🔥 Use Code BLOG20 & Unlock 20% OFF on ALL Products. CLICK HERE!! 🔥

What is Ingrown Hair? Everything You Need To Know

Ingrown hair is commonly seen after shaving or waxing. Read here about ingrown hair; its symptoms, causes and cure.

5 min read
What is Ingrown Hair? Everything You Need To Know

Cleaning up unwanted hair is relatively easy in today’s time, but it can result in several ingrown hair if not done appropriately. Ingrown hair can be a complicated issue to deal with if they appear frequently. Many people also experience red itchy bumps, pimples and even acne when they forcefully try to get rid of the ingrown hair.

A benign condition, yet cosmetically disfiguring, this condition is most common in youths undergoing puberty and adults with curly hair.

If you face such a condition, read to find out everything about ingrown hair and how to get rid of it.

What is Ingrown Hair?

An ingrown hair is hair growing inside the skin, causing cysts. Furthermore, these pink, itchy bumps arise when dead skin clog hair follicles.

Ingrown hair bumps are caused as a result of curly hair removal from the face, neck or legs.

Also read: Shaving bumps and burns

Ingrown Hair Causes

Improper shave, wax or tweeze curls can leave your hair sharp and coarse. This part of hair may curl inside the skin and re-grow inside it.

An ingrown hair from shaving can cause swelling and lead to skin irritation causing bumps on your skin.

If you cut the curly hair too short or tweak or pluck it, the pointed end of hair causes hair in-growth. To add woes, dry skin or tight clothes might make the situation even worse, resulting in more bumps and pus-filled lesions on the shaved part.

Though these ingrown hairs are mostly benign, some conditions may require medical attention.

Ingrown Hair Symptoms

So, how do you identify if the skin condition is due to hair ingrowth? Well, below given are some symptoms to identify ingrown hair in men.

Some symptoms of ingrown hair are:

  • Itching and tenderness on the site of shave
  • You might notice curly hair at the centre of the bump.
  • Red bumps may arise and spread over the shaved area after the hair grows back.
  • Development of pustules or pus-filled lesions, causing discomfort on friction.

You may even notice the hair under the skin causing problems and is embedded there.

Ingrown Hair Types

If you can’t figure out the difference between a pimple and cystic ingrown hair, you must know there are only a few sites where hair ingrowth can occur.

This includes ingrown hair on armpits, face and neck area, pubic area and groin, and legs. Ingrown hair after waxing or shaving may form a scrotal cyst or a pus-filled lesion, especially in the pubic area.

Ingrown Hair on Legs

Men with curly hair experience lots of ingrown hair on their legs. After shaving or waxing the leg, a bump may form on the waxed area. These might cause discomfort due to friction when you wear trousers.

Ingrown Hair on Face

Men with curly facial hair are more prone to ingrown beard hair. You are more likely to experience ingrown hair on the chin and the neck. These may form scattered red bumps over the neck area.

Ingrown Hair Under Armpit

Ingrown infected hair in the armpit can be painful. These may form lumps underneath and cause more irritation on exposure to sweat and deodorant.

Ingrown Pubic Hair

Pubic areas are one of the most vulnerable areas for ingrown hair. You might develop ingrown hair on pubic areas such as ingrown hair on the penis shaft or ingrown hair on the scrotum due to friction after shaving or aggressive and dry shaving.

Ingrown Hair on Butt

Shaving or waxing your butt area can form ingrown hair. Sometimes, the hair under the skin may develop on its own due to excessive pressure from your underwear or clothing.

Besides this, dead skin may clog, or coarse hair may even push back inside, causing ingrown hair on the thigh area and the groin, forming large cysts.

Ingrown Hair Among Men

Shaving for men can be a daunting task. Until you don’t want a caveman look, you have to stick to shaving your face.

Improper shaving techniques or dry and aggressive shaving among men may cause ingrown hair after shaving. This pushes back the hair inside the skin, clogging it and resulting in a cyst or a bump.

The ingrown hair issue is most common among men with curly hair or black men in Africa. As per research, about 60% of African American men with curly hair experience razor bumps (a form of ingrown hair) due to ingrown hair.

Infections Due to Ingrown Hair

Some hair growing inside skin may go away on its own, while some may even cause infection. That’s when it needs special attention.

Some infected areas may result in infected ingrown hair with dead skin cells clogging up the hair follicles. The infection is more likely to occur in the regions where grown hair gets trapped under the skin.

In extreme cases, these infections may turn into a Staphylococcus infection within an ingrown hair. It can cause pus and boils when the bacterium staph penetrates the skin.

Infected hair may also cause specific conditions, including razor bumps, hyperpigmentation, permanent scarring and hair follicle destruction.

Ingrown Hair Treatment

If the skin around the ingrown hair gets infected, it is better to get an ingrown hair remedy. Your doctor might want you to opt for ingrown hair removal or provide you with some ingrown hair solution without removing it.

Doctors can use sterile needles to scrape or release the hair embedded into the skin, or you might be prescribed Retinoids to remove dead skin cells.

Some ingrown hairs do not require special attention. Thus, there are various home remedies for ingrown hair treatment.

  • One can apply Tea tree oil diluted with water on the infected area, which nullifies the infection.
  • Make use of ingrown hair solutions such as hydrocortisone cream or oatmeal lotions to relieve itching.
  • The use of skin moisturisers containing salicylic acid and glycolic acids alleviates skin infections.

Ingrown Hair Prevention

Prevention is better than cure. Proper shaving techniques and skin hydration can reduce the risk and prevent ingrown hair in men.

Before shave or wax, here are few tips to avoid ingrown hair under your skin:

  • Scrub Exfoliation also takes out the ingrown hair. Gentle exfoliation using a scrub or washing with mild soap and water to hydrate skin.
  • Always shave in the direction where your hair is growing.
  • Use a shaving lotion or wash or rinse your blade with water to avoid dry shaving.
  • Make sure to use a sharp razor before shaving.
  • Use hair trimmers for quick and safe hair removal.

Alternatively, you can make use of electric razors or clippers or a hair removal cream to reduce the risk of ingrown hair.

If you notice hair growing inside skin, you should apply some gel or cream to avoid dryness or clogging. Some occasional ingrown hairs are fine, but it is better to consult a doctor if that occurs more frequently.

Furthermore, keep your skin moisturised and avoid unnecessary shaving.

Stay tuned for more related content!

Also read: Scrotal dermatitis and how to treat it


Adebola Ogunbiyi (2019) Pseudofolliculitis barbae; current treatment options (Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6585396/

Gary Cole (2019) Ingrown Hair (Medicine Net) https://www.medicinenet.com/ingrown_hair/article.htm