What are ingrown hairs and how do you get rid of them?
18th October 2013
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Ingrown hairs are a common complaint for many customers of the Laser Hair Removal Centre, so Penny Dumbleton from the centre explains what they are, how they come about and how to remove them.

What are they?

Many customers are choosing to have laser hair removal because of ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are a condition where hair grows sideways into the skin and sometimes curls back into it. Often ingrown hairs come with an infection of the hair follicle, called razor bumps or to give it its proper scientific name, pseudo folliculitis barbae. These vary in size and the symptoms of it are itchy skin, rash, infection and pus under the skin and hair which stays despite repeated shaving. People with curly hair suffer ingrown hairs more than people with straight hair, but is common in people of both hair types.


Laser hair removal definitely doesn’t cause ingrown hairs, in fact in most cases it can get rid of them. The actual causes of ingrown hair are from anything with a sharp point that makes the hair come off unevenly. Tight clothing can even cause them.


There are lots of different methods you can try to get rid of ingrown hair. The first is to scrub and exfoliate the ingrown hair 2 times a day. Target it from different angles too. This will remove anything that might be blocking the ingrown hair, like oils or dirt. Then hopefully the ingrown hair will be moved out of your skin. Exfoliate using an exfoliating glove, special exfoliating cream or just plain and simple salt and olive oil. One word of warning though, it isn’t easy to remove an ingrown hair from a scab, so check with your doctor first.

Ingrown hairs are similar to spots or pimples, especially if they are accompanied with pus, so acne cream could help get rid of them. By combining spot cream with regular exfoliation, you can remove ingrown hairs. Swelling around the area will be reduced giving them more room to grow out as opposed to in. 

Warm compress is a recommended method of getting rid of ingrown hairs. To do this, damp a cloth with hot water, wring it out and press it against the ingrown hair. Once it goes cold, warm it up again. If the ingrown hairs embedded in the skin compression will soften it up and bring it closer to the surface. Leave the compression on until you can see it up to a maximum of 10 minutes, after that time you won’t be able to get rid of it yourself, or it might be something else entirely.

After you’ve brought the hair to the surface, use tweezers or a sterile needle to coax the hair from the skin. But never do this if you can’t get to it easily and try not to remove the whole hair, just the ingrown end. It could take a while, so keep trying.  Make sure you don’t nip the skin though!

Bear in mind that pointy end tweezers cause less damage to the skin then flat tipped ones, so choose your pair carefully.

More often than not you’ll notice a curly lock of hair close to the surface of the skin, which means that the tip of hair has begun growing into it. Tug the loop of hair with a needle and it’ll usually become loose.

Once you’ve got rid of all the ingrown hairs, keep the area clear by washing it with warm water and moisturising soap on a daily basis. For added protection, add an antiseptic cream to the solution. Wear loose fitting clothing and exfoliate the area to prevent them growing back.

Of course, you can visit the Laser Hair Removal Centre for treatment on ingrown hairs. These are very effective. 

If none of these methods work, it could be because they are in very deep, so consult your doctor.

Penny co owns the Laser Hair Removal Centre in Bolton


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