Best Ways To Get Rid of Ingrown Hair

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Have you got areas of your face or on your body where you can see a tiny hair trapped in the pore or under a layer of skin? Or have you got a pimple with a black dot or a clearly visible hair in it? This may very likely be an ingrown hair. 

ingrown hair

What does an ingrown hair look like? 

Ingrown hair are sometimes clearly visible short hair laid flat against the skin trapped under a layer of clear skin. Others are red, sore bumps with a black dot in the middle showing in the tip of the hair. These can then become infected and look like red sore pimples filled with yellow pus. 

What causes an ingrown hair?

Ingrown hair is hair trapped under a layer of skin and can occur on the face or body. Most people can get ingrown hair after shaving and sometimes after waxing. After hair removal, as the hair grows back, it can sometimes become blocked and trapped in the hair follicle turning into bumps or even infected pimples. As the hair grows in the hair follicle it can either just curl up, and look unsightly from the surface, or it can "dig" into the surrounding skin. This will cause the skin to regard it as foreign material, and it will try to push it out, hence the infection and inflammation. 

How to get rid of ingrown hair?

Prevention is the key. Moisturising the skin daily is important to keep it soft because when the skin is dry, it pulls tight at the surface, blocking the hair. If the skin is dehydrated, it cannot exfoliate itself effectively, causing a build-up of dead cells which can block the pores.

This film of dead cell build-up on the surface will cause the hair to curl and grow inwards, not outwards, so exfoliating 2-3 times per week will help prevent the problem and even help "release" the blocked hair before it becomes a problem. A good loofah or a body scrub can do the job nicely. For the face, try using a gentle enzymatic exfoliant 2-3 times per week.

Infected Ingrown Hair

salicylic acid
If the hair follicles have become infected and inflamed, treat the infection by dabbing on an anti-bacterial toner, serum, cream or lotion. Your beauty therapist can recommend a good anti-bacterial product we usually use to treat infected acne. Anti-bacterial ingredients to look out for include willow bark or willow herb, tea tree oil, or salicylic acid which also doubles as an exfoliant to help release the trapped hair from the hair follicle. All of the above are also anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce the localised redness and swelling surrounding the infected ingrown hair. Some of these ingredients may be too strong and very irritating on intimate areas, so please consult with your beauty therapist for advice. 

To draw out a stubborn ingrown hair, I found zinc based spot treatments very good. Often used to treat acne. Another option I found great is Ichthammol Ointment in a carrier such as paraffin or beeswax. The best ones also contain natural ingredients such as arnica, vitamin E or comfrey, which can further aid in healing. Apply on the ingrown hair, cover with a band-aid, and allow it to draw the hair and any infection out to the surface. When the hair is ready to pop, you can gently ease it out with sterilised tweezers. If you're not sure how or you need help, your beauty therapist may be able to tweeze or lance the stubborn hair out. 

I hope you found this article helpful. 

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Have a beautiful day! 
Jana x
Jana Elston
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  1. Jana, you are amazing! This is such a helpful and comprehensive presentation about ingrown hairs, prevention and cure. I sincerely appreciate your genuine passion to educate and encourage beauticians like myself, as well as beauty therapists and the wider community who also seek skincare and body wellness . You always explain things so thoroughly. You are an absolute guru when it comes to all things "beauty", an inspiration to me and being part of the beauty group provides me with ample resources to keep me on track with my ability to work with my own clients. I truly appreciate that you do what you do. Bx


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