If your skin is particularly sensitive or prone to ingrown hair, consider stepping back from that four, five or six-blade razor you are using. That may be the primary cause of those unsightly and uncomfortable red bumps.
Remember those razor commercials where they show each subsequent blade lifting and cutting the hair follicle lower to give you that super-close shave? Well, they weren’t lying. The problem for those prone to ingrown hair is that it may work too well. After multiple cuts, the hair follicle is below the surface of your skin. As it grows back, it begins to curl back under before breaking the skin. The result: ingrown hairs.
Nowadays, disposable/cartridge two and three-blade razors get the job done, providing a close shave and lasting at least a week. Give yourself a couple weeks with fewer blades and you’ll see the difference.
If you are prone to post-shave irritation and razor rash, consider changing your regimen slightly: shave with cold water instead of warm (best attempted out of the shower). Warm water opens up your pores and all that good stuff, but it also draws the blood closer to the surface of the skin, which can lead to redness and irritation.
We all find ourselves hurrying from time-to-time, but don’t dry-shave – even if you’re in a rush. You’ll get a jagged, coarse shave that will likely be uncomfortable and far from smooth. Even for quick touch-ups, splash some water on your face to soften/hydrate your hair follicle. Think of your whiskers like pieces of spaghetti. If you try to cut through it dry and uncooked, it results in a sharp, jagged edge. Cut through that same noodle once it’s cooked and wet and you’ll get much smoother results.
Before shaving, take a moment to really look at the different directions of hair growth over the area to be shaved. Now shave with the grain. For a closer shave, take a second pass across the grain, but never against it. (Natural shaving oils or low-lather shaving creams are great for this because you can actually see where you’re shaving.) Resist the urge to take multiple passes over the same spots. One or two passes is all it takes.
The true measure of a comfortable shave is not about the razor, but ultimately the products you put on your skin to provide lubrication and protection. Do you know what’s in your shaving products?
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