Ingrown Hair - Home Remedies

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Please share any effective home remedies for dealing with ingrown hairs.

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Are there any home remedies for an ingrown hair?

Although no cure exists, it is possible to decrease the occurrence of ingrown hairs. The easiest way to do this is through proper hair and skin hygiene.

  • Hydrate and soften both the skin and the hair before shaving. This can result in a duller, rounded tip to the hair, which decreases the likelihood for hairs to reenter the skin.
  • Use a moistened washcloth, a wet sponge, or a soft-bristled toothbrush with a mild soap to wash the beard or hair for several minutes via a circular motion to help dislodge stubborn tips.
  • Some natural mild exfoliators, such as salt and sugar, can be applied to treat the redness or irritation that comes with the ingrown hair.
  • Do not shave against the direction or grain of the hair growth.
  • Avoid shaving too closely to the skin.
  • When using electric razors, some shaving techniques may help prevent ingrown hair. Keep the head of the electric razor slightly off the surface of the skin and shave in a slow, circular motion. Pressing the razor too close to the skin or pulling the skin taut can result in too close of a shave.
  • Leave very short 1 mm-2 mm stubble with shaving to help reduce the tendency of shaving too closely. These shaving techniques can avoid creating a sharp tip when shaving and prevent hair from reentering the skin by leaving slightly longer stubble.
  • Another way to prevent ingrown hairs is by avoiding shaving and allowing hair to grow naturally.
  • Carefully use a sterile needle and alcohol wipe to dislodge stubborn ingrown hairs or use tweezers to gently tease the hair out of the skin. However, this is usually not recommended in that these procedures may be too aggressive and cause further damage to the skin.
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Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 23

I use salt or sugar scrub about twice a week to exfoliate the dead dry skin from shaved areas. I also keep my legs and under arms well hydrated with Lubriderm lotion every day after bathing. This has reduced and almost eliminated all ingrown hairs. What few I find now are freed when I exfoliate.

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Comment from: Wizker, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 06

The top causes of ingrown hairs are: Too many passes with the blade. One pass, going 1 or 2 inches downward at a time will eliminate ingrown hairs. Too many blades; if you are prone to ingrown hair you don't need 3 or more blades. Pressing too hard on the skin with the blade. A gliding, light touch is all you need. Not enough preparation time. You should be using a warm/hot water preparation (5 minutes). Then leave the shaving cream on for more than 3 minutes to really soften the hair. Using a used blade (this one is obvious, of course). Use of skin/pore clogging creams or lotions. These keep hairs from growing out. After a shave, keep your skin bare; let it breathe and allow those newly shaved, really small, microscopic hairs to grow out just in time for the next shave. Not enough exfoliation to remove excess layers of skin. Use an ingrown hair brush or bump brush as directed. Shaving too many times. This rule is hard to follow especially if you have to shave for your career but if you are prone to ingrown hair, try shaving with an electric clipper. The results are not super close but no one but you will know the difference. Shaving against the grain. Shave in the direction of hair growth (usually down, but perform a face map to be sure). Avoid tight fitting clothing around the Adam's apple (neck) and/or below the waistline region.

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