Mar 192008

Also known as razor bumps, ingrown hairs occur when hair is cut (as in shaving) and then it grows back under the skin. Your body may eventually start to treat it as a foreign invasion and attack it, causing painful bumps to form.

In terms of treatment, I’ve found High Time Bump Stopper cream to be really effective. There should be a few products like this at your local pharmacy. I’ve read that 80% of black men suffer from ingrown hairs, so some of these products are targeted more towards them. Personally, I’ve seen most of my razor bumps disappear within 24 hours of applying this cream once, but different things work for different people. Ask at your local pharmacy what is a popular product, too.

In terms of prevention. Learning to wetshave and proper shaving would probably help. I’ve found it better when using a single blade rather than a multi-blade monster like the Quintippio (lol). You can either get single-blade disposables (which are also cheaper than normal cartridge razors) or a double-edged safety razor (also cheaper because replacement blades are ridiculously cheap) or a straight-edged Sweeny Todd-style killing machine.

Shaving out of a hot shower helps me,  and having a shaving brush to brush some good shaving cream (I use Proraso. Its from Italia) helps too. Finally, do figure out which direction your hair grows in all over your face. Your hair has a natural grain and you can find out what it is by rubbing your hand in your stubble after a day or two of not shaving. There will be some surprises. For example, under my right jaw, my hair just suddenly starts going to the side rather than down.

The final element, I think, is not to touch your face after you have shaved. Be careful of rubbing your freshly shaved face, either, especially with a towel. I prefer to let my face air-dry or dab-dry it with paper towels or tissues.

Enjoy! Google will yield even more solutions, too.

Guide to proper, gourmet shaving, here.

  2 Responses to “How to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Hairs”

  1. Thanks for the link—and guys with ingrown whiskers will be thanking you for your thoughtful advice. Let me add a couple of points: the blades I like best cost 11.5¢ each and easily last 3-4 shaves. (Once I used one for 15 shaves—but that was me, with my beard, skin, technique, etc.) One thing to note: the same exact brand of blades will seem great to some shavers and terrible to others. You really have to try different brands to find through your own experience which will work for you. More information on that topic here.

    Second, if you do suffer from razor bumps and ingrown whiskers. Start by shaving only with the grain of your beard. (Rub your beard: the roughest direction is against the grain at that point. The direction of grain will vary across your face, and the neck in particular may have the grain going in odd directions.) You won’t get a perfectly smooth shave, but it will be serviceable. As your technique—and your skin—improves, follow the with the grain pass with a pass across the grain. This may well be quite good enough. (Note that you apply lather before EACH pass.)

    Hope this helps. Lots more info at the gourmet shaving link above.

  2. Great! Thanks for sharing more info. 🙂 I’ve found your site to be very useful, not just for the information on shaving but also the other things like how to be a genius.

    For readers, the link to a bunch of awesome articles on his site is here:

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