Witch Hazel is the common name for a distillation made from a shrub (Hamamelis virginiana). Witch Hazel distillate was invented by Native Americans as a treatment for cuts, bites, and sore muscles. Today it is commonly used as an astringent and for its antiseptic properties. Ingrown hairs are more common among curly haired people than those with straight hair, as they are caused by the curled hair growing back into the hair follicle. Witch Hazel will not cure the ingrown hair, but it can be used for relief and as a preventative.
Witch Hazel to Relieve Ingrown Hairs
Measure 2.5 ounces of witch hazel hazel into a small measuring glass or cylinder. Transfer into a 10 ounce plastic bottle.
Add eight aspirin tablets to the bottle. Close the cap and shake the bottle thoroughly.
Measure out 5.5 ounces of rubbing alcohol into a small measuring glass or graduated cylinder. Pour it into the other 10 ounce plastic bottle.
Add 18 aspirin tablets to the bottle of alcohol. Twist the lid shut and shake thoroughly.
Let the bottles sit, shaking periodically until most of the aspirin has dissolved. Not all of it will.
Shake the alcohol bottle, then pour the contents of the alcohol bottle into the witch hazel bottle.
Wet a cotton swab with the mixed liquid. Wipe the swab over the ingrown hair to relieve the affected area.
Using Witch Hazel to Prevent Ingrown Hairs
Hold a clean hand towel under hot running water before you shave. Press the towel to the area to be shaved until you feel that your skin has warmed up. This softens the hair. Cup some hot water in your hands and splash it onto the area to be shaved.
Shave the hair with a sharp, single blade razor. Always shave in the direction the hair is growing.
Wet a cotton ball with some witch hazel and dab it onto the freshly shaved skin.
Darby Stevenson began writing in 1997 for his high-school newspaper, the "Alsea Valley Voice," which won him statewide awards for Best Feature Article and Best Personality Interview. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from the University of Oregon.
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