Best Natural and Home Remedies for Ingrown Hair: Causes, Treatment

Most people often find a reason to shave. Normally, shaving is not supposed to result in red painful bumps that resemble pimples. These are known as ingrown hairs. They develop when hair grows into skin rather than above the skin. In men, these bumps mostly show up on the chin, neck and cheeks. In women, the armpits, bikini area and legs are commonly affected.

Ingrown hairs are not a serious skin condition. They can, however, be quite painful and sometimes embarrassing. This is not to mention the fact that infected ingrown hairs can lead to scarring or can spread infection.

Fortunately, you can treat ingrown hairs in the comfort of your home. Quite a number of home remedies have been used in the past for this condition. This article discusses the best natural remedies for ingrown hair.

Best natural remedies for ingrown hair

This list of best natural remedies for ingrown hair is ranked in no particular order. Some may work better than others for different individuals.

Warm compress

This is perhaps the most popular home treatment option in regards to what to do for ingrown hair. It reduces swelling to draw ingrown hair towards the skin’s surface. For infected ingrown hairs, the warm compress draws pus towards the surface where it can drain.

  • Soak a thick washcloth in hot water.
  • Wring it until water stops dripping from it.
  • Cover the affected area with the warm cloth.
  • Leave it for 5 minutes.
  • Repeat the treatment 3 times several times a day.

Sugar scrub

Sugar removes dead skin cells which in turn prevents clogging of hair follicles. It is a milder exfoliation natural remedy than salt. To use it, follow the following steps:

  • Mix a cup of white sugar with half a cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  • To the mixture, add 10 drops of an essential oil such as lavender oil.
  • Gently rub some of the scrub to affected areas in clockwise motion.
  • Leave it for 5 minutes before rinsing with water.
  • Repeat treatment once per day.


Honey keeps your skin moisturized. Additionally, it fights microbial infections and reduces inflammation. Use raw honey if available.

  • Massage raw honey on the affected areas.
  • Leave it in place for 10 minutes before rinsing with cold water.
  • Repeat this treatment twice a day.

Baking soda

Baking soda will keep your follicles from getting clogged. It also reduces inflammation, thus encouraging ingrown hair to break through. The good thing about baking soda is that it is fairly mild and can be used even for ingrown hair on penis and other sensitive areas.

  • Add enough baking soda to water to make a paste.
  • Spread the paste all over the affected areas in a circular motion.
  • Leave for 5 minutes before rinsing with cold water.
  • Apply a moisturizer afterwards.

Lemon juice

Some people are reluctant to apply lemon juice on their skin, especially the face. Lemon juice contains ascorbic acid which fights off bacteria. It is also a great source of vitamin C, an important requirement for a healthy skin.

  • Squeeze lemon juice from a fresh lemon fruit.
  • Use the tip of your fingers to apply directly to affected areas.
  • Rinse with water after 15 minutes.

Black tea

Black tea contains tannins. These are compounds that relieve inflammation, ease irritation and reduce burning.

  • Moisten a black tea bag with warm water.
  • Hold the moist tea bag on affected areas for 5 minutes.
  • Repeat this treatment 3 times a day.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar ranks among the most powerful anti-microbial home remedies. Additionally, it is also an anti-inflammatory remedy.

Caution should be taken when using apple cider vinegar on sensitive skin. It should not be applied on broken skin.

  • Soak a cotton ball in the vinegar.
  • Apply it directly to affected areas.
  • Rinse with cold water once it has dried.
  • You can alternatively leave the vinegar in place overnight.
  • Repeat the treatment once per day.


Salt is a powerful exfoliating remedy. You can use common salt or Epsom salt. Epsom salt has the added advantage of inducing a relaxing effect.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of common salt to a cup of water.
  • Use a cotton ball to apply directly.
  • Alternatively, add two cups of Epsom salt to bath water.
  • Soak in the water for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse with fresh water and pat dry.

Best herbal remedies for ingrown hair treatment

Witch hazel

This is a natural astringent and antiseptic. It may also succeed in reducing redness.

  • Apply witch hazel extract directly to affected areas using a cotton ball.
  • Leave for 15 minutes before rinsing with cold water.

Aloe Vera

This herb has been used for different skin conditions since ancient times. It works by preventing infection as well as soothing irritated skin.

  • Squeeze fresh gel from aloe leaves.
  • Massage the gel directly in circular motion.
  • Leave to dry before rinsing with cold water.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is one of the most potent anti-microbial home remedies. It may also soothe irritated skin and reduce swelling.

  • Dilute pure tea tree oil with coconut oil or olive oil.
  • Soak a cotton ball or a Q-tip and apply the oil directly.
  • Leave for 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
  • Repeat the treatment once per day.

How to use ingrown hair removal home remedies

Not all home remedies have the ability to keep the skin moisturized. For this reason, always apply a moisturizer after rinsing off the home remedy you are using.

Always ensure that the area to which you are applying the remedy of choice has been cleaned and patted dry. It will be best if you can use a mild cleanser rather than water alone. Mild cleansers remove dead skin cells.

Consider tugging the ingrown hair out with a sharp needle, tweezers or an ingrown hair extraction tool. This will fasten the recovery process. Just be careful not to ‘dig’ or force the ingrown hair out. This can cause scarring or worsen inflammation.

Practice good shaving skills. Even though a home remedy of your choice may be effective, it will not keep ingrown hairs from coming back after poor shaving habits.

Learn more about waxing and laser hair removal. These are more effective hair removal methods to prevent ingrown hairs around bikini line and armpits, when compared to regular shaving. Electrolysis is also an option to consider for facial hair in women.

Allow air circulation to affected areas. This is especially important when dealing with ingrown hair near vagina, genitals and armpits.

Home remedies for infected or deep ingrown hair

Infection in ingrown hair is caused by bacteria. For this, you can use anti-microbial home remedies such as tea tree oil, aloe vera, apple cider vinegar and witch hazel.

Ensure to monitor the infection after application. Severe infections may not respond to home remedies. In fact, some may not even respond to topical antibiotics. If signs of infection such as pus formation, pain, tenderness and warmth get worse, see your doctor for oral antibiotics. Your doctor may also suggest other options for how to treat an infected ingrown hair. Some such options include laser hair removal and electrolysis.

Deep ingrown hairs develop when hair grows sideways into the wall of a follicle. This often happens after waxing or other hair removal methods that get rid of the entire hair. Clogging of follicles makes it impossible for hair to break through the skin.

For deep ingrown hair, use home remedies that get rid of dead skin cells and keep the skin moisturized. There are several with these properties, including sugar, salt, baking soda and castor oil to name a few.

Always remember to warm compress before applying any home remedy. This is especially for deep ingrown hairs. With routine warm compresses, you will notice significant reduction in the size of the ingrown hair.

Before treatment at home, be certain that it is ingrown hairs you actually are dealing with. You can take advantage of online diagnostic tools such as genital herpes vs ingrown hair pictures.