What Are Ingrown Hairs and How Can You Prevent Them?

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While both women and men are constantly seeking hair removal solutions to keep their bodies silky smooth, some methods can cause ingrown hairs. Not only are these irritating and unsightly, but they can get infected, which is a pain that no-one wants to go through.

What Are Ingrown Hairs?

Ingrown hairs occur when hair grows unevenly or curls back under the skin. This is mostly seen among people with curly or coarse hair. It might come with what’s known as “razor bumps” (pseudofolliculitis barbae), which can vary in size, or an infection of the hair follicle (folliculitis).

Usually, ingrown hair occurs in places where body hair has been removed, for example by shaving or waxing – such as the beard, pubic region or legs, or in areas where there has been no natural exfoliation of the skin. Basically, anything that results in the hair being unevenly broken off to leave a pointed tip can cause hairs to become ingrown.

How Can You Prevent Ingrown Hairs?

The best method of avoidance is to find out whether the body hair removal systems you’re using are actually irritating your skin and hair. Several measures can be taken while shaving, for example, to avoid ingrown hairs, including prepping the skin with special lubricating skin care products before shaving, and shaving correctly without using too much pressure to prevent some hairs being cut shorter than the skin surrounding them.

There are many alternatives to shaving. For men, a beard trimmer used at the lowest setting may work. Alternatively, both men and women can opt for permanent hair removal, such as by laser (we recommend Sensica’s top-of-the-line, at-home, permanent hair-removal device, Sensilight™ Mini!), or through electrolysis.

Treating Ingrown Hairs

  • While it may be painful, ingrown hairs can be removed with tweezers or a purpose-made electronic device. It can help to cover the area in a warm washcloth beforehand to soften the skin.
  • For those who suffer chronically from ingrown hairs, electrolysis or laser treatment is best to stop hair from growing altogether.
  • A diverse range of products that inhibit or completely remedy ingrown hairs in available, including various creams and salves containing acids, ibuprofen, or other alternative non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Beware that some are alcohol-based, which can trigger skin inflammation or itchiness in some people, so if you have sensitive skin look for a product without alcohol.
  • Preventative remedies include applying diluted glycolic acid topically twice a day.
  • Another typical remedy for ingrown hairs caused by shaving or waxing is to apply a salicylic acid suspension.
  • It is also a good idea to use an exfoliating glove or a scrub whilst showering, to prevent ingrown hairs by regularly removing dead skin.
  • If you think shaving is causing your ingrown hairs, try shaving in a different direction.


If you want to avoid ingrown hairs, Sensica’s Sensilight™ Mini is a non-invasive, professional-grade, laser hair removal device, specifically designed for home use. The compact hand-held device harnesses contemporary, FDA-cleared, Reactive Pulsed Light (RPL™) technology, to disable hair re-growth at the root, thus preventing ingrown hairs from occurring. Painless and safe, the treatment also results in permanent hair removal.

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