15 Simple Tips To Reduce The Growth Of Ingrown Hair July 30, 2016

Weird bumps have sprung up on your face and body. They are neither hives nor pimples. What could they be? They are nothing but ingrown hairs. When the hair curls and grows back into the skin instead of rising up from it, it is known as an ingrown hair.

Dead skin usually clogs up the hair follicles present on the surface. This tends to force the hair inside it to grow under the skin sideways, instead of outward and upward. Though ingrown hair isn’t a serious issue, it can be embarrassing and irritating. A single raised red bump or a group of bumps that look similar to little pimples develop. Sometimes, these can form painful, boil-like sores. You might start feeling itchy and uncomfortable, especially if you have a lot of them.

Men usually get ingrown hair on their chin, neck, or cheeks after they’ve shaved. On the other hand, women usually get them on their legs, armpits, or buttocks. The problem of ingrown hairs is very common, and anyone can develop them. However, people with curly hair suffer the most from this problem. Curly hair has more tendency to bend back and re-enter the skin, especially after it has been cut or shaved.

Are you struggling with ingrown hair? If yes, then follow these simple tips to reduce their growth.

Home Remedies For Ingrown Hair

There is no specific or real-time treatment available for ingrown hair. Ingrown hair looks bad and may mar the beautyof your skin. Hence, it is better to use certain remedies and treatments that help to reduce its growth.

Effective Tips To Remove Ingrown Hair

  1. Tea Tree Oil
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar
  4. Witch Hazel
  5. Epsom Salt
  6. Aspirin
  7. Warm Compress
  8. Aloe Vera
  9. Castor Oil
  10. Vinegar
  11. Salt
  12. Baking Soda
  13. Sugar Scrub
  14. Honey
  15. Pumice Stone

1. Tea Tree Oil For Ingrown Hair

 1. Tea Tree Oil For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops tea tree oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the two oils and apply the mixture on the affected area. Massage for a minute or two.
  2. Leave it on for 10-12 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

Tea tree oil is commonly used to treat acne and other skin problems. Its anti-inflammatory and healing properties will loosen up the skin’s pores and get rid of the ingrown hair easily. Also, this essential oil is an antimicrobial agent (1). It will not let any infection develop at the affected site.

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2. Coconut Oil For Ingrown Hair

2. Coconut Oil For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Virgin coconut oil (unrefined)
  • Tissue
What You Have To Do
  1. Apply coconut oil directly on the affected area and leave it on.
  2. Wipe it off with a clean tissue after 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this thrice a day.

Why This Works

The medium chain fatty acids present in coconut oil, primarily lauric acid, are responsible for its antimicrobial activity (2). Apart from this, coconut oil is also effective in reducing inflammation and pain and soothing the skin (3).

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3. Apple Cider Vinegar For Ingrown Hair

3. Apple Cider Vinegar For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Apply the apple cider vinegar to affected area with a cotton ball and let it air-dry.
  2. Rinse the area with plain water after 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar is a natural antibacterial agent and will slough away dead skin cells (4). It will also open up the clogged pores and give access to the ingrown hair to grow outwards (5).

Caution

If you have sensitive skin, dilute the ACV with water in 1:1 ratio and then apply.

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4. Witch Hazel For Ingrown Hair

 4. Witch Hazel For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Witch hazel
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do

After shaving, dip a cotton ball in witch hazel and swipe the entire area that you just shaved. There is no need to wash off the witch hazel.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this every time you shave.

Why This Works

This remedy works best when it is used after shaving to prevent ingrown hair from developing. It is a topical astringent and antibacterial in nature. It will protect the hair follicles from getting infected. It is also anti-inflammatory and will reduce the irritation that follows shaving (6).

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5. Epsom Salt For Ingrown Hair

5. Epsom Salt For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 cups Epsom salt
  • Bathtub
  • Warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the Epsom salt to the warm water in the bathtub.
  2. Soak in this water for about 15 minutes.
  3. Shower as usual.
How Often You Should Do This

Soak every day to get rid of ingrown hair, especially in the private areas.

Why This Works

Epsom salt is not only antibacterial in nature, but it also detoxifies and cleanses the skin (7, 8). Thus, it becomes easier to remove the ingrown hair.

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[ Read: Tips To Remove Unwanted Facial Hair ]

6. Aspirin For Ingrown Hair

6. Aspirin For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1-2 aspirin tablets
  • A tablespoon of water
  • A few drops of honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the aspirin tablets in water and let them dissolve. Once they are dissolved, mix well to form a paste.
  2. Add honey to this paste.
  3. Apply this paste on the affected area evenly and let it dry for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse with water and pat dry.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this paste twice a week.

Why This Works

Aspirin acts as an exfoliant and unclogs pores that have the ingrown hair (9).

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7. Warm Compress For Ingrown Hair

7. Warm Compress For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Soft washcloth
  • Warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Soak the cloth completely in warm water. Remove it and wring out the excess water.
  2. Place this cloth on the affected area for a couple of minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this a couple of times during the day.

Why This Works

Using the method of warm washcloth suppression on ingrown hair helps to bring the hair close to the surface of the skin. Repeating this process a number of times can coax the ingrown end of the hair to naturally emerge to the surface (10). You can also use sterilized tweezers to pull the hair out once it has emerged on the surface. Always follow up with an astringent after this to prevent infections.

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8. Aloe Vera For Ingrown Hair

8. Aloe Vera For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Fresh aloe vera gel

What You Have To Do
  1. Extract the gel from an aloe leaf and apply it on the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for half an hour and then rinse with warm water.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this twice or thrice a day.

