Don’t you just love that feeling when you move your hand over your freshly shaved face and everything is so nice and smooth and wonderful. And then you find a razor bump. And another one, and another one. But that’s not all, then you also notice a couple of ingrown hairs here and there. So now your entire shaving experience transformed from something enjoyable and refreshing into something irritating and disappointing.
If you’re blessed with a very dark skin tone, this kind of situation is most likely pretty familiar to you. Black men often suffer from shaving bumps and ingrown hairs, so a fair number of them don’t really like shaving. These issues have the power to cause that.
Not anymore though, because after you’ve finished reading this article, you’ll know exactly how to avoid both razor bumps and ingrown hairs and finally enjoy shaving to its fullest. Now let’s start solving problems!
Why black men suffer from razor bumps?
In order to resolve this problem and get rid of razor bumps and ingrown hairs, first we must determine a what causes them to appear in the first place, and why do black people suffer from it the most.
The answer is pretty simple, because they have extremely curly hair. A beard that consists of straight hairs will grow out very easily once it’s been cut, while beards consisting of curly hairs can cause a few issues and irritate the skin on your face as they gain length. This happens because strands of hair grow in a curly fashion, which makes them grow back into and beneath your skin. The skin then commences the process of inflammation in order to get rid of that hair and the entire thing causes you to feel discomfort. This is a razor bump, the result of untreated ingrown hair.
But don’t despair, your curly beard doesn’t have to cause you troubles, as long as you take proper precautious measures
How to prevent razor bumps for black males?
If you want to have a face without razor bumps, you can’t allow shaving to become an activity you do as fast as possible, without paying much attention to it. Instead, you should shave adequately and thoroughly, without neglecting the preparation work and applying of the appropriate skin care products after you’ve finished shaving. Let’s see what you should pay attention to while shaving.
Prepare your skin
Cutting your beard hair without any kind of preparation will most likely result in skin irritation. Trying to remove ingrown hairs in the same manner will also cause further complications. Which is why you should first tend to your skin and only after you’ve done so, you can start shaving or removing ingrown hairs.
You can either take a hot shower or use a towel that’s soaked with hot water and put it on your face for about five minutes. This will help your pores open up and it will soften your hair strands.
Second part of shaving preparation is related to your razor blade. The blade must be kept in the best possible condition, because otherwise, it might worsen your razor bumps and ingrown hairs situation. Always clean it before you start shaving, use hot water and occasionally alcohol, if you didn’t use it for a relatively long time.. You should make sure that the razor is sharp enough, using dull ones could cause additional problems and further irritate your skin. Once you finish shaving, quickly wash the razor and remove all bits of hair that are stuck to it, leaving them stay there can dull the blade so try not to forget this step. After that, disinfect the blade by dipping it in alcohol.
Another important part of the ingrown hair and razor bump prevention by properly preparing your skin for shaving is exfoliating. Using a brush to exfoliate your skin will help open up your pores by removing the top skin layer, the one that’s made of dead skin cells. How many times you should do this depends entirely on your skin and beard type. If you keep your beard a bit longer, you can do this a few times a week, but if you prefer the clean shave or a very short facial hair style, you shouldn’t do it more than twice a week. Don’t exfoliate right before shaving, since it makes your skin very sensitive due to the fact that the new, fresh layer is being exposed. Instead it’s best if you wait for at least a day or so. Quality soap and a conditioner will also help prepare your beard for shaving, because it will make the hairs softer and therefore allow you to cut them more easily. Lastly, if you already have inflamed razor bumps, use an acne removal product, it will make them go away faster.
Keep the basic rules of black men shaving in mind
Now that you know how to prepare your skin for shaving, it’s time for us to start talking about the actual shaving process and how you should go through it.
Always use a shaving foam, or if you really want to, you can also use a special shaving gel for sensitive skin. Foam is the best option because it does a good job at softening the curly, sturdy hairs.
When you start shaving, don’t forget to move your razor with the grain, or in other words, in the same direction in which your hairs are growing. Mind you, this doesn’t always mean downwards, because your hair grows differently in different areas of your beard. Make yourself a simple drawing of your face and then mark the directions in which your hairs grow on various parts of your face. This way you’ll know how to move the razor after applying the foam which will conceal your beard hair.
As mentioned before, you should keep your razor as sharp as possible so that it doesn’t irritate your skin. Applying a lot of pressure on the blade will also harm your skin, so try to use it gently and patiently.
Don’t forget the aftercare
Your work isn’t exactly over once you’ve finished shaving. Proper aftercare is basically as important as the preparation or shaving itself. If you don’t apply the adequate products on your face after shaving, you’ll probably end up with ingrown hairs and razor bumps once again You must get rid of all the leftover bacteria so that they don’t cause inflammation or irritation.
You have three options when it comes to aftercare. You can use a normal aftershave, an astringent, or an alum block. You can choose only one, or you can switch from one to the other every now and then, but you can’t use two or more at the same time.
After applying the product, you should wait a bit and then apply some moisturizer as well. Dry skin is prone to ingrown hairs so you should try to keep it well hydrated at all times.
You might also want to try using a safety razor. Multiple blade razors can actually contribute to ingrown hairs and razor bumps appearing. They cut in a way so that your hair gets directed even more towards the skin, causing them to practically grow in reverse. Safety razors are very sharp so they cut the hairs cleanly, and they don’t go under the skin. So definitely try them out if you suffer from razor bumps.
How to remove ingrown hairs
You’ve learned how to prevent them, but you still don’t know what to do if you already have them, so let’s talk about that a bit.
The smartest move would be to just leave them be, and follow all of the instructions we gave you for preventing them. This way you’ll allow them to gradually go away without them scarring your skin in the process. This method takes some time, so don’t expect them to disappear in a day or two, be patient.
Even though it isn’t recommended, if you absolutely have to, you can also remove them by yourself by plucking them out. But it’s not as simple as grabbing a pair of tweezers and pulling the hair out, that would only make things worse. Instead, you need to use a warm, wet towel, and soak your beard with it until the hairs have become soft enough, about five minutes will do the trick. Then, when the pores have opened up, take a pair of tweezers and gently work your way around the ingrown hair until you reveal the hair in its entirety. You might not succeed on the first go, so don’t force it, try again tomorrow. When you reveal the hair, gently pull it out. Bleeding is expected, don’t worry if it happens. Just make sure to disinfect the wound after you’re done.
This concludes our topic, now you know how to avoid razor bumps and ingrown hairs. No more skin inflammation and irritation for you, from here on out, you’ll be able to enjoy the shaving experience to its fullest, as long as you follow our instructions and suggestions.