How to Clear Up Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs are caused by the ends of hairs becoming trapped underneath the skin, which then become infected and pus-filled. Because ingrown hairs closely resemble whiteheads and acne pustules, many people unknowingly try to pop and pick at ingrown hairs, only to end up with unsightly scars and skin discolorations. Luckily, ingrown hairs can be effectively removed by following a regimen that opens the pores, kills the bacteria inside the pores and gently removes the tips of the ingrown hairs.

Getting rid of ingrown hairs helps keep the skin looking smooth. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Step 1

Apply an oil mask to open the pores and to release pus and pressure. Spread 2 tabelspoons of castor oil over the area affected by ingrown hairs, covering it with a thick layer of oil. Allow the oil to remain on the skin for at least 15 minutes, then gently wipe it away with a damp washcloth.

Step 2

Exfoliate the ingrown hair to remove dead skin and bacteria around the area. Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water, and spread the baking soda paste onto the area affected by ingrown hairs. Very gently massage the paste around the area using circular finger movements. After two minutes, rinse the skin well with water.

Step 3

Remove the end of the hair with tweezers to allow the skin to heal naturally. Locate the loop of hair inside the ingrown hair bump on your skin. Place the very tip of a pair of tweezers underneath the loop, and gently pull upward. The tip of the hair will exit the skin. Once the tip appears, allow it to remain attached to the skin. The skin will now be able to heal normally.

Things You'll Need

  • Castor oil

  • Washcloth

  • Baking soda

  • Tea tree oil


Castor oil is helpful in reaching deep within the skin to open up the pores. Once the pores are opened, pus and bacteria can exit the skin to relieve pressure and swelling, and to allow the skin to heal properly.

Baking soda can effectively remove bacteria and dead skin buildup that can become lodged inside the pores and exacerbate ingrown hairs. Because the particulates in baking soda are smooth, the substance will not scratch or irritate the skin when used as a scrub.

When pulling out the tips of the ingrown hairs, be careful not to tear or rip the skin surrounding the hair, which can cause scarring and infection.

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