How To Prevent Razor Bumps

August 16, 2018 4 min read

How To Prevent Razor Bumps

Naked Armor

Your Curly Hair Is The Culprit?

Published by Naked Armor

Watching Black Panther at the movies, I was fascinated by how clean the edges of King T’challa's beard are. The way it was neatly trimmed, with nary a whisker out of place, you’d think that a hi-tech razor was among the least bit of marvels that Wakanda technology created.

Because let’s face it, despite the crazy R&D funding being spent by razor companies to improve the latest multi-blade razor design in real life, around 75% of the male population in America continue to grapple with the usual issues when shaving.

Like for instance, razor bumps.

Curly tops, be warned

For men with strong curly hair, razor bumps are a menace that they deal with every day when they stand in front of the mirror for a shave. When you’re an African American, you’ll have it worse. Studies have shown that an estimated 80% of African American men will have experienced razor bumps while shaving at some point during their lives.

This usually happens when they use multi-blade razors. The blades maneuver the whiskers from the skin and slice it close enough so that the sharpened hairs become ingrown. And trust me, like an ingrown nail, ingrown hairs are also painful. It also looks and feels ugly.

So Razor Bumps Are Actually Ingrown Hairs?

Yup, they are. In fact, there’s a medical term for it: Pseudofolliculitis Barbae. It’s among the top three shaving concerns among men, according to a survey conducted by The International Dermal Institute.

Razor bumps can occur in any area that hair is removed by shaving, tweezing or waxing. When the hair strand is cut too close, the cut end is forced back into its follicle and left to grow inward, like a splinter.

Our skin responds to it like any foreign intruder. It creates an inflammatory response that includes redness and itchy, pimple-like spots that can sometimes be filled with pus.

In some cases, the hair emerges from the follicle and enters an adjacent follicle. As an immunological reaction, the skin produces a keloidal tissue mass over the hair. This bump in the skin is why it’s called a razor bump.

Curly and coarse hairs, when cut beneath the skin, can grow back in a different direction or grow inward into your skin. Hence, they should be cut cleanly and at the skin level.

- Derek Dodds, Naked Armor Founder

Your Curly Hair Is The Culprit

This dermatological condition is common among individuals with coarse, curly beard hairs. Which also happens to include those of African descent. Except, apparently, King T’Challa.

Studieshave shown that the particular composition of African hair makes this condition recurring among African American men. Their hair follicle is more horizontal in the dermis than upright, so when it is shaved closely against the skin, it increases the chances of the cut end turning into the skin.

Also, when the hair grows with a kink or a curl, like a corkscrew, it will likely grow into the skin if cut at an improper angle.

Is a razor bump similar to a razor burn?

Not by a mile. Razor burn is caused when you press too hard with the razor or overdo shaving on an area. The characteristic burn is caused by the excessive removal of surface skin cells, which I’m not going to recommend unless you want to skin yourself.

How can one prevent a razor bump?

When you think about it, these four steps are actually straightforward and sensible enough to have been thought of by someone preparing to shave.

  • Wash your skin and hair before shaving - You need to prep your hair and skin so that it becomes pliable enough for cutting. I recommend that you take a hot shower first because the hot moisture will soften your hair and open your skin pores. It would be easier on the blade when it glides through your whiskers.

  • Put on some shaving cream or soap – Work it up to a lather. Applying shaving cream into every single facial hair further lubricates the pores and when applied with a shaving brush, will help exfoliate the skin.

  • Shave gently – Shaving is a delicate art form. It’s the most manly of rituals, but it doesn’t require brute strength. Don’t put too much pressure when wielding your razor because you will cut beneath the skin. When that happens, you’re setting the stage for a hair strand to start growing into the skin.

  • Don’t reuse the blades – When you have coarse and thick hair, you gotta make sure that your blade is sharp. Like really sharp. Reusing blades, especially the disposable ones, is not a smart thing to do since they’re more likely to be dull and dirty due to the disposable quality of its manufacture.

Get The Proper Tools, Man!

In the battle against razor bumps, one should always be armed with the proper tool. Here at Naked Armor, we always go for the traditional because nothing beats what has been tried and tested. Sure, disposable or electric razors may always brag about their so-called improvements to the basic razor design, but we swear that nothing beats a Straight Razor.

Curly and coarse hairs, when cut beneath the skin, can grow back in a different direction or grow inward into your skin. Hence, they should be cut cleanly and at the skin level.

Multi-blade razors, electric or otherwise, often fail at this. They tug at the hair which can inflame the skin. On some disposable cartridges, blades are placed so closely together that they trap coarse hairs. During the shaving motion, these blades yank out the hairs leading to skin irritation and swelling.

A straight razor doesn’t have that kind of problem. Because straight razor blades are very sharp, they shave the hair in one efficient and effective motion. The long blade covers more area per stroke, lessening opportunities for razor bumps. No need for overshaving.

At Naked Armor, our fine selection of straight razors is made from high grade Japanese stainless steel and quality wood. Our Solomon Straight Razor, in particular, has merited wonderful reviews.

So if you’re looking to prevent razor bumps, why don’t you try shifting over to straight razor shaving?

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