Ingrown Hairs – How Best To Manage Them

They can be painful, irritating and annoying. Learn how to prevent and treat them with this simple advice.

What are they?

Ingrown hairs are caused when the hair grows back into the skin. They can sometimes look like raised, red spots which can often be itchy. They can sometimes be painful, especially if they get infected.

What causes them?

Hair removal against the direction of hair growth can lead to ingrown hairs, especially with methods such as waxing, plucking, epilating and threading. Dead skin cells blocking hair follicles and friction from tight clothing can also play a part.

What treatments are available for ingrown hairs?

In some cases, the odd ingrown hair can free themselves. However, when they are widespread and recurrent more active treatment is recommended.

Laser hair removal is one of the most effective treatments for ingrown hairs, as it targets removal the hair from the follicle. This is the recommended treatment for long-term relief from ingrown hairs.

Microdermabrasion is also a good option to exfoliate the surface of the skin, however, it is not suitable for dark skiner tones as it can lead to unwanted skin pigmentation without the right skin preparation.

What can you do at home for ingrown hairs whilst you are waiting for your laser appointment?


✔️  If you need to hair remove shave only

✔️  When shaving, use warm water to soften skin, a non-irritant shaving gel and shave in the direction the hairs are growing. We recommend using Aqueous Cream as a shaving gel as it is hydrating and soothing. It can be brought from most pharmacies for £3-4 pounds for a large 500g tub.

✔️  Use as few strokes of the razor as possible

✔️  Clean the razor thoroughly before and after use to avoid introducing any infection to the hair follicle

✔️  Use an exfoliating body scrub or polish 2-3 times a week to help release any trapped hairs

✔️  Treat ingrown hairs with salicylic acid or glycolic acid-based products. These powerful exfoliating products remove surface dead skin cells and unclog pores. We love ZO Skin Health’s 2% salicylic pads called Oil Control Pads, as they also contain Mandelic acid and Glycolic acid which are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (for extra exfoliation) and antioxidants to soothe irritated skin and reduce redness.


❌  Do not shave too close – leaving some stubble can stop bacteria getting in

❌  Do not scratch, pick or squeeze ingrown hairs as this can damage your skin and lead to infection and scarring

❌  Do not use a blunt razor or press too hard with it, as it can damage the skin causing further ingrown hairs

For more information, book in for a free skin consultation (or e-consultation via video calling) today!