How to Treat and Remove Eyebrow Ingrown Hair

Find out all there is to know about ingrown eyebrow hair including the causes, symptoms, treatments and tips on how to avoid the same in this post.

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair        

Ingrown eyebrow hair, which is also referred to as trans-follicular penetration, refers to the act of the hairs making up the eyebrow growing within the skin and failing to surface on the exterior surface. Once an ingrown hair develops, it results in an irritated bump which forms due to the swelling of the hair follicle. The whole situation results in an unsightly eyebrow area that ought to be taken care of immediately to restore a flawless facial look.

What is an Ingrown Hair?

Hair is made up of keratin. When it grows, it comes off the follicle and breaks through the skin onto its surface. In some situations, the hair may grow at a slanted angle and curl back into the skin as opposed to breaking through the skin horizontally. This situation in which the hair remains trapped within the skin is what is referred to as an ingrown hair.

People Predisposed to Ingrown Eyebrow Hair

According to, African American males aged between 15 and 25 are at the highest risk of suffering ingrown hairs. Additionally, people with naturally curly hair, while compared to people with straight hair have greater risks. This is because it is harder for the hairs to break through the skin. Thick coarse hair also tends to have a higher chance of developing ingrown hairs that people with fine thin hair.

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Causes

What causes an ingrown eyebrow hair? In most cases, ingrown hairs in whichever area result from inappropriate hair removal procedures. Any hair removal procedure may it be plucking, shaving, tweezing or waxing among others, if done wrong will see you develop ingrown eyebrow hair. 

Eyebrow shaving results in the skin getting stretched. This could slant or make the hairs to grow backwards. The use of blunt razors, shaving too close to the skin or against the natural hair growth could see you develop ingrown hairs too.

When tweezing and you fail to pluck the whole hair from the root, there is a probability that an ingrown hair will develop on the eyebrow. Over-tweezing may also increase the risk of ingrown eyebrow hairs.

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Symptoms

The symptoms of ingrown eyebrow hair vary. Here are some factors that could signal an ingrown hair


An ingrown hair results in the skin around suffering damage and becoming tender. There is also an increase in the amount of discomfort. With time, inflammation, irritation and infection develop too. These result in pain as well as swelling around the brow area.


One of the earliest symptoms associated with ingrown eyebrow hairs is inflammation. This occurs as the body reacts to what it deems foreign. As a result, the immune system seeks to protect the body from it. This results in irritation and inflammation. 

Due to the inflammation, it is possible for the ingrown hairs to develop pustules around. This manifests in the form of a pus filled blister forming around the hair.  With the occurrence of a pustule are increased chances for it to rupture resulting in an open wound which in turn increases the risk of infections.


Any part of the skin suffering irritation and inflammation will also itch. Additionally, accumulation of dead skin beneath the skin where there is an ingrown hair could make the outer layer itchy. This is usually a way of the body to signal the specific part of the body that the excess dead skin cells ought to be removed.

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Cyst and Cystic Pimples

An ingrown eyebrow hair cyst is a follicle forming in the hair follicle. Where there is no infection on the cyst, the hair follicle cyst could be confused for a sebaceous cyst. The ingrown cyst may appear like a red bump or boil.

The cysts are most common in women who conduct eyebrow hair removal by waxing or shaving. Where the ingrown hairs could see the sufferer experience hard painless cysts as well as sebaceous cysts. This is caused by blockage of the hair follicles. Where ingrown hair result in cysts, these usually go without much intervention.

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Bump

Shaving bumps which are also referred to as razor bumps are likely to occur in women who use razors to trim their brows. These could also later on develop into folliculitis. This is a mild form of infection resulting from the inflammation.

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Infection

When an ingrown hair develops, the body treats the hair as a foreign object. As a result, it fights it and irritation and inflammation is triggered. This results in formation of a hard bump on your eyebrow. This bump mirrors a pustule or acne pimple. 

Folliculitis refers to a hair follicle infection. This is caused when the follicles suffer damage and become irritated. The damage may result from inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, improper shaving and when an individual wears tight clothes causing friction on the hair.

