If you’ve ever waxed, shaved, or had any type of hair removal in your life, then you’re likely to have experienced ingrown hairs. And if so, you’ve also probably wondered how to get rid of ingrown hairs. Because let’s be honest, they’re not great.
Ingrown hairs can cause irritation, red, bumpy skin and even scarring if you pick at them. So while it can be tempting to attack them with your own two hands, it’s better to fight them with knowledge. And that’s where we come in.
Like most beauty problems, prevention can be just as good as a cure. So if you know what causes ingrown hairs, you can do your best to avoid them.
Although, sometimes they can’t be helped. But we’ve got some solutions for when that happens also.
Ready to kick those ingrown hairs to the curb? Let’s do it.
What is an ingrown hair?
Ingrown hairs are exactly as they sound. It’s when a hair (or multiple hairs) grows back into your skin instead of rising up from it. This commonly happens after hair has been removed or cut, which is why ingrowns are closely associated with shaving and waxing. Once the hair tries to grow back, the hair follicle can sometimes be blocked from dead skin cells, forcing the hair to change direction and grow sideways under the skin instead of upwards.
How can I tell if I have one?
Ingrown hairs commonly appear as raised, red bumps. They can be quite similar in appearance to blind pimples. The bumps can be itchy, tender, and uncomfortable. You may be able to see the hair underneath the skin, and the bump can sometimes be filled with pus. For women, ingrown hairs are most commonly found on the underarms, legs, and pubic area (oh yeah, ingrown pubic hair is definitely a thing). For men, ingrown hairs can appear on the chin, cheeks or neck, usually wherever hair removal has taken place.
How can I get rid of ingrown hairs?
Similar to a pimple, you shouldn’t scratch or pick at an ingrown hair bump. This can lead to infection and scarring. Instead, you should use an ingrown hair treatment to reduce the swelling and draw out the hair. Our top picks for ingrown hair treatments are:
- LYCON SKIN Ingrown-X-it Wipes, $29.90 at lyconretail.com
- Bump eRaiser Triple Action Lotion, $17.99 at Chemist Warehouse
- Nad’s Ingrow Solution, $10.99 at Chemist Warehouse
- Waxaway After Care Lotion with Mango & Witch Hazel, $7.99 at Chemist Warehouse
How can I prevent getting them in the future?
Exfoliating your skin regularly can help to prevent ingrown hairs, as it will lessen the chance of dead skin cells blocking hair follicles. The treatments above can also be used as prevention methods, simply by applying them straight after hair removal.
For the best bump-free results, exfoliate the skin before hair removal. And if you’re shaving, make sure to use a prep and guard product like TriShave 3in1 Shave Crème For Women ($7.39 at Priceline) to soften the skin.
Do you suffer from ingrown hairs? How do you prefer to treat them?