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How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs

Here's how to banish any ingrown hairs you have, plus prevent new ones from forming.


  • Step 1: Don't pluck it Never pluck an ingrown hair; it can spread bacteria, leading to infection and possible scarring.
  • Step 2: Exfoliate and moisturize Moisturize daily and exfoliate regularly -- daily or every other day as long as you're using a gentle exfoliant; weekly if you have sensitive skin. Keeping skin moist may help a wayward hair find its way out of the follicle on its own. If it doesn't, have a licensed aesthetician remove it.
  • TIP: Look for a salt-based exfoliating scrub or one containing salicylic acid.
  • Step 3: Wash with shower gel Always wash before shaving, as dirt can lead to ingrown hairs. Use bath gel instead of bar soap, which is more likely to leave a film that can clog follicles.
  • Step 4: Rub hair the right way Cleanse skin in an upward, circular motion; this helps prevent hair from growing inward by sweeping it up and away from the way it grows.
  • Step 5: Soften skin before shaving Soften skin before shaving with either a cream made for that purpose or hair conditioner, and use a sharp razor. A dull blade on dry skin increases the chance that hair will curl back into the skin or grow sideways.
  • TIP: Try not to shave over the same area twice; the more the blade glides over the same patch, the greater the chance of developing an ingrown hair.
  • Step 6: Rinse skin with cold water Rinse your skin with very cold water after shaving to make pores contract; then briskly dry with a clean towel to help exfoliate the area.
  • Step 7: Switch to waxing Consider switching to waxing; it removes the hair at the root, reducing the chance that it will curl back into the skin.
  • FACT: Clean-shaven legs for women didn't become de rigueur until the 1930s.

You Will Need

  • Exfoliating scrub
  • Moisturizer
  • Shower gel
  • Shaving cream or hair conditioner
  • Sharp razor
  • Salt-based exfoliating scrub (optional)
  • Exfoliating scrub with salicylic acid (optional)
  • Waxing (optional)

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