Skin Defense: Best Ways to Bid Razor Bumps Adieu

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You shave? Well then at some point you’ve probably had to deal with the horror of pseudofolliculitis barbae…that is to say razor bumps. Not only is this a bad look, but frankly it can mess up your whole week; leaving you irritated (literally), somewhat bewildered and a bit self conscience. So here are a few things you need to know to send pseudo…folic…bar…whatever…packing and headed for some other inexperienced chap.

1. Know Your Hair Type

Typically this condition is more prevalent in African-American males who shave. However, the problem is not so much specific to race as it is hair type. Curly hair follicles are really the true culprits. And the more coarse the follicles the worse this condition can be. If you’re this dude follow these tips:

Tip 1- Shave Regularly. Allowing the hair follicles to grow can create the right conditions for it to curl right back into the skin. So prune regularly. Every two days should be sufficient. Make sure to use warm water to soften beard. Better yet, shave in the shower. Nothing works better to soften that thin layer of Brillo pad you call a beard than hot water and steam.

Tip 2- Replace blades regularly. I know, I know, these hi-tech blades are so friggin’ expensive. But trust me, it’s worth it. Neglecting to change the blade consistently can lead to pulling and tugging. Which can lead to the skin becoming inflamed (razor burn). Which can lead to, you guessed it, pseudo…folic…bar…you know what I’m trying to say.

Tip 3- Shave in the direction of growth. To identify in which direction your hair grows, simply rub your hand back and forth over the area of  your beard.  If you feel pull or drag, don’t shave in that direction. In fact, shave in the direction that gives you the least resistance. Use short, precise strokes and avoid pulling or stretching the skin while shaving.

2. Know Your Tools

Having the right set of tools is just as important as technique when attempting to perform the best possible shave. And when we say tools we include the shaving apparatuses and the shaving product. Acquire the right tools to assist you during these important steps:

Pre-Shave. Make sure you locate a nice pre-shave scrub or face wash like Jack Black’s Face Buff Energizing Scrub.  This will rid the beard and face of any unnecessary debris and smooth out the skin in preperation for the blade.

Lather. Not all shaving creams are created equal. Make sure you choose a quality cream like the Super Close Shave Formula from Baxter of California which allows you to make use of an equal in quality badger hair brush. Using these two tools in conjunction will both ensure you are protecting your skin from the blade and stand the hair follicle at attention for a nice even cut.

Shave. Unless you’re comfortable with using a straight razor or concerned with your safety when shaving (i.e. the safety razor) pick up a Gillette Fusion series blade. It just works. And practically every maker of fine men’s grooming products has created alternative handles allowing you to personalize the blade to your liking.

Post-Shave.   Again we recommend using a fine after shave balm to reduce the irritation of the shave, cool and nourish the skin. But even more important find a quality razor bump treatment like this one the Ingrown Hair Treatment from Anthony for Men (pick it up here).  This should deliver  another stage of exfoliation, to ensure the hair follicles grow in the direction they are suppose to,  as well as unearth the follicles trapped underneath the skin subsequently provoking the healing process.

Prevention is the name of the game here gentlemen. And the best way to prevent razor bumps is to just not shave. But since that is not an option for most of us, simply setting yourself up with a regular, systematic shaving regimen and a quality set of tools usually will do the trick. Follow the above recommendations and bid the pseudofollicu…adieu!