Shaving: Preventing Ingrown Hairs, Proper Ways, And More!

Shaving is a part of most men’s grooming routine, and it is the most apparent state that a man can do with his body. But the question is, are you doing the right way of grooming? Shaving is one of the “necessary” things that a man does to groom himself. That is why in this section, we will reveal the proper shaving routine to make sure that you can avoid skin damage and shaving irritation such as razor bumps, ingrown hairs, and inflammation.

History Of Shaving

It is thought that males began to shave thousands of years ago by taking off their beard hair using shell-like tweezers. Around 60,000 years ago, men learned to shave and started shaving their whiskers with sharp obsidian and shells. There are also indications that Egyptian males cut their full beard for spiritual as well as cosmetic reasons in ancient times. In addition, the Egyptians are credited for establishing shaving as part of a regular sanitary practice.

A man shaving his ingrown hair under the beard
Photo credits: 🪒 The 1700s

In the 1700s, the shaving instrument of choice was a flat or cut-throat blade. The majority of razors were sold to hairdressers and individuals with the financial wherewithal to purchase one. Razors were not inexpensive, and most males did not begin shaving until the middle part of the century.

🪒 The 1800s

Straight-edged steel razors were quite popular in the 1800s. Before every shave, gentlemen had to strop the blade on a leather or textile strap to sharpen the delicate metal edges and eliminate any rust. The blades also required to be sharpened on a regular basis, which was usually done by a barber. To remove unwanted hair, wealthy ladies and men were using flint razors, stones, tweezers, and creams. Indeed, pubic hair was deemed uncivilized; that’s why many classic sculptures and artworks of Grecian females are hairless. And in the late 18th century, it was seen the introduction of a more civilized method of hair removal.

🪒 The 1900s

After the 1800s, men brought the clean-shaven body by the early 1900s. This had become linked with their daily grooming until Gillette came into the picture. When Gillette trademarked the first-ever safety razor in the year1904, shaving became easier for men, especially when doing it at home.

Aftershave Issues

The most common shaving issues that a man can have are razor bumps under the neck area, uneven hair growth or ingrown, and general redness, including that rough feeling on the cheeks. These occur because of the complete fuzziness on the face, then shaving it fast using sharp razor lines leading to irritation. That is why it is vital to warm up your face before letting your razor touch your skin.

Developing Hair Ingrowns

Why do ingrown hairs occur? Because ingrown hair arises when the blade of the razor picks up hair that has been cut beneath it and returns it to its original position in your skin. So if you shave almost every day but not as near as you used to, you’ll avoid ingrown since you’re only taking off the tip of the skin’s hair, which is probably the best approach to prevent them.

Proper Ways To Shave To Avoid Ingrown Hairs

Shaving seems easy to do, but most men do not know the basic principles. When you shave with a razor, you might get ingrown hairs everywhere. As a result, ingrown hairs are most common in places with coarse, thick hair. When hair is thick and curly, it may curl back into the skin more quickly than when it is trimmed.

Ingrown hairs don’t go away on their own in a specific amount of time. Ingrown hairs can last a long time depending on your skin type and how irritating it is. Similarly, the more you scratch or agitate the region, the longer it may take for it to recover completely.

A man looking into mirror while he is shaving his beard with a razor
Photo credits: Sammy Williams

🪒 Electric razor without a guard

This is an optional step. Trim all your hair down using an electric razor without a guard. Doing this on dry skin is way more manageable when it comes to an electric razor. This is an excellent way for those who like the tiniest amount of stubble on the face. Remember that an electric razor will never trim your hair as close as a manual razor. So this process will still leave a very small amount of stubble by the end of the process.

🪒 Warm water

The next step in the routine you need to do is make sure that you soften up your skin with warm water. There are men who love to shave while in the shower. This is great, especially if you have a water thermostat and a mirror that does not fog up. The strong point of this is that it makes the whole shaping process super simple and clean. You can still do it in the sink as long as you are comfortable where you want to do it.

The purpose of warm water is to open up the pores. Opening your pores before complete shaving makes your hair softer, which helps ease the shaping process. Remember also that the longer you apply warm water, the smoother and easier it will be to shave.

