How do I Remove Ingrown Hair?

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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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When a hair curls back on itself under the skin and becomes ingrown, there are several steps one can take to remove it successfully. The skin around the hair can be exfoliated and treated to remove any dead skin, oil, or pus which may be helping to trap it there. It should also be washed ahead of time to help avoid infection during the removal. A warm compress can be applied to soften the skin, and then sterile tweezers or a needle may be used to ease the hair out. The final step to remove ingrown hair is to thoroughly wash the area to further protect against infection.

Debris such as oil, dirt, or dead skin cells can build up, making it difficult to remove ingrown hair. Gentle exfoliation using a scrub or exfoliating glove can loosen these materials so they can be cleared away, giving the hair more room to come out. The area may be slightly infected as well, similar to a pimple, so treatment with acne medication for a day or two ahead of time may help reduce any pus or swelling at the site.

Before you remove ingrown hair, the area should be washed thoroughly. Getting an ingrown hair out opens up the pore where it is located, exposing it to any bacteria which may be present. Cleaning the location will minimize the likelihood that it will become infected.


Application of a warm compress is usually very helpful in getting the hair to come out from under the skin. A warm, wet washcloth should be held to the skin for several minutes just before the removal. This softens the skin around the hair, allowing it to come free more easily.

The instrument used to remove ingrown hair, whether it is a needle or a pair of tweezers, should be sterilized prior to the procedure, again to avoid infection. One easy way to do this is to soak it in rubbing alcohol. It should then be used gently to release the hair from under the skin without digging it out, as this will further damage the skin. The hair should not be pulled out, just allowed to come to the surface naturally.

Once the ingrown hair has been released from the follicle, it is typically a good idea to clean it once more. The location can be washed with soap and water, or an antiseptic can be applied. An antibacterial ointment may also be useful in preventing infection.


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