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How To Perform Ingrown Hair Removal

Get rid of ingrown hairs – and prevent new ones from forming – with these tips.


  • 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 1: 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 2: 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.
  • Step 3: 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 the hair will curl back into the skin or grow sideways.
  • Step 4: 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: 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 6: 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 7: Never pluck an ingrown hair; it can spread bacteria, leading to infection and possible scarring.

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