The Truth To How Long Do Ingrown Hairs Last

February 24, 2018

Jelly Bell

The Truth To How Long Do Ingrown Hairs Last

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Everyone wants the silky smooth skin. Who doesn’t? For that reason, ingrown hairs are something that can make you frown because they are not easy on the eye and they sure don’t feel pleasant. They are so annoying and sometimes they can be itchy, which is the worst because many of us tend to have the habit of scratch the itch and make it go worse!

If you are looking for the answer to “How long do ingrown hairs last?”, then you are at the right place! Not only will this article answer that question, we also give you the very idea of what ingrown hairs are, the causes of them and how to treat and prevent them. Read on!

What Are Ingrown Hairs?

An ingrown hair is a hair that instead of growing out normally, it curls and grows back under the skin. Although ingrown hairs do not have severe health effects, they can be itchy and cause embarrassment for people who have them. However, you should know that everyone can have ingrown hairs and it is absolutely common.

What do ingrown hairs look like? When a hair is ingrown, it causes a red or white bump that looks similar to a pimple. If you look closely, you can see pus or the hair that grows backward under inside the bumps.

Ingrown hair can happen to anyone, men or women. In men, after they shave there might appear some tiny bumps in the shaved areas like the chin, cheeks or neck. For women, it is common to have ingrown hairs on the areas they often remove hair like their underarms, legs, or pubic region.

Ingrown hair can happen to anyone
Ingrown hair can happen to anyone

Normally, ingrown hairs are harmless, but if not treated properly, they can be infected or develop a cyst. If you want to find out about ingrown hair cysts, click on our article ALL FACTS ABOUT INGROWN HAIR CYST.

What Causes Ingrown Hairs?

Before getting to answer how long do ingrown hairs last, you should know the reason why it occurs. People with any gender and in any age can get ingrown hairs. However, people who have curly or coarse hair have the higher risk of having ingrown hairs, because curly hair can curl back inside the hair follicle.

Ingrown hair can happen when dead skin cells clog the hair follicle. This prevents the hair from growing out and makes it grow sideways.

Ingrown hairs are also known as “razor bumps” because the most common cause of ingrown hairs is hair removal by shaving. These bumps appear after you have shaved or waxed your skin. When the hairs grow back, they can get sharper and push back through the skin, resulting in ingrown hairs.

Another factor that can lead to ingrown hairs is sex hormones. High levels of some sex hormones can promote hair growth and the more they shave, the more likely they will have ingrown hairs [1].

How Long Do Ingrown Hairs Last?

This is one of the things people with ingrown hair condition are curious to know. You don’t need to worry about how long do ingrown hairs last because it is not a serious skin condition. They grow out naturally and will go away on their own. Read more about this in our article DO INGROWN HAIRS GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN.

They can stay around for a few days to a couple of weeks. The timeframe of an ingrown hair depends on several factors:

  • Body area: How long do ingrown hairs last depends greatly on the body part where you have them. Hidden areas will probably have to suffer longer because your skin needs to breathe or it will cause discomfort. You might notice the bikini area are prone to have ingrown hairs for a longer period.
  • Skin type: Razor bumps will last longer on people with oily skin. This is because the excess oil of your body might clog up hair follicle after you shave and make healing slower. Those who have dry skin will not have to suffer from ingrown hairs for this long.
  • Treatment: It is possible to leave your ingrown hair alone to go away, but it helps quicken the process of growing out if you treat them with care.

So it can take days to weeks for ingrown hairs to go away. Even though it is not a specific answer, the good news is you can do something to get rid of them sooner! Keep reading!

How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs Faster

How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs Faster
How to Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs Faster

An ingrown hair will only last for a certain period. However, here are some methods you can apply to lessen the time of how long do ingrown hairs last:

Stop Removing Hair

Whether you have shaved or waxed or tweezed the hair before, you need to stop doing this when ingrown hairs happen, at least in the area where ingrown hair happens.

This is the cause of your ingrown hair situation, so any type of hair removal might make the situation worse by irritating it and giving a chance for bacteria to develop, infecting your skin.

Warm Compress

This is one of the effortless ways to alleviate the situation caused by ingrown hair. It is fast, effective and cost you nothing! It helps make your skin softer and release discomfort and hot water will reduce swelling in the area. When your skin is softer, it is easier for the hair to rise to the skin surface.

What you need: hot water and clean towel or washcloth

How to do it: Dip the towel or cloth into the hot water and press firmly on the ingrown hair area, but make sure you don’t put too much pressure on it. Do this for about 10 minutes.

