Ingrown Pubic Hairs – What to Do and How To Prevent Them from Coming Back

Why do you Get Ingrown Pubic Hairs?

Ingrown hairs are a real nuisance - unattractive, irritating and can be painful wherever you suffer them on your body. 

This is particularly so in the pubic region which is the last place you want red, itchy spots to appear.

So what causes them and why do some people suffer more from ingrown hair than others?

bikini line shave wax

Basically, ingrown hairs are a common side effect of hair removal using methods such as shaving, waxing, epilating, threading and tweezing.

The likelihood of developing ingrown hairs increases with poor technique and lack of skin preparation and care between sessions.

How an Ingrown Hair is Formed

When you shave, you cut your hair at the skin's surface at the widest part of its shaft so that it is left with a sharp tip, rather than its usual tapering end.

If it is not growing straight up, the tip may pierce sideways into the skin, grow back on itself or even curl back into the skin, causing your ingrown hair.

Shows how ingrown hairs are formed following epilation

Ingrown hairs are formed in the same way if you use waxing etc., particularly if your hair is broken off at the shaft just under the skin rather than being pulled away cleanly from the root.

Why Pubic Hair is Susceptible to Ingrowns 

Coarse, curly hair is more likely to develop ingrown hairs, which is why your pubic area is particularly vulnerable to them.

Also, it is an area where your skin is subject to friction and very often, to tight fitting clothing, both of which are exacerbating factors.

What's the Best Way to Treat Ingrown Pubic Hairs?

Tempting as it may be, the last thing you should do is pick, scratch or try to squeeze out your ingrown hair, no matter how irritating it is. 

Most of the time, ingrown hairs are not actually serious and if you leave them alone, the chances are they will right themselves with a bit of time.

bikini pubic hair legs

There are a few things you can do, however, to treat stubborn ingrowns at home:

What you Can Do At Home

  • Warm Compress - applying a warm compress e.g. a clean flannel steeped in hot water can help to draw the hair up to the surface, in a similar way as it works for a splinter.
  • Tease Out - if you can see the hair very close to the skin's surface, you can tease it out with a sterile pair of pointed tweezers.  Only attempt this if it is near the surface and don't go digging around - you don't want to end up with a scar.  Once it breaks the surface, don't remove it straight away but let it grow out for a while until the surrounding skin has a chance to recover.  If you do this you have a better chance that the same thing won't just happen again.
  • Gently Exfoliate - using small circular movements, gently exfoliate the area to agitate the hair and hopefully dislodge it and help it to find its way back up the hair follicle to the surface.  This will also clear the skin of any dead skin cells that may be blocking the hair's route.
  • Apply Lotion - you can soothe the area, reduce inflammation and help prevent infection by applying witch hazel, aloe vera or similar over-the-counter remedies.
  • Stop Removing Hair - stop removing your pubic hair until any ingrown hairs have recovered and any irritation is completely gone.

When to Seek Medical Help

If you have a bump or bumps that are swelling, painful, itching and/or pus-filled then you may need prescription cream or antibiotics and should see your doctor.

Whatever you do, don't try to burst them as you may worsen any infection and could cause permanent scarring.

GP medical nurse results

Can Ingrown Pubic Hairs be Prevented?

The obvious and most simple thing to do is to stop removing your hair - problem completely solved.

However, this is not an attractive or viable option for most of you.  

After all, if the hair wasn't an issue then you wouldn't have been removing it in the first place and no-one really wants hair poking out from beneath their bikini bottoms!

Steps you Can Take

If you are particularly prone to ingrown pubic hair, consider changing your method of hair removal.

Laser hair removal does not cause ingrowns and, in fact, can actually be used to treat them.

If laser hair removal is a bit too rich for you or you want a method of hair removal at home, then I would recommend you try depilatory cream.


Wear Panties or Bikini Bottoms to Epilate Bikini-line

You can only use hair removal creams for the bikini line, not a full Brazilian, and you need to carry out a skin test for allergic reaction first.  

If you decide to go for it make sure that you choose a cream that is specifically recommended for pubic hair and follow the instructions to the letter.

There are also some things you can do between hair removal sessions to reduce the risk of developing ingrown hairs.

The first is to gently exfoliate the area regularly to keep the skin clear of dead skin cells which can block the pores and hair follicles.

Make sure the area is nice and clean before you start removing hair to lessen the likelihood of bacteria hanging around and entering the freshly epilated skin and causing infection.

Use plenty of lubrication for shaving, make sure the blade is clean and sharp, use a single blade razor and shave only in the direction that the hair is growing.

Soothe and moisturize the skin after hair removal to keep it soft and supple and avoid tight-fitting clothing.  Ideally, if you do it in the evening when you are not planning to go out, the area has time to recover overnight.


For the past 12 months, I have been testing and playing with all sorts of hair removal products for Hair Free Life. My goal is to provide the most accurate and up-to-date hair removal consumer information on the internet. When I'm not photographing, reviewing and researching hair removal products I play the drums in a samba band and am a volunteer for the Swindon Lions! Got any questions? Write to us below: