Ingrown hairs pretty much kill the idea of the smooth and suave limbs that you were probably going for. They itch, hurt and keep you freaked out by the idea of your own hair taking a nosedive into your skin. With the problem all too common, there is a need for simple and cost-efficient remedies to remove ingrown hair.

Ingrown hairs are also sometimes called razor bumps or razor burns. They appear like small, inflamed bumps and can sometimes contain pus. Teasing and prodding the area usually makes them worse.


Normally a hair grows out of the skin, but it can grow inward when it meets with some hard obstruction like a pile of dead skin cells, pores clogged with dirt and oil, or a scab on a wound. Also, when a hair is broken either by shaving or waxing, it’s sharp enough to burrow into the skin and grow inward. (1)


People with curly and coarse hair are more prone to ingrown hairs, due to the natural tendency of the hair to curl. That’s also the reason the pubic area is more prone to ingrown hairs than the rest of your body, followed closely by the underarms.

Men usually have ingrown hairs on their face, courtesy of their daily shaving routine.


Home Remedies for Ingrown Hair

While there are many over-the-counter medications and cosmetic formulations available in the market, they are either not very effective or too costly.

A better solution is natural home remedies that are easy on your skin and your pocketbook, too. You can also make some lifestyle changes. Opt for hair removal creams and waxing, instead of shaving. If you must shave, use a good moisturizing shaving cream and avoid dry shaving.

Here are six popular home remedies to remove ingrown hair naturally.

Method 1: Use a Warm Saline Compress

The warmth of a warm compress will help open the pores in the area, allowing the ingrown hair to push through the skin.

Salt is great for exfoliation and is a convenient option due to its ready availability in every household. It helps cleanse the area and dissolves and exfoliate excess skin where the ingrown hair is trapped. It also promotes blood circulation and wound healing.

Another benefit is that saline water can also reduce swelling and pain caused by the ingrown hair. It is especially useful if you have particularly oily skin or coarse hair. It cleanses the skin and eventually draws the hair out.


Things you’ll need:


  • Warm water (helps open the pores) – 1 cup
  • Salt (good for exfoliation) – 1 teaspoon
  • Cotton ball

Step 1. Mix salt into the water

mix salt into water

Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water and mix well.


Step 2. Apply a warm saline compress over ingrown hair

apply warm saline compress

  • Dip a clean cotton ball into the warm salt solution and squeeze out any dripping liquid.
  • Place the warm cotton ball over the ingrown hair and hold it there until the cotton cools down. This will help remove the ingrown hair.
  • You don’t need to rinse it off.
  • Repeat once more if needed.

Continue this procedure daily until your ingrown hair clears up.


Method 2: Use DIY Exfoliation Scrubs

Another way to address ingrown hairs is by exfoliating. Exfoliation removes obstacles like the layer of dead skin cells that hinder the growth of the shaven hair, pushing them under the skin.

You don’t even have to spend a hefty sum on costly store-bought exfoliation scrubs. A good scrub is a combination of an effective exfoliator paired with a good moisturizing agent. And you can make simple variations at home using common ingredients.

# Baking Soda and Oatmeal Scrub

Things you’ll need:



  • Raw oatmeal (a natural exfoliator)
  • Baking soda (prevents any chance of infection)
  • Water
Mix the ingredients together

mix the ingredients together

  • Measure equal amounts of raw oatmeal and baking soda into a small bowl.
  • Add some water and mix thoroughly to make a spreadable paste.

Raw oatmeal is a natural exfoliator that gently exfoliates the skin. Baking soda is probably one of the most effective exfoliating agents. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that will help cool down the itchy and inflamed skin.


Due to its antifungal properties, baking soda can also prevent any chance of infection in the area.

  • Apply this scrub over the ingrown hair and the surrounding area, massaging gently to remove ingrown hair.
  • Leave it on for about 5 minutes before rinsing it off with plain water.
  • Follow up with a light moisturizer.

Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until the area with the ingrown hair recovers completely.

# Sugar Scrub

Things you’ll need:


  • Sugar (effective scrubs) – 1 cup
  • Olive oil (moisturizes skin) – ½ to ¾ cup
Mix olive oil and sugar together

mix olive oil and sugar together

  • Put 1 cup of sugar into a bowl. You can use either white or brown sugar or a mixture of both, as both work well.
  • Add in ½ to ¾ cup of olive oil and mix the ingredients thoroughly. If you’ve run out of olive oil, organic coconut oil makes for a good alternative.


Sugar scrubs are one of the most popular and effective scrubs when it comes to exfoliation. While the sugar gently exfoliates the skin, the olive oil keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated.

  • Apply the sugar scrub over the ingrown hair and surrounding area, massaging lightly to remove the ingrown hair quickly.
  • Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

Repeat twice daily until the area recovers from the ingrown hair.

# Coffee Scrub

Things you’ll need:



  • Coffee grounds (helps bring down the inflammation and swelling)
  • Aloe vera gel (hydrates skin)
Mix coffee and aloe vera together

mix coffee and aloe vera

  • Put some coffee grounds in a bowl.
  • Add enough aloe vera gel to it to make a paste. While fresh aloe vera gel is better, you can also use the store-bought one too.
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly.