If you still don’t see the end of the ingrown hair, don’t worry. Give it a few days and it will grow longer and you will be able to pull it out [2].

Wash The Area

If you have an ingrown hair, what you need to do is wash it so that it’s bacteria-free and will not cause you further trouble. You need a mild soap to clean the hair follicle. After you have cleaned it with soap, rinse with warm water and use a clean cloth to dab it dry.

Say No to Tight Clothing

When you have an ingrown hair, you need to wear loose clothing. Loose clothing lets your skin breathe and dry up the area, and this plays a big role in reducing how long do ingrown hairs last. Your skin will heal more quickly and loose clothing does not irritate the area like tight clothing [3].

This applies to the pubic region where you cover with underwear all day. So do yourself a favor by skipping the tights and sleep naked!

Use Needle

This method can be applied after you have cleaned the area with ingrown hair and used warm compress method. You will use a sterile needle and insert it into the hair follicle to lift the hair tip out of it. This will hasten how long do ingrown hairs last for you.

What you need to remember when using a needle to get the hair tip out is make sure to use a sterile needle. And make sure to wash your hair before doing it so that you can prevent the ingrown hair from becoming infected.

Apply Medication

After the warm compress and washing, you should definitely apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. Do this once or twice a day to prevent infection in the hair follicle.

If you have an infected ingrown hair, make sure you do not cause any harm to it. Talk to your doctor about this and you might be prescribed with some of the following medication:

  • Antibiotics: this will reduce the infection. It can either be oral or topical medication.
  • Steroid medicine: you can rub this on your skin to ease the swelling and make it less irritated.
  • Retinoids: when you apply this medication, your dead skin cells will fall out and your skin will not be darkened around the area [4].


This is one of the most effective ways that you can not only treat ingrown hairs but also prevent it. Remember that the ingrown hair areas are very sensitive, so you should only apply gentle pressure when you scrub the dead skin cells.

You can do this when you are taking a shower. Use a brush or a loofah and move in circular motion. This can help you get rid of excess skin cells that can clog the hair follicle and make it easier for the tip of the hair to show up.

Essential Oils

This is a pain-free method that a lot of people might want to give it a try. It’s safe and it has no side effects.

The most common way to use essential oils on ingrown hairs is to dilute the essential oils and give yourself a good massage. Check out some of our recommendations about ESSENTIAL OILS FOR INGROWN HAIR here.

Another home remedy we should mention is tea tree oil. It is versatile and has been known to be very effective with skin conditions. Our article TEA TREE OIL FOR INGROWN HAIR will help you understand more about the function of it to ingrown hair.

Tips to Prevent Ingrown Hairs

How long do ingrown hairs last should not be the only thing that concerns you. After you have learned how long do ingrown hairs last, you should know how you can prevent this from happening. Ingrown hairs come from hair removal methods but mostly shaving. But it does not mean you have to stop shaving.

  • Put some more time in and you can prevent it by preparation. Before you shave, you should make the hair softer by soaking in warm water or take a warm shower.
  • Gently exfoliate the area you plan to shave with a loofah, a washcloth or a brush.
  • Apply shaving cream onto the area. A tip for women who shave their legs: you can use hair conditioners and it works just as fine. You can also replace shaving cream with baby oil.
  • When you shave, you should avoid using blunt blades. Get yourself a nice sharp razor and rinse the razor every time you make a stroke.

You might want to try other ways to remove your hair without shaving:

  • Waxing: when you wax your hair, it is less likely that ingrown hair will occur. However, you have to follow its instructions so that your hair will not break and create ingrown. You can also go to the spa and professionals will do it for you, reducing the chance of getting ingrown hairs.
  • Depilatory: there are many types of hair removal cream. Choose a trusted brand like Nair. It dissolves your hair and you will not experience uncomfortable razor bumps. There is a downside to it though. People with sensitive skin might find it irritating when using these products, so remember to pick depilatory cream for sensitive skin.
  • Laser hair removal: The only disadvantage of this method is probably the high cost. If it is affordable for you then it would be a good choice. You won’t have to worry about ingrown hairs because the laser will destroy the hair follicles and the results can last for a few years.
Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal


There you have it! We have given you the answer to how long do ingrown hairs last. While ingrown hairs are harmless, they might make you feel uncomfortable. So our advice is to stop trying to get rid of your hairs for a few days, only deal with ingrown hairs very gently and keep the area clean. While ingrown hairs can last for several days to a few weeks, there are ways to quicken the healing process.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of care, so the best thing you should do is to avoid getting ingrown hairs with all the tips we have shown you!

We hope you are satisfied with our answer and hit SHARE if you find the information in this article useful!

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