When it comes to getting rid of hair “down there”, hair removal has its benefits, no doubt—but that’s not to say it comes without any disadvantages. And whether you’re shaving, waxing, or have some other method that’s your go-to, it can be hard to avoid those pesky ingrown hairs along the bikini line or pubic area.
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What even causes ingrown hair?
Ingrown pubic hairs are most often present with hair removal methods like shaving, waxing, and plucking. Normally following hair removal, the hair will eventually grow up to the surface and poke through the skin. However, with ingrown hairs, instead of growing directly up, they fold back and grow into the skin.
How to spot them? You’ll likely experience itching, inflammation, or pain around the affected area. With ingrown hairs, you’ll often notice small bumps which can sometimes be pus-filled. Some people even experience hyperpigmentation in the area of the ingrown hair, which will make the skin appear darker.
How to get rid of ingrown pubic hair
Okay, so you’ve spotted an ingrown hair (or multiple)—now what? Luckily, most cases of ingrown hairs resolve themselves without treatment. However, if the hair remains coiled beneath the surface of the skin and doesn’t seem to be growing back up, there are a few things you can try.
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Stop hair removal
It’s time to put away your razors and hair removal tools—at least until the ingrown hairs go away. While this solution may not be ideal especially if you want to keep your bits smooth, it can definitely help your hair run its natural course, since further shaving, waxing, or plucking can aggravate the area.
Apply a warm compress
Applying a warm compress to the area with the ingrown hair can not only soothe your skin, but the heat involved can help the ingrown hairs rise to the surface. To aid the process, you can also gently rub the compress in a circular motion.
Pull out the hair
If the hair has already emerged above the skin, you can gently pull it out using a sterilized tweezer or needle. But proceed with caution—avoid digging into the skin or pulling the hair before it’s reached the surface. This can cause infection or permanent scarring.
For an even deeper dive into pubic hair removal, read this blog next.
Exfoliate the area
Removing dead skin surrounding the ingrown hair can greatly help with getting rid of it. With warm water, soap, and a washcloth, you can gently exfoliate the skin to coax the ingrown pubic hair out to the surface.
Use a cream or ointment
When an ingrown hair is causing redness and inflammation, the application of a topical treatment may help. Topical ointments can come in the form of a prescription steroid cream, which you’ll have to see a doctor to obtain. Or you can reach for an over-the-counter option like hydrocortisone, aloe vera, witch hazel, benzoyl peroxide, or tea tree oil to help reduce symptoms.
Retinoids are made from vitamin A derivatives and are typically used to treat skin issues such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dull skin. They can also help with treating ingrown hairs by clearing away dead skin cells and hyperpigmentation caused by ingrown hair.
Treating an infected ingrown hair
Painful ingrown pubic hair is never a good sign, so you’ll know if your ingrown hair has likely become infected if the bumps begin to hurt and are filled with pus. To treat an ingrown pubic hair infection, you’ll want to consult with your doctor who may prescribe you an antibiotic in the form of an ointment, wash, or tablet—depending on the severity of the infection.
How to prevent ingrown hair
By far the best way to deal with ingrown hairs is by preventing them from happening in the future. Stopping shaving, waxing, or plucking altogether is a good way of avoiding them, but that may not be realistic for everyone. Instead, try out some of these methods as preventative measures.
Prep the pubic area prior to shaving
If you’re someone whose chosen method of pubic hair removal is shaving, and this applies to most of us, then you’ll want to prime your pubic area before you pick up your razor. Washing the area with a mild soap and using a moisturizing shaving cream can reduce the risk of ingrown hairs.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re using a sharp razor, or better yet, a single-bladed razor since dull blades can also increase the possibility of getting ingrown hairs.
Keep the skin soft
Apart from adequately prepping the skin before hair removal, it’s also important to keep the skin soft on a regular basis. Regular exfoliation and moisturizing allow for not only getting rid of dead skin cells that can clog the hair follicles and pores, but also give your skin the proper nourishment and hydration.
Look into laser hair removal (or other hair removal methods)
Ditching your razor altogether can work wonders for avoiding ingrown hairs and won’t leave you wondering how to remove them or even how to get rid of razor bumps in the pubic area. Though it isn’t the most cost-effective option, laser hair removal is a trustworthy and long-lasting solution that damages the hair follicles and prevents hair from growing back.
Other hair removals that could be worth trying out are hair removal creams which use chemicals to dissolve the hair or electrolysis which permanently destroys the hair at its root.