Five Natural Solutions for Ingrown Hairs

11 February, 2021
It's important to treat ingrown hairs correctly if you want to avoid complications such as bacterial infections, or aesthetic problems such as darkening of the skin surrounding the affected area.
In order to choose a suitable procedure to remove ingrown hairs, you must first take into account some key aspects. Let’s look at them below.

Are ingrown hairs harmless?

Anybody can have ingrown hairs at any given time during their lifetime, especially if a person has very curly hair or often skips past the before and after steps when shaving.

Though ingrown hairs are harmless and only appear from time to time they can cause inflammation, reddening, and fill with pus, making them uncomfortable and unsightly.

Causes of ingrown hairs

An ingrown hair.

Ingrown hairs form when the hairs, instead of growing straight and outwards, can’t break through the skin barrier. This can occur because of the dead skin build-up over the hair follicle or because the hair itself is too thick and curly.

Other associated factors include:

  • Plucking
  • Dry shaving
  • Misuse of hair removal tools or razors
  • Pulling on the skin while shaving

Read: How to Remove Facial Hair Naturally

Signs of ingrown hairs

Ingrown hairs appear in zones that you shave frequently such as the chin, legs, and pubic region.

The main sign is a small bump that looks similar to a pimple. Inside, there’s an ingrown hair. Other problems that may result from ingrown hairs are the following:

  • Pain or sensitivity
  • Itching sensation
  • Darkening of the skin
  • Reddened skin
  • Small pus-filled bumps that look similar to blisters

Fortunately, there are several natural solutions that can help extract them without too much trouble.

Natural solutions for extracting ingrown hairs

To extract ingrown hairs, you’ll first need to do the following:

  • Wash the affected area with warm water. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, massage the area with soft circular movement to alleviate inflammation and pain.
  • Apply a chamomile compress for a few minutes
  • Take a sterilized needle and insert it under the skin. Carefully lift the end of the ingrown hair.
  • We would recommend stopping shaving, waxing, or depilating for a short time until you notice an improvement.

According to popular belief, you can also use the following natural remedies to treat ingrown hairs.

1. Warm compress

Some towels for a compress to treat ingrown hairs.
You can make your own warm compress by moistening a hand towel with warm water.

Applying a warm compress over the affected area can soften the tissue surrounding the inflammation, making it easier to extract ingrown hairs.

How to use

  • Submerge a small towel or cloth in hot water and apply it over the ingrown hair
  • Leave it on for 5 minutes, take it off for another 5 and apply again
  • Use this treatment several times a day until the hair is close enough to the skin’s surface

2. Sea salt

This natural exfoliant helps remove dead skin cells on the skin’s surface, reestablishing the original function of the affected hair follicle.

It’s believed that exfoliation can also help to improve blood circulation and encourage hairs to grow normally.

How to use

  • Moisten a little sea salt with water and rub it over the affected area with a gentle massage
  • Leave it on for 5 minutes and wash it off
  • Repeat the remedy every day until the ingrown hair is gone

Visit the article: Eight Surprising Benefits of Sea Salt

3. Apple cider vinegar

A bottle of apple cider vinegar.

Although this hasn’t been scientifically proven, it’s believed that the organic acids found in apple cider vinegar help reduce the inflammation that results from ingrown hairs.

How to use

  • Submerge a cotton ball or swab in apple cider vinegar and apply it over the ingrown hair
  • Gently press it in and leave it to work for 5 minutes
  • Take a sterilized needle and gently insert it underneath the ingrown hair. Carefully lift the tip of the hair and extract it with a pair of tweezers

4. Baking soda

According to popular belief, you can also use baking soda instead of vinegar. However, you should be careful with this product. This is because if you use too much or too frequently, it could burn the skin and worsen the problem.

How to use

  • Firstly, prepare a paste of baking soda and water. Then, rub it into the affected area.
  • Then, leave it on for 5 minutes and wash it off
  • Finally, repeat 2 times a day for best results

5. Black tea

A cup of black tea.

Black tea contains tannic acid, which is a substance that softens skin while reducing inflammation and reddening. It’s ideal for removing ingrown hairs.

How to use

  • Firstly, submerge a black tea bag in hot water and let it steep
  • When the water cools, apply it to the affected hair follicle and leave it on for a few minutes
  • Finally, repeat 2 or 3 times a day

What to do if these solutions for ingrown hairs don’t work

In case these solutions don’t help you to remove the ingrown hairs, the best thing to do is to go to a dermatologist. The professional will be able to provide you with the most appropriate treatment, not only depending on the ingrown hair but also on your skin type and other important factors to take into account.

Remember it’s very important you don’t touch the area with your hands constantly, or with tools (tweezers, pencils, or other pointed objects), as this will only increase the inflammation.

If the pus ball bursts, it may become infected again. It’s therefore essential to avoid handling it and, if you have to, you should do so with clean hands and with alcohol and absorbent cotton at hand.