with ingrown hairs in the beard area is recurring, do not hesitate to consult a doctor. Indeed, it is possible that you may be a carrier chronically of the Staphylococcus aureus. In this case, the doctor can prescribe an antibiotic treatment to eradicate this bacteria.

Two Typology products for taking care of one's beard.

Once or twice a week, apply our scalp scrub to your beard to exfoliate your skin. This will help remove dead cells from the skin's surface and refine the epidermis, thus facilitating hair growth. Our scrub offers a dual chemical (P.H.A.) and mechanical (jojoba beads and silica powder) exfoliation. It also contains eucalyptus globulus essential oil which has antiseptic and soothing properties, as well as peppermint essential oil which helps stimulate beard growth.

Next, apply our beard and hair oil. It is formulated with hemp oil, castor oil and argan oil which help to strengthen the beard hairs. In addition, castor oil has an anti-inflammatory action that helps to relieve irritations. Rich in fatty acids, these vegetable oils nourish and soften the skin, thus preventing the appearance of ingrown hairs in this area. Our beard and hair oil also contains green mandarin essential oil and Scots pine known for their antibacterial actions. Take 3 to 4 drops of oil, warm the oil for a few seconds between the palms of your hands and apply to your beard. Massage to ensure the product is well absorbed.

Source:

  • WONG S. Y. & al. Preparing the hair follicle canal for hair shaft emergence. Experimental Dermatology (2021).

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