Ingrown hairs can be prevented by using hair removal methods that are less likely to cause them. Using a depilatory cream that contains sodium thioglycolate or calcium thioglycolate dissolves the hair both above and slightly below the skin's surface. Gently exfoliating the skin before shaving, replacing the razor often, softening hair by soaking it in warm water and applying a moisturizer before shaving also helps to prevent ingrown hairs.
Ingrown hairs often appear on areas of the skin that experience constant friction, so do not wear tight clothing over areas that are shaved often.To help prevent ingrown hairs when shaving, do not shave the same area more than once and shave the hair in the same direction that it is growing. Avoid shaving the hair too close and use an electric razor when possible. If a regular razor is being used, make sure that it has a single sharp blade, and use a lubricating shaving gel to soften the hair. Rinse the blade after each pass and do not pull the skin taunt while shaving. Applying a cool compress to the skin after shaving also helps to prevent ingrown hairs. When ingrown hairs are present, wash the area with a washcloth or a soft-bristled toothbrush using a circular motion to release the hairs from the skin before shaving and again before bed.