Healthy Living

5 Ways to Remove an Ingrown Hair

Solutions that are preventive in nature, which help alleviate symptoms of ingrown hair

5 Ways to Remove an Ingrown Hair

The ease of access of an ingrown hair (on face, neck, chest, abdomen, genital areas or limbs) determines the speed with which you can relieve symptoms. Here are five solutions that will provide instant relief from troubling symptoms like pain, infection, and inflammation. These are not meant to be long-term treatment options.

1.  Removing the outermost layer of dead skin cells

Exfoliating dead cells is one of the most effective methods for removing ingrown hair. As you brush away dead cells that tend to clog and seal pore openings, do so in a gentle and nonabrasive manner.

  • Stand under a warm shower for a couple of minutes
  • Cleanse the affected area with diluted tea tree oil or lavender oil
  • Using a clean loofah, apply a skin cleaning agent containing glycolic acid
  • Swirl the loofah with gentle circular strokes over the affected area
  • Repeat warm water shower
  • Use a fresh cotton towel to pat yourself dry (no vigorous rubbing)

Ideally, the procedure should be repeated on alternating days after hair removal.

2.  Directly removing ingrown hair using a pair of pointed tweezers

Larger isolated hair follicles that are painful and swollen and be removed with tweezers.

  • Clean and disinfect the area surrounding the bump using cotton swabs dipped in alcohol
  • Direct a steady jet of steam to soften up the skin
  • Using gloved fingers, pinch the area around the follicle to raise the bump and expose its reddened tip
  • Use a sterilized needle to incise the tip of the bump to expose the hair curled beneath
  • Use sterilized tweezers to snip the head of the hair leaving its root intact.
  • Use a solution to disinfect the area
  • Use antibacterial cream to check infection


3.  Scrubbing the skin with sugar crystals

A paste of sugar crystals dissolved in plain water, or olive or jojoba oil, applied to irritated skin soothes burning sensations created by bumps. Rub the skin in a smooth circular motion. The crystals scrub away dead skin cells, leaving smooth new skin in its wake. The thinning of the uppermost skin stratum also ensures that in-growths do not recur. Existing follicles are ruptured thereby exposing the curled hair within. Finish off by applying topical antibiotic cream and moisturizer to keep the skin moist.

4.  Focusing laser beams in targeted areas prone to in-growths

When hair in-growths recur with disturbing frequency, despite the best available skin care treatments, lasers offer a permanent solution. Very high-frequency lasers area focused on skin cells. The immediate effect is the heating up of hair by its roots. This effectively damages and the hair thereby stunting growth. Darkening of skin pigmentation is one of the side effects, and treatment is expensive.

5.  Destroying hair roots permanently through electrical stimulation

In this procedure, tiny sterilized stainless steel needles are implanted in the skin's surface, at predetermined points through which pulses of electrical energy are passed. Electrolysis effectively destroys the roots of embedded hair preventing hair tissue from growing again. The treatment takes around a month to complete, and is as expensive as laser treatment. But results are satisfying, as in-growths cease to appear in the targeted area.