Ask A Barber: How to Prevent and Treat Ingrown Hairs

Ask A Barber: How to Prevent and Treat Ingrown Hairs

Ann Shim, groomer extraordinaire, tackles unwanted whiskers
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By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Jun 23 2022 | 2 min read

In our continuing “Ask a Barber” series, we track down expert intel on Style Girlfriend readers’ most pressing grooming questions. Got one of your own? Let us know!

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 Ann Shim, The Grooming Lounge 

 Ann Shim is the Director of Education for Grooming Lounge, both online and for its barbershop locations. She’s trained hundreds of barbers and stylists and thousands of men on the best ways to take care of themselves.

Ask a barber:

“What’s the best ways to avoid ingrown hairs, and what’s the best way to treat them when they do arise?”

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The best ways to prevent or avoid ingrown hair growth is via a quality and consistent skincare routine, proper pre-shaving skin prep skin, and shaving in the right direction.  Many guys aren’t aware that ingrown hairs and razor bumps are basically one in the same.  When a facial hair curls around and re-enters the skin, it becomes an “ingrown hair” and when dead skin forms over that — you’ve got a razor bump. Fun.

Biology lesson aside, this is why a proper skin care should include the use of a facial scrub 2-3 times per week.  Such a scrub will help remove dead skin and can often up-root or release ingrown hairs.


In terms of shave preparation, properly warming the face and using a deep-penetrating shave oil can help put whiskers at attention and ease the razor’s path, making it more likely no hairs are left behind with the opportunity to curl back under the skin.


Finally, shaving in the “right” direction is key to avoiding ingrown hairs. 

Men need to be aware that shaving “with the grain of hair growth is always best” — but that facial hair does not always grow straight up and down.  It’s often on an angle and men should direct their razors accordingly.

In regard of what to do should all else fail and razor bumps still crop up, there are some targeted products out there that can help.  Products like Grooming Lounge’s The Shavior can un-earth and release ingrowns, via the usage of glycol acid to remove the dead skin surrounding an ingrown, while also soothing skin in that area.


If that doesn’t work and a tweezer is needed to remove the hair, it’s important to use a pointed model and to pull toward the skin. Pulling toward the skin will make certain the whole hair gets removed and nothing is left behind to curl back in.



Want more grooming guidance? Check out all the “Ask A Barber” articles here.

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