Why This Works

Aloe vera gel contains potent nutrients and chemicals that quicken the healing process and soothe the skin. It is also an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compound (11).

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9. Castor Oil For Ingrown Hair

 9. Castor Oil For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • Castor oil
  • Washcloth
  • Warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a generous amount of castor oil on the affected area and leave it on for about 15 minutes.
  2. Soak the washcloth in the warm water and wipe off the castor oil using this.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

The benefits of using castor oil for ingrown hair can be attributed to its skin cleansing properties (12). It also possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties (13).

[ Read: Laser Hair Removal ]

10. Vinegar For Ingrown Hair

10. Vinegar For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • Small napkin
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the vinegar and water, and soak the napkin in this.
  2. Place this on the affected area for five to seven minutes.
  3. Remove and rinse with water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice a day.

Why This Works

The acidity of the vinegar will exfoliate the skin and open up the pores so that the ingrown hair can come out of the skin surface. It is also an anti-infective chemical (14).

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11. Salt For Ingrown Hair

11. Salt For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • A cup of water
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Add the salt to the water and mix it well.
  2. Soak the cotton ball in this and rub it on the affected area.
  3. Let it air dry for a couple of minutes before rinsing it off.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice daily to get rid of ingrown hair.

Why This Works

Salt exfoliates the skin and removes the dead skin cells, thus unclogging the hair follicles (15). It is also antibacterial in nature and reduces inflammation (16).

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12. Baking Soda For Ingrown Hair

 12. Baking Soda For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • A cup of water
  • Cotton ball
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the baking soda in the water. Apply this solution on the affected area with the cotton ball.
  2. Let it air dry for five to seven minutes. Rinse with cool water.
How Often You Should Do This

Repeat this twice or thrice in a day.

Why This Works

Like salt, baking soda is also an exfoliator for the skin (17). It also soothes the skin and relieves irritation (18).

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[ Read: Best Hair Serums ]

13. Sugar Scrub For Ingrown Hair

13. Sugar Scrub For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need
  • 1 cup white or brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or jojoba oil
  • A few drops of tea tree oil (optional)
  • A few drops of lavender oil (optional)
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix all the ingredients and apply the mixture on the affected area.
  2. Massage gently using circular motions for a few minutes. Let it sit for a minute or two. Then, rinse with lukewarm water.
  3. Pat dry and moisturize.
How Often You Should Do This

Use this scrub up to twice a week.

Why This Works

Exfoliating the skin helps to a great extent in getting rid of ingrown hair. Scrubbing the skin with sugar helps to clean and unclog these pores. This ensures the normal growth of hair and also physically nudges out the hair tips from underneath the skin (19).

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14. Honey For Ingrown Hair

 14. Honey For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Honey

What You Have To Do
  1. Apply a thin and even layer of honey on the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for about 10 to 12 minutes. Then, rinse with lukewarm water.
How Often You Should Do This

Apply this twice a day.

Why This Works

Honey has anti-inflammatory properties and is an emollient. Its antibacterial properties will protect the ingrown hair from getting infected (20).

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15. Pumice Stone For Ingrown Hair

 15. Pumice Stone For Ingrown Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

Pumice stone

What You Have To Do
  1. Shower as usual with warm water.
  2. After rinsing away the soap lather, gently scrub the area that has ingrown hair with the pumice stone in small circles. Do not apply too much pressure as it will scrape the top layer of your skin.
  3. Rinse off the dead skin cells with water and pat dry. Apply an unscented moisturizer.
How Often You Should Do This

Scrub using a pumice stone once or twice a week.

Why This Works

The hard and porous surface of the pumice stone works well to remove all the accumulated dead skin cells and unclog pores, thus helping you get rid of ingrown hair.

Caution

Do not use a pumice stone on irritated and inflamed skin, or on sensitive areas.

Make sure you are gentle while using these home remedies. The only aim of using them is to open up the clogged hair follicles and not to irritate the skin and cause rashes.

 Listed below are a few frequently asked questions.

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 FAQs

  • What causes ingrown hairs on legs?

Ingrown hairs can develop anywhere on the body, be it the legs or arms, and this is because the hair follicles get clogged, which causes the hair to grow inwards.

  • Does ingrown hair create lasting skin problems?

Ingrown hair does not cause any long-lasting skin problems, apart from the red bumps that it forms. If it gets infected, then it causes a rash, which might take a while to go away. 

  • How long does it take for ingrown hairs to go away?

It can take anywhere between a few days to a couple of weeks for ingrown hairs to go away by themselves. Sometimes, they do not go away for months. It is always better to use simple home remedies and maintain hygiene to prevent their formation. 

  • What are ingrown pubic hairs?

When the pubic area is shaved or waxed, there are chances that the fresh hair that is growing out will curl back and grow inwards. Compared to the rest of the body, the hair in this part is thicker and curlier, making it more prone to develop ingrown hair.

  • How to treat infected ingrown hair?

If the ingrown hair becomes red and tender, and is painful when touched, there might be an infection present. Using home remedies like tea tree oil will help curb this infection. You can always consult your doctor if you are unsure about how to treat it.

Keep your skin clean and clear. Do cleanse it regularly in order to remove dead skin cells and prevent the pores from clogging. This will prevent the formation of ingrown hair. Rub your face every day with a wet washcloth or a good exfoliating scrub in a circular motion. This will tweeze out the stubborn ingrown hair on your face and neck.

Follow these simple tips to help reduce and remove the growth of ingrown hair. If you have any more ideas to suppress the growth of ingrown hair, do share with us. Please don’t forget to post your feedback via the comments section below.

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