If you shave on a regular basis, chances are you’ve experienced razor bumps before. Medically referred to as Pseudofolliculitis barbae, this condition is characterized by the formation of patches of small, red-colored bumps resembling acne after shaving. It’s a common assumption that razor bumps are caused by an allergic reaction to metallic compounds in the razor, but isn’t true. While some people may be allergic to their razors, Psudofolliculitis barbae is caused by something entirely different.
Studies suggest that up to one third of all men develop razor bumps on a regular basis. The underlying cause of this condition is hair follicles growing sideways rather than outwards. When this occurs, the skin becomes red and inflamed; thus, resulting in razor bumps. And while razor bumps pose no serious risk to a person’s healthy, it can affect their self-esteem. The good news, however, is that you can prevent this condition by following some simple steps.
Preventing Razor Bumps
There’s no rule — written or otherwise — stating that razors with more blades equals a better shave. Razor companies today continue to “one-up” each other by releasing razors with two, three or even four blades. Why is this a problem? Well, when you shave too close to your skin, it encourages the follicle to subside under the skin, at which point it may grow sideways.
A recent study found the optimal length of facial hair to be between .5 and 1mm. If you happen shave your facial hair any shorter, you run the risk of developing razor bumps.
Razor Bump Prevention Tips
Another tip that’s helpful in the prevention of razor bumps is to shave with a sharp blade. Some people continue to use the same razor day after day, paying little-to-no attention to the sharpness of the blade. Just because a razor serves its purpose, though, doesn’t necessarily mean you should continue using it. A razor with a dull blade may pull and twist the hair instead of delivering a clean cut, which can lead to razor bumps.
We can’t talk about razor bump prevention without mentioning the importance of using a pre-shave oil. By applying a high-quality oil to your skin before you shave, you’ll create a smoother surface on which to shave. The razor will glide over the skin more easily, giving it a lower chance of developing razor bumps.