How to Remove Ingrown Hairs with Tweezers
Just about everyone will suffer from ingrown hairs at some point in their life. Although not dangerous, they can be unsightly, irritating and in some cases lead to infection.
In this article I have outlined how to remove ingrown hairs with tweezers and then added some relevant information about ingrown hairs and their prevention so that, hopefully, you will not need to deal with the problem too often!
Removal with Tweezers
Best Tweezers to Use?
You will need a good quality, point-tipped pair of tweezers for removing ingrown hairs.
They need to be very sharp, with perfect alignment so that the hair will not slip when grasped.
I recently reviewed the Tweezerman Ingrown Hair Splintertweeze and the Tweez'em Precision Tweezers, both of which come well-recommended and carry good guarantees. Either would be suitable for the purpose.
Before you Start
Make sure that your tweezer tips have been sterilised with rubbing alcohol - I use Beauty Secrets Cleansing Alcohol on a cotton ball to wipe them thoroughly, or you can just dip them in a little.
Thoroughly wash and exfoliate the skin around the ingrown hair to remove any build up of dead skin cells, oils or other debris to make sure the area is clean and free from bacteria.
Press a clean flannel steeped in hot water (but not so hot it burns you!) against the area to try to draw the hair nearer to the surface.
Ensure that you have plenty of light (good natural light is the best) and that you can clearly see what you are doing - using a magnifying mirror, if possible is, ideal.
Using one tip of the tweezers, carefully isolate and tease out the end of the hair to the skin's surface.
Exercise extreme caution doing this and do not just "dig around" - if you do you run the risk of permanent scarring and increase the chances of infection.
Once the hair is released to the surface, you have a choice:
Ideally let it grow for a few days, for the skin to calm down and the hair to grow out naturally, keeping a close eye and exfoliating the area regularly.
This is what we would strongly advise you to do to avoid the risk of it just growing back deeper. If it is long and unsightly you can always trim it down.
If you really cannot bear to leave it, grasp firmly with the tweezers tips and pluck in the normal direction of hair's growth.
Either way, it is important that you take good care of the hair's follicle after treatment to avoid infection.
Dab with an antiseptic to close the pore immediately after treatment.
You can also treat with an antibiotic cream such as Neosporin.
Make sure that the area is kept clean, exfoliate regularly and avoid tight clothing against the area, to prevent recurrence of the ingrown hair.
About Ingrown Hairs
What are They
As the name implies, an ingrown hair is simply one that has curled back and grown backwards or sideways under the skin.
They can cause pimple-like unsightly and sometimes pus-filled bumps on the skin, which can be irritating.
Why do They Occur
Most commonly, ingrown hairs are caused by hair removal methods which involve ripping the hair from the root e.g. waxing, epilating and tweezing.
Shaving is also a common cause of ingrown hairs - hence the term "razor bumps" which is another often used name for them.
They occur when the hair is cut off either very close to or just beneath the skin's surface, causing it to curl back and continue to grow in the wrong direction.
Another, less common cause, is from build up of dead skin cells and other debris on the skins surface.
Over time, this can clog the pores and entrance to the hair follicle, making it difficult for the growing hair to break through.
Prevention - How to Minimise Risk
On the basis that prevention is always better than cure, I have included here a section on how to minimise the risk of ingrown hairs, and where to find more information.
The first and most obvious way to prevent ingrown hairs is by exfoliating regularly to remove the build up of potential pore-clogging matter.
In fact, exfoliating with a loofah can have truly great results in giving you smooth legs whilst avoiding ingrown hairs. For more information see our in-depth article: How to get the Smoothest legs Without Ingrown Hairs with A Loofah
To avoid ingrown hairs from tweezing, the most important things to remember are:
- Tweezers - Use a good quality, well maintained pair of tweezers. Store safely with plastic cap to avoid damage to tips. Avoid dropping them as this can easily put them out of alignment which leads to the hair slipping when you try to pluck it.
- Hygiene - clean tips of tweezers before and after use with rubbing alcohol. Also ensure skin is clean and exfoliated.
- Method - always pluck hair in the direction of growth
For more information see our in-depth article: How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs from Tweezing
Some key points to remember when shaving to avoid ingrown hairs are:
- Shave wet skin
- Lubricate skin
- Blade - opt for single blade and, most importantly, make sure it is sharp
- Direction - always shave in the direction of hair's growth
- Rinse Regularly - rinse the blade after every pass
This is just a brief outline - for much more information see our in-depth article: How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs from Shaving
A Note of Caution
As previously mentioned, it is not a good idea to "dig around" trying to reach deeply embedded ingrown hairs.
Sometimes it is just not possible to remove them without help - if you have difficulty you must seek proper medical advice.