how to prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs via

As you all probably know by now, the theme this month here on is Ask Me Anything August. I’ve loved reading your questions and blog requests in the comments and on Instagram lately. You all sure have some good requests! While I’ll be writing answers to many of your burning questions in my Ask Lauren column this month, I did notice one beauty-related question that I wanted to cover this week…

Hi Lauren! How do I avoid razor burn and ingrown hairs? I would love your beauty advice… My bikini and I will thank you! xo

With the summer season still going strong, itchy razor burn and unsightly ingrown hairs are two things that can really affect your confidence in a bathing suit. Not to mention that both are horribly uncomfortable, bathing suit or not. So, I’ve mapped out a few of my tips for preventing razor burn and ingrown hairs below. The two really go hand-in-hand, and it’s important to make sure you’re taking the right measures when shaving and afterwards too. Here are a few tips and tricks that have worked for me…

How to Prevent Razor Burn and Ingrown Hairs

Shave at the End of Your Shower
Did you know that the best time to shave is at the end of your shower, when your hair is the softest? Your hair will be softer the longer it is in the water, making it easier to remove hair without irritation. Less irritation = a better chance of avoiding razor burn!

Don’t Skimp on Shaving Gel
A shaving gel, cream or oil will help to lubricate the skin and hair, allowing the razor to glide more smoothly without friction. This helps to avoid irritation and therefore razor burn while shaving. Make sure you have shaving gel in your shower at all times so that you remember to use it.

Use a Sharp Razor and Replace it Regularly
This one seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how quickly your razor gets dull when you use it often. I recommend replacing your razor blade after 7-10 shaves. Red flags to keep in mind are a buildup of hair, soap or shave gel in the blades or the appearance of rust. If you notice any of these, toss your razor immediately and replace it with a fresh one!

Shave in the Correct Direction
Shaving in the direction of your hair growth is a must. You might think you’d get a closer shave if you go opposite the direction of hair, this will actually greatly irritate the follicle, and there’s a high chance it will result in razor burn. Try to think of it this way: Shaving downward will still give you a close shave, but it is gentler and less irritating to the follicle.

Take Your Time
Shaving slowly and carefully will help you to avoid using careless strokes that can irritate your skin and hair follicles. Use quick, light strokes and don’t apply too much pressure onto the blade. Be sure that you’re giving yourself enough time in the shower to take your time shaving. Rushing will only increase your chances of razor burn, and at that point, what’s the point of shaving at all if you’re going to have a rash of red bumps?!

Exfoliate Often
Ingrown hairs occur when a hair that’s been shaved or removed tries to grow back through the follicle, but it encounters a buildup of dead skin cells that blocks its growth. The hair then grows inward, creating a bump and, often times, an infected follicle—hence the term ingrown hair. The best way to avoid said dead skin buildup? Exfoliating, of course. Use a scrub, loofah or body brush in the shower all over your body and especially on the areas where you shave to keep your skin smooth, soft and exfoliated. Just remember to be gentle—yes, you want to remove built up skin cells, but you don’t to over-exfoliate and irritate your skin.

Find a Good Anti-Irritant Product
It’s a good idea to invest in an after-shave product that has anti-irritant capabilities. That way, if you feel that you may have irritated your skin while shaving, you can apply a good product immediately post-shower. One of my editor’s swears by this product, and I’ve linked a few others below too.

Clean and Rinse Your Shaving Tools
Not only should you be rinsing your razor after every swipe and after you’re done shaving, but it’s also a good idea to rinse it with rubbing alcohol before and after every shave sesh. This will help to kill off bacterial growth so that you aren’t infecting your hair follicles every time you shave.

And there you have it! Please keep the questions coming this month… Whether you’re looking for beauty advice, relationship advice, or any kind of question you’d like to see me cover on the site, I’d love to read your requests below.

What topic would you like me to write about in my next Beauty 911 post?

 XO Lauren

Photos: LC Lauren Conrad
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