🪒 Cream or gel

One thing why shaving in the shower is advisable is because, by the time you get to shave, your face is already nice and prep. After that, you got to lather up by using either shaving cream or gel. If you don’t want a thick and sticky feeling on your face, you can use shaving gel. This allows you to see the outline a little bit more easily.

If you are going for the clean shave, you can opt-in for either of the two options. Just make sure to be aware of their contents. Avoid using gels that have alcohols, dyes, parabens, and sulfates because these are all factors that can aggravate sensitive skin.

Good shaving cream or gel is going to provide much-needed lubrication for your face and just make the whole shaving process so much smoother.

🪒 Shaving

The grooming tool that you use is the most significant factor when it comes to shaving sensitivities like ingrown hairs. Razor guards are very important because you can actually end up cutting your facial hair below skin level without these. This can lead to not only increased tug and pull on your skin but also allows your hair follicle to curl back into itself. If your hair is curled up back to the skin, ingrown hair starts to form.

Aside from a razor guard, a skin guard is also needed to shape hair to the surface level of your skin. This also drastically reduces the chance of shaving irritations. Double-take shaving is sometimes required because remember that one-time shaving does not give you the closest and cleanest shave ever. But, this is also a great thing because the razor is only doing its job of protecting your skin by stopping the trim at surface level.

🪒 Where to start

If you like an outline, make sure to shave everywhere except for that line. When it comes to under the neck, just find the top of your Adam’s apple and use that as the cutoff line if you are keeping any facial hair. Shave below that line and leave the hair above. Do not forget to use a skin guard if you have sensitive skin. 

🪒 Finish it

Finally, rinse everything off with cool water to finish off your shaving routine. This is to close those pores back down and apply an aftershave balm that provides a thick coating of moisture. The aftershave balm is also used to protect and soothe freshly shaved skin. 

Post-Shaving Care

Don’t neglect the aftershave routine. There are a plethora of aftershave products on the market that can assist in comforting and reducing ingrown hairs from occurring. Seeing an aesthetician or someone who can really remove the ingrown hair is definitely a good idea if you have a problem that is highly irritating. They’ll take the ingrown hair out of your skin and remove it. You may also do this at home.

The key is to know you must have suitable instruments, such as a tweezer, on hand. Keep in mind to have an astringent and disinfectant on hand to shut the pores and prevent the spread of germs or anything else that will cause you to have an issue that you don’t already have.

Health Complications With Ingrown Hair

A man plucking his ingrown face hair

Although ingrown hairs are rarely hazardous, they can be pretty unpleasant. Ingrown hairs can cause infection, and it’s possible that if an infection isn’t treated, it’ll get worse or spread to the bloodstream. Also, if the ingrown hair doesn’t just go away, the minor swelling will expand into a much big one over time. Red, creamy white, or yellow pimple-like bumps might appear as a result. It’s also possible that it’ll hurt to touch it. 

Because of this, some people get discoloration or skin darkening. You can use chemical peels and other skin-care therapeutic interventions to address these issues. Many instances are resolved on their own without the need for treatment. Infections that are mild may go away on their own within a few days, while those that are severe may take weeks to go away.

Preventing Ingrown Hair

Ingrown hairs may be the result of poor face grooming. So, to avoid getting these hairs, follow the methods below.

Prior to shaving, make sure to cleanse your face with a light facial cleanser and lukewarm water.
Use lubricating cream or gel just several minutes prior to shaving to loosen the hair strands. Alternatively, apply a warm compress.
When shaving, always use a sharp razor.
Also, avoid pulling your skin taut.
Don’t forget to rinse the razor blade after every stroke.
Exfoliation is a skill that you must learn. Gently cleanse and exfoliate to allow the hair to grow back to the skin’s surface.

Bottom Line

Aftershave issues such as ingrown hairs and inflammations depend on your skin type. That is why it is essential to know your kind and get the necessary tools that are suitable for your skin. So prep your skin first before shaving. Do not shave rapidly because this can cause cuts leading to infection. If you are afraid of shaving by yourself, you can go to barbershops, for they also offer to shave with a massage. 

Anthony Barone

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