As men, we’re often told that shaving is a rite of passage. shavings the source of many an ingrown hair. If not done properly, shaving can result in red, swollen bumps along your jawline, neck, and cheeks. In extreme cases, infected ingrown hairs can even lead to scarring. So how do you avoid these unsightly blemishes? Follow these simple tips for a smooth, irritation-free shave every time.
1. Use a sharp razor. Hopefully, this one is a no-brainer. A dull blade will tug at your hair and skin, causing irritation and increasing your risk of nicks and cuts. Not to mention, it just produces a less than ideal shave. Sharpen or replace your blade after 5-7 shaves to avoid any potential problems.
2. Wet your whiskers thoroughly. This step is important for two reasons. First, it helps soften your hair so that it’s easier to cut without irritating your skin. Second, it reduces the risk of razor burn by preventing the blade from dragging across your skin. Just make sure to not use water that’s too hot as it can further dry out your skin. Splash some cool water on your face or wet a towel and apply it to your skin for 15-20 seconds before you start shaving.
3. Lather up with shaving cream or gel. Applying shaving cream or gel before you shave also helps reduce irritation by providing a barrier between your skin and the razor blade. It also lubricates the blade so that it glides more easily over your skin without tugging at individual hairs.
4. Go with the grain on the first pass . . . Shaving against the grain (i.e., against the direction that your hair grows) will give you a closer shave but is more likely to irritate your skin—especially if you have sensitive skin or are prone to ingrown hairs. On the first pass, Always shave in the direction that your hair grows—typically downward on your face—to avoid any issues..
5.. . then against the grain on the second pass (optional). Once you’ve gone over your entire face with downward strokes, you can go back over any areas that need additional attention with sideways or upward strokes.. But don’t feel like you need to do this second pass if your goal is simply to avoid irritation—especially around delicate areas like your neck where ingrown hairs are more likely to occur..
6.. Rinse off with cold water and apply aftershave balm . Rinse off any remaining shaving cream or gel with cold water—this will help close up your pores and prevent infection..Then apply an aftershave balm or lotion containing ingredients like aloe vera or shea butter to help soothe any razor burn..
7.. Review our checklist below before you start shaving .. Reviewing these steps one last time will help ensure that you don’t forget anything and have everything you need before starting..
- A sharp razor
- Shaving cream or gel
- A clean towel
- Cold water
- Aftershave balm
By following these simple steps, you can avoid many of the common mistakes that lead to ingrown hairs and other shaving irritations.. Of course, everyone’s skin is different, so what works for one person may not work for another.. If you find that you’re still having trouble achieving a smooth shave without any irritation, consult with a dermatologist or professional esthetician who can help determine what products and techniques are best for your individual skin type.. And remember—if all else fails, there’s always the beard!