An ingrown eyebrow hair infection may result from fungal, viral, bacterial damage. These result in the worsening of the inflammation. Mild ingrown eyebrow hair infection usually resolves on its own but in severe cases antibiotic treatments may be necessary.

Infected Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Treatment

To help the infection on the ingrown eyebrow hair heal, you can treat it at home. Here are various steps on how to treat an infected ingrown eyebrow hair.
  1. Start off by putting a hold on any eyebrow shaping and removal procedures. These include tweezing, threading and waxing the eyebrows.
  2. Attend to the causes of the folliculitis. In case you have acne pimples, use relevant topical treatment options.
  3. To reduce swelling and inflammation, apply a warm compress on the area. This will also aid in drainage of fluids found in the area which is what eliminates swelling.
  4. Twice a day, cleanse the infected area using antiseptic soap. Once done rub the area dry using a clean towel and rub on an antibiotic product. This will provide extra pain relief. In case the area is itchy, you could apply a hydrocortisone product for relief

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Treatment

The treatment of ingrown eyebrow hair involves stimulating the hair follicles and opening up the skin pores to encourage the ingrown hair to resurface.
Here is how to treat ingrown eyebrow hair:
  1. To help open up the pores, apply a hot compress on your brow. Hold on a warm piece of cloth around the ingrown hair and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes. This makes it easy for the hair to be pulled out.
  2. Once you have treated the area with a hot compress, use a facial scrub to exfoliate around the affected area. A brown sugar or coffee ground homemade facial scrub can suffice where none is available.
  3. Alternatively, you could use a soft brush to exfoliate. Massaging the area also works in the same way. It helps to stimulate the hair follicles to push the hair out as well as easiens the ingrown hair removal process.
  4. Repeat the steps above for two or more days so the skin can be soft enough and the pores open up to help in easy removal of the ingrown hair.
  5. Once close the skin surface is tender enough and the hair feels loose enough, use a pair of sterilized tweezers to pull out the ingrown hair. A needle can also be used to accomplish the same. Simply insert the tip into the ingrown hair loop and pull it to the surface.
  6. Once done, apply antiseptic on the area to avoid infections.
The above procedure on how to treat and remove an ingrown hair on the eyebrow should not be done on infected areas. In such cases, treat the infection first and if necessary seek professional help.

Additional Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Treatments

While following the above procedure, there are additional home remedies that can help in treating infection, encouraging the hair to grow out as well as removal of the ingrown hair. These are as discussed below.


These can be topical or oral. Oral antibiotics help in cases of severe ingrown hairs infection and can be used in treating Staphylococcus, the bacteria responsible for ingrown eyebrow hair infections.


Cucumbers are known to contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents. There fresh extract can be applied on the brow area to ease swelling and inflammation
  1. Slice up a cucumber and place the slices in the refrigerator for a while
  2. Rub the slices above the ingrown eyebrow hairs gently. Alternatively, lie down and place the slices on the brow area. Repeat this whenever the area feels irritated.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This too contains anti-inflammatory properties and is appropriate for infected ingrown hairs on the eyebrow.
  1. Combine one portion of vinegar with two positions of water in a mixing bowl.
  2. Using a clean piece of cloth dipped in the mixture, press the affected eyebrow area.
  3. Continue holding the cloth until it cools down and repeat.

Sugar Scrub

This can help get rid of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. This will aid in pushing out the ingrown hair. In addition to treating existent ingrown hairs, the scrub can be used to prevent their occurrence.
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix equal amounts of sugar and jojoba oil. 
  2.  Add a few drops (about 15 drops for a cup of sugar and oil mentioned above) of tea tree oil and mix well.
  3. Rub the resulting mixture in circular motions on the affected area.
  4. Rinse off using warm water and repeat procedure up to four times in a week.

Baking soda

This is best used on the eyebrow when the ingrown hair is causing pain.
  1. Mix baking soda with water until a consistent paste is formed.
  2. Using a cotton ball, spread this remedy on the brow area and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse the paste off with cold water.

