Tackling Ingrown Hairs on the Scalp. Dermatologist-Approved Solutions.

Shaving can be a bothersome task, but dealing with ingrown hairs can be even more challenging. Ingrown hairs occur when the hair follicle grows beneath the skin instead of emerging above it, leading to irritation and inflammation. While commonly found on the face, legs, armpits, and pubic area, ingrown hairs can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp.

So, if you happen to have an ingrown hair on your scalp, what's the best way to eliminate it? To explore effective solutions, we sought advice from three experienced dermatologists. Here are seven approaches to managing ingrown hairs on the scalp:

  1. Take Preventative Measures: It's crucial to focus on prevention as the initial step in addressing ingrown hairs on the scalp. Employing proper shaving techniques, such as shaving in the direction of hair growth, cleansing the skin, and wetting the hairs before shaving. Regular hair washing and avoiding products that cause scalp buildup are also key preventive measures.

  2. Cleanse with Salicylic Acid Shampoo: Salicylic acid, renowned for its acne-treating properties, is a valuable ingredient in skincare. It not only reduces redness and inflammation but also serves as a chemical exfoliant. Incorporating salicylic acid shampoos and cleansers into your routine can deliver the ingrown-fighting benefits directly to your scalp. 

  3. Use a Scalp Scrub: Regular scalp washing and occasional exfoliation are emphasized to minimize buildup and prevent ingrown hairs. Scalp scrubs, containing soothing ingredients like peppermint and ginger extract.

  4. Try a Scalp Serum: For more severe cases of ingrown hair, applying a leave-on product like a scalp serum may be necessary. Look for serums containing soothing ingredients like zinc, which can alleviate irritation. 

  5. Avoid Wearing Hats: While it might be tempting to cover an ingrown hair on the scalp with a hat, it's advised against. Tight hats or helmets may contribute to ingrown hairs by impeding hair emergence from the skin. Wearing a hat can cause friction, exacerbate existing ingrown hairs, and trap oils against the scalp, leading to increased buildup.

  6. Refrain from Scratching or Picking at Your Scalp: Despite the strong urge to pick at ingrown hairs, our experts caution against doing so. Picking can lead to more inflammation and may result in scarring or hair loss. It's important to resist this temptation and allow the ingrown hair to heal naturally.

  7. Consult a Dermatologist for Prescription-Strength Treatment: If you observe pus or discolored fluid, it's advisable to seek professional help from a dermatologist. This may indicate a hair follicle infection called "folliculitis," which may require topical or oral antibiotics. Dermatologists have additional tools and treatments, such as cortisone injections, that can expedite the resolution of the issue.

Addressing ingrown hairs on the scalp involves a combination of preventative measures, proper cleansing, exfoliation, and, in some cases, specialized products or professional assistance.


Source: Byrdie.