Coffee not only exfoliates, but the caffeine present in the coffee also helps bring down the inflammation and swelling. Aloe vera gel hydrates as well as heals the skin, promoting faster recovery.

  • Gently massage the scrub over the ingrown hair and surrounding area to remove the ingrown hair quickly.
  • Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it off with plain water.

Repeat 2 or 3 times a day until the area recovers completely.

Method 3: Use Tweezers

There is also the option of pulling the trapped hair out from beneath the skin. But this can only be safely done when the hair becomes partially visible above the skin with naked eyes. This should only be done with sterilized tools, the right technique and a lot of patience.

A pair of tweezers is one of the most commonly available tools that can be used to pull out partially accessible ingrown hair.


  • First things first, sterilize the tweezers using either boiling water or rubbing alcohol before you put them anywhere near your ingrown hair.
  • Apply a warm compress over the area, which will open up the pores allowing the ingrown hair to come up to the surface.


  • If a curl is visible, loop the tweezers through it and slowly pull it outward until the entire length of the hair is released.
  • Avoid plucking or jerking it outward. Not only will it hurt like hell, it may break the hair and make your problem more difficult. Moreover, the broken hair will again grow inward.
  • If there are multiple ingrown hairs, repeat the process with each one. Don’t forget to sterilize the tweezers in between.
  • Once the ingrown hair is completely out, you can apply an ice cube wrapped in a thin cloth over the area. This will ease the inflammation as well as close the pores preventing any chance of infection in the area.
  • Apply some ointment or aloe vera gel to speed up the healing of the hair follicle. Vaseline helps with healing as well.

Method 4: Use a Rubbing Alcohol and Aspirin Spray

One more way to get rid of ingrown hairs is using this ingrown hair spray. The salicylic acid present in aspirin helps exfoliate the skin, while the rubbing alcohol keeps infection at bay.

Things you’ll need:


  • 70% rubbing alcohol (keeps infection at bay) – 2 ounces
  • Uncoated aspirin (helps exfoliate the skin) – 4
  • Small spray bottle

Mix aspirin and rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle

mix aspirin in a spray bottle

  • Pour 2 ounces of 70% rubbing alcohol into a small spray bottle.
  • Add 4 uncoated aspirins to it. The idea is to keep adding aspirin to the rubbing alcohol until it stops dissolving. Four aspirins should be enough for 2 ounces of rubbing alcohol.
Note: Avoid using excess amounts of rubbing alcohol to avoid skin irritation. Follow up with an oil-free moisturizer in order to help protect the skin barrier. Oil-free or non-comedogenic moisturizers are recommended because they don’t clog the pores.


Spray the solution over the ingrown hair twice a day until the problem subsides.

Method 5: Use Tea Tree Oil

The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil will cool and soothe the inflamed area and bring down the swelling and pain. However, be sure to dilute it before applying.

Pure tea tree oil is quite potent and can irritate the skin. A good carrier oil like olive or organic coconut oil can be used to dilute this essential oil.

Things you’ll need:


  • Tea tree oil (soothe the inflamed area) – 5 or 6 drops
  • Olive oil (moisturizes the skin) – 1 tablespoon
  • Cotton swabs

Combine tea tree oil and olive oil

com,bine tea tree oil and olive oil

  • Add 5 or 6 drops of tea tree oil to 1 tablespoon of olive oil.


Dip an end of a cotton swab into the oil blend and apply it over the bump of the ingrown hair to remove it quickly.

Repeat twice a day, regularly until it heals the painful bumps of the ingrown hair.

Method 6: Use Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can also be used to deal with ingrown hair. It can help with the swelling and pain, as well as slowly draw out the ingrown hair. Organic apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ is an ideal choice for the topical application.

Things you’ll need:


  • Apple cider vinegar (helps with swelling and pain)
  • Warm water
  • Cotton ball

Dilute apple cider vinegar with warm water

dilute ACV with warm water

  • Mix together equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and warm water.
  • Simply dip a cotton ball into the diluted apple cider vinegar and apply it over the ingrown hair to remove it quickly.


Repeat this process twice a day as needed.

Tips to get relief from ingrown hair

  • Don’t rub the salt solution over the ingrown hair. This may irritate the already inflamed skin. If your skin becomes red or feels sensitive to the saline water, discontinue use immediately and rinse the area with plain water.
  • To address an ingrown hair in the pubic area or some part of the body that is difficult to reach, a hot soak with Epsom salt should do the trick.
  • Test any remedy over a healthy patch of skin to determine if it is compatible with your skin. Proceed only if there is no adverse reaction.
  • The best way to prevent ingrown hairs is shaving the right way. Never use a dull razor and don’t shave against the grain.
  • Exfoliate before shaving or waxing to prevent ingrown hairs. Also, use a gentle exfoliation technique one day after waxing or shaving.
  • Always keep your skin hydrated.


1. Luo D-Q, Liang Y-H, et al. Ingrowing Hair: A Case Report - PubMed Central (PMC). Medicine (Baltimore). Published May 2016.

Summary of How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hair

remove ingrown hair

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