How to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hairs

Updated on November 22, 2019
sparkleyfinger profile image

Lynsey loves trying out beauty tips and products. She often makes her own products and enjoys sharing any useful information that she finds!

No matter what form of hair removal you use, it is almost 100% likely that you will, at some point, experience an ingrown hair.

How you deal with it will determine whether the experience is easily forgotten, or remembered for years!

Let's face it, they can be pretty bad! Some can get to the stage where they become an abscess. EW!!! We definitely don't want that!

How to Treat the Ingrown Hair

So, If you've found yourself in the unfortunate position that you have an ingrown hair, here's how to treat it:

  • Use a poultice to draw out any infection. You can make one yourself by boiling the kettle and allowing it to cool to a warm, but comfortable temperature. Then add 2 tsp of sea salt and stir well. Dip a clean cotton wool ball or pad into the mixture and hole against the affected area. Repeat for 10 minutes or so, replacing the cotton wool whenever it cools.
  • Gently push the spot from the edges. This can be sore, but it may encourage the hair to pop through, which is the best scenario!
  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 if you think the spot is ready to burst. If a head hasn't formed, you will need to repeat this process each day to draw out the puss. Bear in mind that it can take days to proceed to the next stage! You can also use an ingrown hair solution from a beauty store, as this will help to thin the skin. I like Nad's ingrown hair solution.
  • If it pops, squeeze out all of the puss and clean thoroughly with more salt solution. Then apply an antiseptic ointment such as Savlon. Repeat this twice a day until it has healed.
  • If it refuses to pop after a few days, go to a doctor. They can lance the top off, and clean up any infection. You could also get antibiotics if it is particularly nasty, BUT it shouldn't come to that!

I'm guessing you don't really want to go through that again? Read on to discover how to prevent ingrown hairs from forming again. Or, if you are blessed, and haven't been through the joy of an ingrown hair, you can read on to ensure you never do!

How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs

You'll be happy to hear that the prevention of ingrown hairs is actually much easier than the treatment, so there's no excuse not to keep it up!

  • Exfoliate regularly. Every 2–3 days should work well. My sugar scrub recipe is ideal for this, or if you want to splash the cash, St Ives Apricot Scrub works really well, plus it is great for your face too!
  • If you shave, be sure to use a sharp blade. A new blade is ideal for shaving the bikini area, but this can prove to be expensive. Disposable razors can also be quite nasty to the skin. I like my Wilkinson Sword Bikini trimmer and Razor in one, but if I must use a disposable, I use the Wilkinson Sword Ladies disposables. Use a razor max 5 times on the bikini area, then perhaps use it only on legs or underarms, as they are more robust.
  • Moisturise using a lightweight formula that doesn't clog pores. Baby oil is ideal for this, and if you are using my sugar scrub recipe, then it is already included! 2 in 1!

And that's it!! 3 easy steps to prevent ingrown hairs, and they are easy and quick to do! much easier than the steps taken to treat ingrown hairs!

If after 2–3 months you are still having trouble with repeated ingrown hairs, you may want to re-evaluate your hair removal method. I have a Rio laser hair removal machine and have found that it isn't particularly painful (less painful than waxing), but can be a bit tedious going over the same areas so many times as the target area is quite small. Due to the tedious nature, I haven't used it nearly enough for permanent results, but I have a few friends who have had good results with it.

Ingrown hairs are a typical side effect of waxing because the hairs grow in softer in comparison to shaving. Then again, some people say that shaving causes the problem, in which case you could try waxing? Either way, change one thing at a time in order to determine what causes your ingrown hairs. Everyone is different.

It can be quite problematic to diagnose the cause- some people have an allergy to their shower gel or shaving cream, others just don't exfoliate or moisturise. Hopefully, this article has helped you on your way to treating and preventing ingrown hairs in the future!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Lynsey Hart


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    • sparkleyfinger profile imageAUTHOR

      Lynsey Hart 

      7 years ago from Lanarkshire

      thanks :)

    • Rebecca Furtado profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 

      7 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      Nice hub. Love your graphic.


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