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19 Mar 2016

Combat those pesky razor bumps and maintain a well-groomed appearance

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March 19, 2016 Category: Beauty Posted by:

By Leah Fletcher

Many African American men are taught that washing their faces with a bar of soap and scrubbing it dry are the only steps necessary for healthy-looking skin. Many have now have expanded their skin-care routine with a few extra steps—cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing. What they also have added is a good shave to round out the routine. However, some will be left to battle pesky razor bumps.

One of the most common shaving concerns for African American men are razor bumps. It is estimated that up to 80% of African American men suffer from razor bumps at some point during their lives, according to John Lucky, of Heritage Skin Products, a line of skin-care products for black men.

Treating this condition can be difficult. Lucky noted that sufferers can opt to grow a new beard, but for those who want to maintain a well-groomed appearance, this is not an option.  “For them, there are home remedies that are available to help combat this pesky condition,” he opined.    

Razor Bumps Contributing Factors

Razor bumps, also called pseudofollicultis barbae, can occur in any area that hair is temporarily removed by shaving, waxing or tweezing. These painful bumps occur, explained Lucky, when hairs curl back into the skin causing an inflammatory response. This inflammation can cause bumps, pus, discoloration and keloidal scars.

Treating Those Ingrown Hairs

In order to treat ingrown facial hair, Lucky believes it’s imperative to change one’s shaving habits. There are a number of ways to approach this treatment.  Consider gently removing all ingrown hairs by using a beard pick or a sterilized straight pin. You also might contemplate applying your favorite aerosol shaving product, and lather for an additional two minutes or more. Change your razor to a single-edge razor and shave immediately after your shower, to help prevent razor bumps. If you are not shaving in the direction of the hair growth, you need to change your method and shave with the direction of your hair.

Lucky also explained that some men use chemical depilatories, with some success. “However, this product can emit a strong odor, and it can be irritating to some,” he said, explaining that it is generally removed with a straight razor to create a close, precise shave. “If you decide to use one, it will take some practice to develop the skill to shave without nicking yourself,” he said. 


Electric shavers are also quite effective in the treatment of this condition. But, the drawback to using this type of shaver is that you won’t get a close shave.  So, if you need a close shave, this device definitely will not work for you.

Home Remedy

If a home remedy if preferred to eliminate or cure razor bumps, Lucky indicated that there are many effective products. The most commonly used are witch hazel, which is a widely used due to its antiseptic ingredients and it helps to treat razor bumps. African black soap is another great option. Simply wash the face with this cleaning agent, followed with warm water, on a daily basis to address the condition. Avoid alcohol as it can dry out the skin and cause irritation.

These tips should help you minimize and control ingrown hairs. If, the problem persists, Lucky advised that an appointment with a dermatologist would be in order.

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