Shaving your hair is more than just chopping it off. It requires some level of skill as well as having the right products that specifically cater to men’s hair. Other than giving you a clean cut, shaving using the correct technique can help prevent the development of razor bumps.
Razor bumps appear when hair grows inwards after a shave. They are characterized by raised bumps, itchiness, or darkened skin around that area. Razor bumps tend to affect black men more because their hair is curlier than white men’s. This means that you need to take extra care while shaving. If not, keloid scars and other complications may arise.
When you know it’s time to shave, ensure you have all the right tools and products. You will need the following:
Wet the area you want to shave with warm water to open up the pores. The warm water will also wet the hair and make it easy to shave.
Learning your tools is the first step in having a clean cut. A good shaving tool can make a huge difference. There are different shaving tools out there, and each has its own use.
- Clippers. Hair clippers are best for longer hair. They have a motor charged using an outlet or lithium batteries and come with different comb options.
- Trimmer. A trimmer has a blade with a smaller tooth size that allows for cutting hair on the face, beard, and rest of the body. You can use it to detail the shape of a beard further. Some trimmers come as personal trimmers, which you can use to trim ear and nose hair.
- Razor. Razors are used to cut shorter hair, usually on the face and neck. They are manual and therefore require more skill when used. They come with one or more blades that need changing over time due to dullness. Never use a dull razor to shave. A safety razor is the best tool to start with.
- Electric shaver. An electric shaver comes as either a foil shaver or a rotary shaver. A foil shaver has a mesh that covers the tiny blades that move back and forth as you shave. They are ideal for thin and fine hair and can be used for wet and dry shaving. A rotary shaver, on the other hand, has individual round heads with blades that cut as they spin. They are great for men with coarse skin and do not cut close to the skin. Nevertheless, they require some skill to use.
- Scissors. Though you may be tempted to go with any scissors, hair scissors are designed for cutting hair. Scissors are best for trimming long hair.
Though warm water and soap could do, other products work better. For example, shaving lotion or oil will give you better lubrication than shaving foam or soap will do. A moisturizer to protect and hydrate is a must.
Use a Face Scrub
A face scrub exfoliates your skin. Exfoliating before shaving will help remove any dead skin and dirt and reveal hidden hair, resulting in a smoother shave. This critical step, usually skipped, can also help avoid razor bumps.
Shave in the Direction of Your Hair
Shaving against the direction of your hair gives you the cleanest shave. However, this can be harmful to your skin and promote ingrown hairs. Shaving in the direction of your hair may require some skill and take more time, but it produces better results.
Shaving in the right way requires finding out how your hair grows. To do this, run your fingers through your hair to see which way goes up and which way goes down. The direction where your hair is pulled up will be against the grain, while the path where your hair lays down is how your hair grows.
Moisturizing should already be part of your daily routine. Any good moisturizer will hydrate your skin, making it healthier. It is best to moisturize your skin twice a day (morning and evening), though once a day is a great start. Finding the right moisturizer for your skin will depend on your skin type- normal, oily, dry, or combination. A good moisturizer can also prevent and soothe razor bumps.
Do I Need an Aftershave?
Aftershave treats your skin if you have any cuts or nicks. It prevents any bacteria growth. However, most aftershaves have alcohol and other harsh ingredients that are damaging to the skin.
Therefore, if you must use an aftershave, look for one that has more natural ingredients, like aloe vera, which do the same work. Also, if you use a great moisturizer, you may not necessarily need an aftershave.
Watch out for razor bumps. If you notice you have them, give your skin a break. Shaving when you have razor bumps is a recipe for disaster. Allow your skill to heal so you can avoid scarring.
If you continue to get razor bumps even after following various shaving tips, it may be time for you to visit a dermatologist. They will be able to know whether there is a deeper issue or prescribe something that will work better.
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