Shaving can be a fun process, it gives us a refined look, a smooth skin, and a soft surface to play around with, but the last thing anyone wants to deal with is the shaving bumps.
Ah, the uncomfortable red spots, the pain, the unsightly experience that happens to our skin - It's something that most consider the side effect of shaving.
But shaving bumps are not just a byproduct of bad luck; rather they are something that can happen to anyone and are quite easy to fix. So, what causes razor bumps and how do you get rid of them? Read along as in this comprehensive guide, we have shared everything you need to know about shaving bumps.
What are Shaving Bumps?
You might mistake shaving bumps as a result of acne or pigmentation but it's not, they are inheritably different. Shaving bumps, also known as razor bumps are the result of ingrown hair that develops after shaving or hair removal techniques, such as plucking or waxing. They are the result of your hair growing in opposite direction, instead of going straight.
In a simpler way, when you shave any part of your body, you remove the top layer of your skin leading to micro-injury. When new hair starts taking its place, it may curl and turn inward, beginning to form a new skin over the micro-injury. As a result of this, the hair gets trapped in the skin, resulting in an irritated bump.
What causes them?
There are a number of different factors that can cause shaving bumps. It can be genetic, it can be because of your curly hair, thick hair, shaving cream, the razor you use, shaving without a lubricant, using a clogged razor, shaving too quickly, and a lot more.
You might also have shaving bumps if you have:
- Tenderness of the skin
- Or red bumps that have not previously been cured
And if left untreated, shaving bumps can become infected, resulting in acne and pigmentation scars – Definitely not something which we want.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should stop shaving all together, as most of the time, shaving bumps revolve around shaving itself – Which in most cases includes your razor and cream. So, taking care of just these 2 items can be of great help.
How to get rid of Shaving Bumps fast
Now that we know what are shaving bumps and what causes them, here are some tips that you can follow.
Moisturize your skin
One of the best and most useful ways is to moisturize your skin after a shave. Moisturization not only helps with the ingrown hair but also protects your skin from environmental pollution and makes it more subtle and refreshing.
There are a lot of different products you can use; aftershave balm, splash, and lotion are to name some. After shaving, pat your skin dry and apply the moisturizer. This will hydrate and soften your skin as well as ease any itching that may happen after the razor glide.
Exfoliate your skin
As shaving bumps are caused by ingrown hair, exfoliation can help pull out all the dirt and debris from your skin. Although it is recommended to exfoliate before shaving, in case you've forgotten you can always do it at a later time. To exfoliate your skin, use a body scrub or a natural face mask to help ease the irritation.
Note: Make sure to not do this more often as exfoliation can have its own drawbacks if done continuously.
Use a cold compress
After shaving, wet a towel with cool water and put it on the skin surface for a few minutes. This not only soothes your skin but may also reduce redness and irritation.
Try a home remedy
When there's no way, there's always a way for home remedies. These treatments are not only effective for your skin but are way cheaper and effective than traditional products. Some of the shaving bumps remedies you can find in your home include:
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Witch Hazel toner
- Tea tree oil
- Coconut oil
Although these products are natural, they can still cause you irritation or an allergic reaction. Do a patch test prior to usage. If you don't have any reaction, apply a thin layer of the oil/paste on your skin surface. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with regular water and pat dry.
Give your skin some time to heal
Sometimes, the only thing that you can do is give your skin some time to heal. Our skin has natural healing properties that will help in such situations. No matter if you have shaving bumps or ingrown hair, avoid shaving for 1-2 weeks and you will automatically feel the difference. If you have shaving bumps on your body, try not to shave in the affected area.
Read More: What is aftershave balm - is it worth using it?
Don't pick at your shaving bumps
You probably would see online that picking at ingrown hair will prevent it from happening again. Don’t do this, as it can lead to severe acne. Also, don't shave your beard again, at this point, it is better to just wait for a few days.
How to Prevent Shaving Bumps in the Future
The best way to deal with shaving bumps is to prepare your skin before the shaving ritual. Here are some points to help you get started:
- Prepare your skin properly
No matter if you use shaving oil, butter, cream, or simple water; always prepare your skin before the shave. It makes the hair follicles softer for the razor to glide properly. Rub the material on the area where you want to shave for 1-2 minutes. Make sure to let the cream/butter settle on your skin before you use the razor.
- Always change your blade razor
Over time your blade will get rusted and might get bacteria from the environment. If you're using a safety razor, then change the blade after every turn.
If you're using cartridge blades, then change it after 3-5 turns (as recommended by the manufacturer). Some blades are designed to last even longer so always read the instruction before you use any.
- Use Pre-shave oil
Another great product to help with ingrown hair and shaving bumps. Pre-shave oils are mostly made of natural ingredients such as essential oil to help prepare your skin for an effortless shaving experience.
Pre-shave oil can be also used as aftershave oil or as a beard conditioning oil as they are mostly made of natural ingredients. Also, they are quite useful if you have sensitive skin.
- Use shaving butter instead of cream
Shaving creams are a category of products designed to offer a relaxed, rejuvenated, and moisturized shaving experience. These products are mostly made with organic ingredients such as shea butter and essential oils to make your skin healthier and protect it from any harm.
Also Read: Shaving butter vs cream: which one is the best
Creams, on the other hand, are made of chemicals that can cause more damage to your skin than any good.
- Understand how your hair grows
Not all of our hair grows in a straight direction. This is especially true if you have curly hair. Understanding how your hair grows will help a lot in the shaving process. Although today's multi-blade razors are designed to work in both directions, it still doesn't hurt to check it.
To do this, slowly rub your fingers in all the directions. You will find your hair a lot smoother on one side and harsh on the other. The soft side is the one in which your hair grows and is often called the “grain” of your hair. So, next time you’re referring to a shave, follow the grain part.
- Clean your skin after the shave
A lot of the folks don’t really clean their skin once they are done shaving. The recommended method is to first exfoliate your skin with warm water and then pat dry with a towel. After this, apply the pre-shave oil or balm for extra protection.
- Shave Directly After you shower
One of the best strategies to shave your skin is to do it after you take a shower or bath. Thanks to the steam and heat of water, your skin will be automatically prepared for a smooth glide.
Shaving after a shower is also very useful to help with ingrown hair. Your hair follicles will be more relaxed and open after this.
The Final Verdict
Shaving bumps on your face or body will clear up with time, as long as you're gentle with your skin and avoid irritating it further. Natural products like pre-shave oils, aftershave balms, and shaving butter are also great for your hair since they are designed to help with ingrown hair.
However, shaving bumps are not something you should stress about a lot as they are easy to get rid of. By following the aforementioned tips, you can rest assured that you'll get a perfect shave without any bumps or irritation.