Men commonly experience ingrown hairs shortly after shaving. You may think of it as razor burn, or even small pimples, but it is actually caused by hairs that curl and grow back into the skin instead of out and away from your pores.
If you have ingrown hairs, you already know that they can look embarrassing and feel painful. When you have a bunch of irritated pores on your chin, neck or cheeks, it's hard to have a good day. As long as you follow these six tips, though, you should find that you can prevent ingrown hairs easily.
1. Wash Your Face With Warm Water Before You Shave
It's important to prepare your skin before you shave. Start by washing your face with warm water and a mild cleanser. If you have some stubble, make sure you wash it well. The warm water not only softens the hair but encourages your pores to open.
2. Let Shaving Cream Rest for a Few Minutes Before You Shave
Most men start shaving immediately after they apply shaving cream or gel. You'll get a better shave by letting the cream rest for a few minutes. During that time, the shaving cream will soften your beard, making the individual hairs easier to shave. When you have an even shave, you're less likely to get ingrown hairs.
3. Always Shave With a Sharp Razor
You need a sharp razor that will cut through beard hairs without any problem. If you use a dull blade, it will tug at the hairs. Tugging will obviously cause some skin irritation. The friction between a dull blade and your beard hair can also cause them to curl, which increases the chance that they will grow back toward your pores.
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4. Rinse Your Razor Blade After Each Stroke
Hair that gets stuck in your razor can also prevent the blade from cutting properly. Rinse the blade thoroughly after each stroke. The better you rinse it, the less likely it is that stray hairs will have a negative effect on your shave.
5. Know Which Direction to Shave In
Conventional wisdom says that you should shave with the grain of your beard. If the hairs grow down, then your strokes should start at the top of your cheek and move toward the bottom.
While this works well for some men, it can actually cause ingrown hairs in others. Experiment by shaving with and against the grain to see which option works better for you. Just because your dad shaved one way doesn't mean you need to keep the traditional alive, especially if it causes irritation.
6. Apply a Cool Towel and Lotion After You Shave
Shaving, even when you do it properly, can irritate your skin. Give your face a little relief by placing a cool, wet cloth on it for a few seconds. Then, use a face moisturiser that won't clog your pores. These simple steps will relax your skin and prevent any irritation.
Some men live with ingrown hairs as if they are just a part of life. As long as you follow these six easy tips, you can prevent the pain and embarrassment that ingrown hairs cause.