Black Tea

Black tea contains tannic acid which helps to reduce inflammation and eliminated redness from ingrown eyebrow hair bumps.
         i.            Dip a tea bag in some water and allow it steep for a while
       ii.            Get it out and squeeze out excess water so that it is wet but not dripping.
      iii.            Place this on the brow area
     iv.            Alternatively, you could dip a cotton ball in the tea and use it to wipe area.

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Removal

The ingrown eyebrow hair removal procedure has some steps that overlap with those carried out while treating the area. It is important to ensure that the area is sterilized before embarking on removal of the ingrown hairs. 
  1. Application of Heat: this is done to aid the hair follicle into pushing the ingrown hairs to the skin. Use a warm washcloth held on the skin for about ten minutes.
  2. Exfoliation: In this step, the aim is to eliminate the dead skin cells and debris. Apply an exfoliator and use your fingers to rub it in in circles before rinsing it off.
  3. Coerce the Hair Out: Here is where the ingrown eyebrow hair is removed from below the surface of the skin to the surface. To begin with, hold the skin taut and swipe a cotton ball in the direction opposite of which the hair is growing. If it was close enough, this should be enough to get it out.
  4. Use Tweezers: These will come in handy where the previous step did not work. Sterilize a pair of pointed tweezers and use it to gently grab on the hair. Once secured, pull it out.
  5. Trimming the Hair: It is possible for the pulled out hair to be longer or appear different from the surrounding eyebrow hairs. If this is the case, trim it as may be desired.
  6. Disinfect the Area: To ward off infections, disinfect the area. You could clean up the area with hydrogen peroxide and apply Neosporin.

Professional Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Removal

Where the above home treatment and removal does not help, you can seek the help of a professional.


Electrolysis is a procedure that uses mild electric current to destroy the hair follicle. The current is emitted from a small metal probe and gets rid of the stubborn hair without a chance of it growing back. This is because the current does not only eliminate the hair but gets rid of the hair follicle too. The process can also be used to diminish the appearance of ingrown hair scars.

Laser Ingrown Hair Removal

This too is appropriate for recurrent ingrown hair. Laser hair removal gives long lasting results. At times, the treated ingrown hair may get dissolved while at others they may surface on the skin. This procedure involves directing laser beams to the affected hair’s follicle. This kills the hair from the root thus eliminating it.

Ingrown Hair above or Between the Eyebrows

In some people, ingrown hair may be experienced only between the eyebrows. This is more so in people with an oily T-zone. The resulting clogging makes them vulnerable to pimples, inflammation and ingrown hairs.

Additionally, eyebrow hair removal could cause ingrown hair in between the eyebrows. The treatment procedures are as discussed above. For this to stop, you will need to eliminate the causes.
On the other hand, ingrown hair above the eyebrows may arise from eyebrow trimming and shaping procedures. The areas where hair has been done away with may become ingrown if subjected to the causative factors discussed above.

Ingrown Eyebrow Hair Swollen Eye or Eyelid

An ingrown hair may make the eye seem swollen. This usually happens when there is inflammation and a bump, cyst or pimple forms as a result of the trans-follicular penetration. Once the ingrown hair is resolved and infection clears, the swelling should go away. To eliminate the swelling fast, apply a warm compress at regular intervals.

While a swollen eyelid may occur as a result of ingrown hair, it is not caused by the eyebrow hairs. Instead, eyelid swelling can only be caused by ingrown eye lash hair. This has to be resolved for the swelling to go away.

Tips on How to Avoid Ingrown Eyebrow Hair

To minimize the chances of developing the painful ingrown eyebrow hairs and their nasty associated symptoms, try the following:

  • Less eyebrow hair removal can help reduce the tendency for ingrown hairs to occur. Allow your hair to grow for a longer duration before waxing, tweezing, shaving or threading them.
  • When shaving, always change the razor on a weekly basis as the use of dull blades contributes to formation of ingrown hairs.
  • Changing your shaving techniques could also help. To avoid trapping hairs inside, do not stretch the skin while shaving.
  • Warm compresses can go a long way in easing pain, inflammation and encouraging the eyebrow ingrown hair out. Keep doing it.


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