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Shaving Tips: How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs, Razors Bumps, and Razor Burn

Plus three items every man should keep in his shaving kit

man's face up close
(Photo: Maatla Seetelo/Unsplash)

Shaving is the one thing that most men do. Yet, no matter how long we’ve been doing it, shaving can still be a major pain. Here, I share a few tricks of the trade to help ease the process.

Ideally, after reading this article, you will deal with a lot less common mistakes. Some shaving mistakes can lead to things like ingrown hairs, razors bumps, and razor burn.

In addition to tips on getting the best shave, I list a few products that might prove handy for each targeted area. However, three items that I absolutely recommend every man keep in his shaving kit are: a wet and dry electronic shaver, a styptic pencil, and a loofah bath mitt.

First Thing First

Before getting down to business, you’ll want to wash your face. Washing your face before shaving helps free your beard (if you have one) and skin of dirt and oils that later clog your pores. By exfoliating your skin, you also remove dead skin cells. This allows for a closer shave. It also means less skin irritation and ingrown hairs. After washing your face, follow up with a hot wet towel. Spread the towel over your face for several minutes to soften the skin and your facial hair. Trust me, it’s worth it and it feels amazing.

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Shaving It All Off

Man Face no facial hair

If you’re going for the clean-shaven look, lather up by applying your favorite shaving cream, foaming gel, or shaving oil. You’ll want to apply the foam, gel, or oil in an upward motion. This step is crucial because it will help prevent the sting of razor burn.

Next, grab your favorite razor. You’ll want to shave in the direction that your hair naturally grows. I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to always use a clean, sharp razor and to shave with the grain, not against it. And never press down too firmly on the skin. Cleaning up your look should require just a few strokes if you follow these basic steps.

Finally, rinse with cold water. You should definitely apply an aftershave lotion to keep minor cuts and infections at bay. As always, be sure to rinse your blade with hot water and store it upright in a cool, dry place after each use.

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The Hair Down There

If you’re interested in taking care of your burning bush, you’re in luck. Shaving your pubic hair isn’t that different from shaving any other part of your body. To avoid any and all discomfort before getting down to business, you’ll want to take a hot shower. This is when you should exfoliate the area with a loofah brush or mitt. Like with your face, exfoliating will eliminate all dead skin and make it easier to avoid any irritation later.

Stick to a single- or double-bladed razor and never stretch the skin. Try using essential oils like coconut, tea tree, peppermint, or and lavender to soothe the skin after shaving. These essential oils also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help keep razor bumps away.

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Keeping It Bald

bald man

If you prefer a bald head or just have one (no shots fired), be sure to replace your razor every few weeks. You don’t wan to find out why the hard way. The steps for keeping this look are pretty much like the ones above. However, I’ll emphasize that splashing your head with cold water after shaving to close the pores and rinse away all debris is a very good idea.

It might also be a good idea to treat yourself by letting a professional barber shave your head every 3 months just in case you miss a few spots on your own. And, though you’ll be completely void of hair, you’ll want to continue using a shampoo and conditioner.

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    Written by Mark E. Menzie

    Mark E. Menzie is a fashion designer who divides his time between New York City and Newark, New Jersey. He’s constantly featured in blogs and magazines such as Fashion Bomb Daily, Glamour, GQ, New York, Seventeen magazine and WWD for his work as a fashion designer, along with his unique sense of personal style. Visit his website at markmenzie.com.