Chat with us
👋 Any questions?
Please text us at
(833) 400-3868

Ingrown Facial Hair In Men: How To Remove, Treat, And Prevent

UPGUYS > Blog > Hair > Ingrown Facial Hair in Men: How to Remove, Treat, and Prevent
The person who wrote this article

Written by the UPGUYS Editorial Team
Published on September 11, 2022

Ingrown facial hair sucks. 

It's painful and gross, and it looks super ugly to your date sitting across from you. What's worse is that it can even lead to more serious infections if left untreated.

In this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about removing, treating, and preventing ingrown facial hair. We'll cover:

Let's dive in.

What Is Ingrown Facial Hair, and Is It Common Among Men?

Ingrown facial hair is among one of the most common hair issues that men have.

Most men shave to give themselves a clean, smooth look. But your razor can backfire and cause painful, red bumps that look a lot like acne. These are called ingrown hairs, and they are very common among men — especially those who shave every day.

Although they look a lot like pimples, they are considered "foreign body reactions" that are caused by your hair follicles.

When you shave and cut your hair very short, sometimes the hair doesn't exit the skin normally. Instead, it turns around and grows right into the skin. In a way, it acts like a splinter. 

Your body views this little hair as a foreign invader and sends white blood cells to fight against it. This causes inflammation, resulting in a painful, red bump. 

Just about anybody can get an ingrown hair, but those with thicker, curlier types of hair are more prone to them. Because it happens when you cut or shave your hair too short, this happens very often in the beard, mustache, and beneath-the-jawline areas. 

And yes, they can appear "down there" if you typically shave your private parts as well.

What Does Ingrown Facial Hair Look Like? 

Ingrown facial hair looks a lot like acne. You'll see raised, red bumps on the skin. Sometimes, you may even be able to see the hair trapped under the skin. Also, they may be mistaken for herpes.

How To Treat Ingrown Facial Hair

If you're dealing with this issue, you're probably wondering how to get rid of ingrown facial hair. There are a couple of different ways you can go about this.

To start with, simply put a warm compress on the bump. This might be all you need to help un-trap the hair. If not, move on to the next step.

If the ingrown hair isn't bothering you too much, there are some over-the-counter treatments like Tend Skin Liquid that will help encourage the hair to grow up and leave the skin's surface instead of down. However, if milder solutions don't work, try to look for a product that contains:

  1. Salicylic acid
  2. Benzoyl peroxide
  3. Hydrocortisone

These products will help exfoliate your skin while reducing inflammation. 

However, if it still won't go away or it is especially painful, it might be best to see a dermatologist. They are professionally trained and know how to remove ingrown facial hair with ease.

They will use a sterile needle or blade to pick at the skin in the perfect spot to release the hair from its skin prison. If it is severe, they will prescribe topical cortisone creams. If it is infected, they may even prescribe oral antibiotics to reduce the inflammation and get rid of the infected ingrown facial hair.

Can I Get Rid of Ingrown Hairs Myself?

It's important to note that if the above measures don't work, you shouldn't poke at the ingrown hair by yourself if you don't know what you're doing.

Trying to do it yourself will not only be very painful, but you can easily make it worse. This goes for both digging into your skin and tweezing it or popping it like a pimple.

Doing this can cause tears in your skin, which can become a breeding ground for infection. This will lead to scarring or even future ingrown hairs in the same spot.

How To Avoid Ingrown Facial Hair

The best treatment for ingrown facial hairs? Avoid getting them at all. 

Although many men are resigned to the fact that ingrown hairs are just "part of what happens" when they shave, there are steps you can take to prevent them. Here are a few tips for ingrown facial hair prevention:

  1. Soften your facial hair. Before shaving, use a warm washcloth and lay it on your face for about 5 to 10 minutes before shaving. Use a lubricating shaving gel.
  2. Use a single-blade razor. When using a multi-blade razor, the first blade that makes contact with your hair acts as a "hook." It pulls up the hair, allowing the second blade to cut it. However, the second blade often cuts the hair beneath the skin, causing ingrown hair. When using a single-blade razor, shave along the grain of your hair. Shaving against the grain can also cause cuts to the hair that lies beneath the skin.
  3. Massage the area. Once your hair first starts growing in after a shave, massage your facial hair area five minutes before bed. Use a warm washcloth and massage in circular motions. This can help loosen stray hairs that are trapped under the skin.
  4. Exfoliate regularly. Try to exfoliate and gently scrub your skin once or twice a week. If you're dealing with hyperpigmentation or scarring from ingrown hairs, you can use topical retinoids to help. This removes dead skin cells and brings your new hair out. 

Final Words: Can I Take Care of It At Home, Or Should I Go to a Clinic?

That's everything you need to know about ingrown facial hair removal. Although ingrown hairs can be quite annoying and even painful, they aren't too serious. Try to practice clean washing and shaving habits, and you should be able to prevent more ingrown hairs in the future.

If you are already dealing with painful men's ingrown facial hair, go see a dermatologist. They can provide ingrown hair treatment quickly, safely, and efficiently. They can also provide you with medicines to help treat and further prevent them. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Here are a few more of the most frequently asked questions about ingrown hairs.

What should I do about very thick ingrown facial hairs?

Thicker, curlier hair tends to cause more ingrown hair than thinner, straighter hair. If you can't get rid of them with simple methods like a warm compress or topical ointments, see a dermatologist.

They are equipped and trained to get rid of ingrown hairs. You might cause further issues if you try to get rid of it yourself.

What are the best tweezers for ingrown facial hair?

Although getting rid of ingrown facial hair can be excruciating, having the right tools can help the process. Ingrown hair requires precision or surgical tweezers so that you can pull hair without damaging the hair follicle. 

Look for tweezers that have very good grip and pointed precision needle tips made for ingrown hair removal. 

How can I extract ingrown facial hair?

For ingrown facial hair removal, first, gently exfoliate the skin. This will cause dead layers of skin cells to come off, which will help release ingrown hairs. If you have the right tools, you can use a sterile needle, tweezers, or pin and gently pull it out. Apply rubbing alcohol to prevent infections.

However, you should only do this if you know what you're doing. It could cause further damage to your skin. Go to a dermatologist if you're not sure how to do it.

How long does it take for ingrown facial hair to go away?

Usually, most ingrown hairs will heal themselves after one or two weeks of mild irritation. As they grow longer, they will eventually release from the skin.

However, infections can develop around the hairs. This can cause pus to form as well as further discoloration and pain. See a doctor if you think you have an infection. 

How can I prevent ingrown facial hair?

To prevent itchy, ingrown facial hair, make sure to exfoliate regularly. Massage your beard and neck areas for five minutes before going to bed. If possible, switch to a single-blade razor.


UPGUYS has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

This article is written for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information provided in the articles cannot and should not replace advice from a healthcare professional. Talk to your healthcare provider about any physical or mental health concerns or the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.