An ingrown hair is actually a hair that curls back on itself and , while ingrown hair is more common with people having curly hair, almost everybody will get one at some time, and if you shave regularly, you may have to deal with ingrown hairs quite frequently. Got one now? Follow these instructions to get rid of it, and keep it from coming back.
Exfoliate the area. Twice a day, scrub the ingrown hair gently. This will help to remove any dead skin cells, dirt, and oils that might be trapping the ingrown hair. It may also physically nudge the tip of the hair out of your skin. Try to hit the ingrown hair from a variety of directions.
Be gentle. You’ll need to exfoliate enough to achieve this effect, but not so much that the area surrounding the ingrown hair starts to bleed.
- When in doubt, exfoliate more gently but for a longer period of time.
- Note! It’s very difficult to remove an ingrown hair from under a scab. In this case, it might be best to use a different method, or consult your doctor.
Apply a dab of acne medication. Ingrown hairs are pretty similar to pimples, especially when the ingrown hair is accompanied by pus. Apply benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid several times a day for a few days. This, combined with daily exfoliation, is often enough to remove the ingrown hair, since swelling will be reduced, giving the hair more room to grow out (rather than in).
Apply a warm, moist compress to the area for a few minutes. This will soften the skin.
- Just wet a washcloth with hot water, wring it out, and press it against the ingrown hair. When the washcloth cools down, run it under hot water again.
- If you can see the ingrown hair embedded in the skin, this treatment will soften the hair and bring it closer to the surface. If you can’t initially see the hair, leave the warm cloth on until it rises to the skin’s surface.
- If you apply the compress for ten minutes and you still can’t see any sign of hair, you’re not going to be able to remove it yourself, or it might be something else altogether. And while you’re fretting over your skin, this might be a good time to check for skin cancer!