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What Hair Removal Is Best for Ingrown Hairs? (4 Ways)

By Laura
May 26, 2024
6 minutes
What Hair Removal Is Best for Ingrown Hair

We all want to get rid of unwanted hair from our bodies and faces, but none of us want that removed hair to grow back, especially into ingrown hair, right? Well, no matter how much we try, there is always the risk of developing ingrown hair.

This hair appears as a bump with a dark spot on the skin and makes our freshly shaved skin appear flawed. And then we start trying a variety of methods to remove that ingrown hair. 

Some of the methods work well to remove them while the other are ineffective. So, do you want to know which hair removal method actually works the best for ingrown hairs

If yes, explore it with us. 

Table of Contents:

1. What are Ingrown Hairs?

What are Ingrown HairsIngrown hair, also known as pseudofolliculitis barbae/PFB, is the condition of the skin and the hair in which the half-broken strand of the hair twists itself and grows into the superficial layer of the skin. 

Ingrown hairs often occur in the parts of the body with thick and dark hair like the pubes and legs. This is also the reason why only a few people experience ingrown hair on their faces except the chin. Note that, the thick beards of men are also prone to ingrown hair. 

An ingrown hair causes symptoms like a bump on the skin, redness, inflammation, pain, tenderness, and skin irritation. Furthermore, an ingrown hair can appear in the form of papules, and pustules, and can also complicate and form cysts. 

2. What are the Causes of Ingrown Hairs?

Inappropriate removal of the hair from the skin results in ingrown hair. So, here are a few causes that can make you prone to ingrown hairs.

  • Close shaves that cause the remanent of the hair to grow back into the skin
  • Use of a dull blade while shaving does not cut the hair strand sharply and also irritates the skin 
  • Breaking the hair strands when you wax or tweeze the unwanted hair, especially on skin with accumulated dead skin cells and excessive oils
  • Wearing tight clothes that creates friction

Also, note that ingrown hairs act like foreign bodies, initiate an immune reaction in the skin, and cause inflammation. 

3. What are the Methods to Remove Ingrown Hairs? (4 Ways)

Here are three methods of hair removal that help in the removal of the hair in a way that you avoid ingrown hair. Also, these methods can help you get rid of ingrown hair as well. 

Depilatory Creams

 Depilatory CreamsHair removal creams do not trim the hair. Rather, it dissolves the protein in the hair strands. There are little to no chances for this dissolved hair to grow back into the skin. Consequently, you can achieve ingrown hair-free skin. 

Furthermore, depilatory creams are also one of the most common methods of hair removal in areas with thick hair like the pubic region, armpits, and legs. 

Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair RemovalIf we think about the root cause of ingrown hair, it is the trimmed strands growing back into the skin, right? Therefore, you can remove the ingrown hair for good by stopping the unwanted hair from growing in the first place.

The top method that can help you stop the growth of ingrown hair and also make the thick hair fine is laser hair removal

IPL Hair Removal Devices 

IPL Hair Removal DevicesLaser hair removal can be uncomfortable and expensive. Additionally, it can be inconvenient because of monthly hair removal sessions. In such cases, IPL hair removal devices can serve as the ultimate way to remove unwanted hair.

The working principle of these devices is almost the same as that of laser hair removal. However, these are economical, nearly painless, and convenient. 

Electrolysis 

ElectrolysisElectrolysis is another way to get rid of unwanted hair from the roots. It treats the hair follicles individually and allows you to remove the most annoying ingrown hair at first. 

However, it can be painful and you need up to 30 sessions to treat a whole area.

4. What Methods Should Be Avoided if You Get Ingrown Hair?

If you get ingrown hair often, here are some hair removal methods that you should avoid. 

Shaving

Shaving is the worst thing you can do to your skin if you get ingrown hair. If you shave close to your skin or your shaving blade is dull, the hair grows back quickly into the surface of the skin.

Waxing 

While it seems like waxing removes the hair from the roots, there are chances that some hair is not completely removed with the wax. These hair strands also grow back into the skin resulting in an inflammatory reaction and thus ingrown hair. 

Tweezing

At times, pointed tweezers can be used to remove the ingrown hair. However, without proper preparation and technique of tweezing, there is a risk of breaking the hair strand and thus getting unwanted ingrown hair. 

5. What Hair Removal Methods is Best for Ingrown Hairs?

If we compare the methods of hair removal that are suitable for ingrown hair, it is apparent that semi-permanent hair removal is the way to go. Laser hair removal and IPL hair removal are two of the semi-permanent methods you can try.

IPL is preferred out of the two because of the following reasons,

  • IPL hair removal devices can last for decades allowing you to perform initial treatment and follow-up sessions as you like
  • In contrast to the pricking pain of laser, IPL hair removal is more gentle and comfortable on the skin
  • The cost of IPL hair removal is much less than that of the laser
  • There is no need to book sessions and travel every month to get the laser treatment with IPL
  • IPL hair removal devices offer fast treatments and noticeable results in just a few weeks

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6. How to Treat Ingrown Hair?

Here are the treatment options you can use to treat ingrown hair. 

Apply Warm Complex

As the broken hair strand is stuck in the skin, you have to open the skin pores to remove the ingrown hair. For this, simply soak a towel in warm water and apply it to the area with ingrown hair.

Keep the towel for a few minutes until the skin is softened and the hair is removed. After that, take a sterile needle or pointed tweezer and carefully remove the ingrown hair in a well-lit room. 

Use Topical Treatments

Some topical treatment options are also available to treat both ingrown hair and its symptoms. These include,

  • Steroid ointments that work as anti-inflammatory agents to calm skin redness and irritation
  • Tretinoids and benzoyl peroxide help in reducing the complications of ingrown hair like the development of acne and cysts
  • Clindamycin can be used in case of folliculitis associated with ingrown hair

Exfoliate the Skin 

Skin exfoliation removes the topmost layer of the dead skin cells that are present above the ingrown hair. Once that layer is removed, the hair is exposed on the surface of the skin and it grows naturally as well.

Here are the agents you can use to exfoliate the skin,

  • Physical gentle exfoliants
  • Chemical exfoliants like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, AHA, and BHA 

Try Natural Remedies  

Treating your skin with home remedies can also be used for the treatment of ingrown hair. Some of the home remedies for ingrown hair include,

  • Dilute tea tree oil
  • An organic exfoliating mixture made of sugar, body oil, and honey
  • Aloe vera and witch hazel to soothe inflammation 

7. How to Prevent Ingrown Hair?

Lastly, let us discuss some ways to prevent ingrown hair.

  • Removal of the hair from the roots with methods like electrolysis, IPL, and laser can help you avoid ingrown hair
  • Exfoliate your skin regularly to reduce the buildup of dead skin cells that interfere with the adequate removal of unwanted hair from the skin
  • Moisturize your skin after hair removal to reduce friction and skin dryness 
  • Always use a sharp fresh blade if you choose to shave unwanted hair

Conclusion 

Ingrown hair appears as inflamed bumps on the areas with thick hair growth because of substandard removal of unwanted hair by methods like waxing, shaving, and tweezing.

The hair removal methods that eliminate the hair strand by dissolving it or burning it can be used to get rid of ingrown hair. These methods include hair removal creams, IPL, laser, and electrolysis.

The best of these methods can be laser hair removal and IPL technology as they remove the follicle that is causing ingrown hair. 

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