How to Avoid Ingrown Hair

A woman sitting on a tub shaving her leg

• Ingrown hairs are caused by blocked hair follicles due to trauma to the skin. 

• Good hygiene practices like regular cleansing and exfoliation can help prevent ingrown hairs by keeping the follicles free from dirt. 

• When shaving, opt for a clean razor with sharp blades and shave in the direction of your hair growth. 

• When waxing or tweezing, wait at least 24 hours between sessions before washing the area again. 

• Laser hair removal can also provide a more permanent solution to avoiding ingrown hairs. 

Ingrown hairs are a common skin condition that affects men and women of all ages. These can be itchy, uncomfortable, and even painful. But don’t worry—there are several things you can do to prevent ingrown hairs from occurring in the first place. Read on to learn more about why ingrown hairs happen and how to avoid them.

Causes of Ingrown Hairs

Ingrown hairs occur when a hair follicle becomes blocked by dead skin cells or dirt, causing the hair to curl back into itself instead of growing outwards. This can lead to redness, irritation, swelling, and pain around the affected area. If these are left untreated, they can lead to infections.

Several factors can contribute to ingrown hair formation.


Shaving too close to the skin or using sharp razors with multiple blades can cause trauma to the skin leading to inflammation and scarring. This happens especially when you shave against the grain of your hair. Furthermore, if the razor isn’t sharp enough, it won’t cut the hairs smoothly and can lead to discomfort in the form of ingrown hairs.

Waxing and Tweezing

Waxing and tweezing can also weaken the hair follicles over time, making it easier for them to become blocked with debris and curl back into themselves. Additionally, pulling the hairs out too roughly can cause trauma to the follicles and result in more ingrown hairs. Also, although waxing may seem easy to remove hair, it can pull on the surrounding skin and create inflammation.

Poor Hygiene

The follicles can become clogged with dirt, sweat, and oil if you don’t practice good hygiene. This makes it more difficult for the hairs to grow normally and increases your risk of getting ingrown hairs. This is because dirt and debris can block the pores and make it difficult for the hairs to grow outwards.

Avoiding Ingrown Hair

A woman shaving her armpit

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent ingrown hairs from forming. Here are a few tips on how to avoid them:

When Shaving Your Hair

When opting to shave your hair, use a clean razor with sharp blades. Also, be sure to shave in the direction of your hair growth and not against it. This will help prevent irritation or trauma that can lead to ingrown hairs. Additionally, ensure that you wash the razor every time you use it to eliminate any trapped dirt or bacteria.

When Waxing or Tweezing Your Hair

When waxing or tweezing, be gentle with the process. Pull the hairs out slowly and make sure not to tug too hard. It’s also important to cleanse the area after waxing or tweezing to eliminate any debris that may have been left behind. Also, wait at least 24 hours between waxing or tweezing sessions before washing the area again. This will help avoid irritating the hair follicles.

Practice Good Hygiene

Keeping your skin clean and properly moisturized is key to avoiding ingrown hairs. This means washing the skin with a gentle soap or cleanser twice a day and applying a light, non-comedogenic moisturizer afterward. Additionally, be sure to exfoliate the skin regularly with a gentle scrub or loofah to eliminate any dead skin cells blocking the pores. Doing this can help reduce your risk of ingrown hairs by keeping the follicles free from dirt and debris.

Opt for Laser Removal

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, laser hair removal may be the best option. This procedure involves using laser light to destroy the hair follicles, preventing further hair growth and ingrown hairs from occurring. It is especially helpful for sensitive skin, as laser hair removal is less likely to cause irritation or trauma. This procedure will also reduce the time you spend shaving or waxing your hair and can give you smoother skin for longer periods. This is worth the investment if you’re looking for a more permanent solution to avoid ingrown hairs.

A woman getting a her leg-hair removed via laser procedure

Ingrown hair can be uncomfortable and even painful, but they’re also preventable with a few simple steps. By practicing these tips, you can keep your skin clean and smooth. So take the time to properly care for your skin and enjoy the freedom of hair-free skin without worrying about ingrown hairs.

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