Get Rid Of Ingrown Hair For Smoother Skin

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Shaving, waxing, or tweezing your hair may give rise to some ingrown hair, which manifests in the form of small bumps. Therefore, people tend to remove ingrown hair for smoother skin. But here is the catch! Pressing or poking these pimple-like bumps can sometimes lead to bacterial infections and even leave scars on the skin. So, if you wonder what is the way forward, we are here to help you out. In this article, you will explain what ingrown hair is, its causes, how to remove them safely, and a few tips to prevent its reoccurrence. So, let’s jump right in!

What Is Ingrown Hair?

Ingrown hair is hair curling and growing back into the skin, forming a loop instead of growing outward. This hair is trapped under a skin layer and appears like a bump. Usually, ingrown hair bumps are darker than the individual’s skin tone. Infected ingrown hair can also get itchy or filled with pus. So, what causes hair to grow inside the skin? Find out in the next section.

What Causes Ingrown Hair? 

  • Dead skin usually clogs the hair follicles on the skin surface. This forces the hair to grow under the skin, sideways, and not outwards. One may experience inflammation leading to skin redness or darkening. It also may result in a bacterial infection or pus formation.
  • Shaving, waxing, or plucking hair can also cause ingrown hair. Shaving with a rusted razor, stretching the skin while shaving, and shaving against the hair direction can cause ingrown hair. Plucking or tweezing can irritate the skin, causing the hair to curl and clog the pore instead of growing outward. Even the strips used in waxing, if not pulled in the direction opposite to hair growth, can cause ingrown hair.
  • Wearing tight clothes causes ingrown hair. This is especially true in summers or during a workout. The clothes rub against the skin and may cause ingrown hair.

Never scrape, poke, or prick ingrown hair. There are other ways to get rid of ingrown hair safely. We have discussed them below.

How To Get Rid Of Ingrown Hair Safely?

The most effective way to prevent and treat ingrown hair is Laser hair Reduction (LHR). Let us understand how you can get rid of those pesky ingrown hairs on your face, pubic areas, arms, and legs.

  • Use A Warm Compress: Wet a clean washcloth with warm water and press it against your skin for two minutes. Gently rub the cloth in circular motions. Doing this twice a day can open up the clogged pores and reduce the chances of inflammation and bacterial infection.
  • Use An Exfoliant: Apply a cream-based exfoliant (the exfoliating beads should not be too harsh) to your skin in gentle, circular motions. Wash the area with lukewarm water and pat dry. Repeat once a week as doing it daily can irritate the skin. You can also visit a clinic to use chemical exfoliants containing glycolic acid to remove the ingrown hairs.
  • Use A Toner With Salicylic Acid: Using a toner with salicylic acid after exfoliation helps soothe your skin. The toner will help prevent pigmentation and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Use A Tweezer: Sterilize the tweezer in boiling water. Rub the affected skin area with rubbing alcohol and gently tweeze out the hair. Avoid tweezing if the hair is embedded deep into the skin and needs constant digging. Digging into the skin may cause inflammation and hyperpigmentation. It also may open up the pore and allow bacteria and dirt to enter easily.
  • Use A Needle: Be extra cautious while removing ingrown hair with a needle. Do not try this at home as there are high chances of secondary infection.  Sterilize the needle first in boiling water. Rub the affected skin area with rubbing alcohol. Gently prick the area. If the gentle prick does not expose the ingrown hair, do not proceed. Soothe the skin for a couple of days with a warm compress. You can try with the needle again after two days, with caution.

These are the various ways you can get rid of ingrown hair at home. However, there can be situations warranting a visit to the doctor.

When To See A Dermatologist?

If you are worried about infecting or hurting yourself with any of the home-based methods, see a dermatologist. Dermatologists can help extract the pus-filled ingrown hair cysts without any risk of infection or wound. The skincare products a dermatologist recommends also help reduce any hyperpigmentation.

You can prevent ingrown hair with a few minor adjustments. We have discussed them below.

Tips For Preventing Ingrown Hair 

  • Avoid using a razor blade: Keep your hands off razor blades until the ingrown hair heals.
  • Shave in the direction of the hair: Shaving against the direction of the hair can expose the hair follicles and clog them with dirt. This leaves no free passage outward for the hair that grows, making it curl up inside.
  • Avoid tweezing too much: Tweezing out one or two ingrown hairs is alright. However, using tweezers too often to remove hair from your face, underarms, legs, or abdomen can open up the pores to dirt and bacteria.
  • Use a warm shower: Showering in lukewarm water before waxing or shaving can help. The warm water will soften the skin and make waxing or shaving easier.
  • Use a new shaving blade: Avoid using the same shaving blade more than once.
  • Use an astringent: Using an astringent after shaving or waxing will close the pores and prevent bacterial infections.


Ingrown hair can be annoying and, in some cases, embarrassing too. But if you take precautions and use the right techniques, you will enjoy smoother and even-toned skin. Take the right measures and remove your ingrown hair today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any home remedies for removing ingrown hair?

There is limited information on home remedies for removing ingrown hair. However, you can soothe the inflammation caused by ingrown hair by using tea tree oil diluted in coconut oil. Apply this mixture to the affected area.

Do ingrown hairs affect the entire body?

Yes, ingrown hairs can affect any area of the body you regularly remove hair from. These can include the face, arms, underarms, legs, bikini area, abdomen, and chest.

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