SHAVING IRRITATION TIPS TO BATTLE INGROWNS, REDNESS, RAZOR BUMPS AND BURN
It’s a well-known and unavoidable fact – men get ingrown hairs. They’re unsightly, painful and take days to get rid of. An ingrown hair occurs when an ordinary facial or body hair takes an unexpected turn… literally. This often happens after shaving, when hairs grow back into the skin instead of out toward the light -- creating a nasty red bump.
While there’s no sure way to 100% avoid ingrown hairs, there are plenty of ways to fight the good fight against shaving’s Achilles' Heel.
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A well-rounded pre-shave routine is the best way to prevent ingrown hairs from digging in. Start with a hot shower to soften up face and whiskers. Once warm, use a facial cleanser (and a scrub 1-2 times per week) to prime the skin’s surface. Next, check your shave equipment. If your blade is gnarly or rusty, ingrown hairs will be the least of your worries. Changing up the blades may be costly, but they’re worth it for your skin’s health.
After the face is prepped and equipment checked, get started by applying a shave oil and shaving cream. Work them in aggressively and allow them to tenderize the skin before shaving to improve razor glide and skin protection. Get all your pre and post shave products in one handy kit with Grooming Lounge’s Greatest Shave Ever Kit.
Grab a pair of tweezers and search around for bumps and ingrown hairs. Gently pull ingrowns loose – but not all the way out. Just lift to the surface so the razor can cleanly take them off. Pulling ingrowns out with tweezers can lead to infection. And… nobody likes infection.
Exfoliation or scrubbing is just a fancy word for ‘dead skin removal.’ Removing old, dead skin cells allows newer, healthier skin to surface and thrive. Dead skin build up can block hair follicles on the face and lead to – you guessed it – ingrown hairs. Exfoliators can also help unearth ingrown hairs, making that whole “tweezer thing” we spoke about moot.
There are several effective ways to exfoliate, so try a few to see what works. The most popular form of exfoliation is the Facial Scrub. These are facial cleansers designed with some grit that provide a super deep cleanse and slough dead skin, impurities and blackheads down the drain. There’s many other ways to exfoliate including pads,wipes, tools or even volcanic stones.
Traditional aftershaves are great at targeting dryness by moisturizing and nourishing the skin. However, they don’t take responsibility when it comes to battling ingrown hairs. That’s why there are solutions specifically targeting post-shave complications/ingrowns. Find a product that works and be consistent with use as it might take the skin some getting used to before nirvana is reached.
A fair amount of ingrown hairs are caused by going against the grain while shaving. This is easily avoidable so don’t do it if irritation and ingrowns are a challenge. It’s important to note that “with the grain of hair growth” does not always mean straight up and down. Some hair grows a bit diagonally -- so it’s important to cautiously follow the hair route.
In order to achieve a closer shave without suffering irritation and ingrowns, follow the steps and tips listed above. Ingrowns will never go away completely, but there’s plenty a gent can do so that he doesn’t ever have an ingrown like this (might be tough to watch).