Ingrown hairs are the worst.
If you wax or shave anywhere on your body, or if you have thick, curly hair, you're more more likely to experience ingrown hair.
The good news is you can treat and prevent them without intrusive procedures like lasers or chemicals. But first, let's start with what they are.
What are ingrown hairs?
Ingrown hairs happen when hair grows back into the skin instead of above the surface. This happens when you shave, wax, or pluck your hair.
Ingrown hair causes small round bumps called papules, and sometimes pus-filled bumps called pustules. Hyper-pigmentation, itching, and pain also occur around the area.
What causes ingrown hair?
When hair is removed, it usually grows back. Most hair grows back out of the hair shaft without a problem. But sometimes the hair curls back under the skin, or the hair never grows above the surface. This is especially true for people with thick, curly hair, particularly with pubic hair which tends to be more coarse than anywhere else on the body.
When the hair is trapped under the skin, the body responds to it like a foreign object, thus the symptoms.
Natural treatments for ingrown hair
- Stop removing hair. I know. We remove hair for so many reasons. However, ingrown hairs only occur where hair is removed. If you stop removing the hair, it won't need to grow back. Thus, no ingrown hair.
- Apply a warm compress. This helps to reduce swelling around the area. You can also try gently rubbing a warm washcloth or toothbrush in a circular motion over the skin.
- Gently remove the hair. Use sterile tweezers to gently pull the hair out, but only once the area has healed and the hair has emerged above the skin. Don't dig into your skin to retrieve it. Removing the hair before the skin has healed completely could cause the skin to heal over the hair and another ingrown. And breaking the skin could cause an infection.
- Exfoliate. Exfoliating around the area removes can help the hair return to the surface. You can do this with a body scrub or one of our sisal washcloths.