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Avoid Irritation and Ingrown Hairs with These Shaving Tips

Ingrown hairs and razor burn make for a bumpy ride. Here's some tips for better shaving and skin care.

Lisa Finnby Lisa Finn

Pseudofolliculitis barbae. That’s grown-up speak for ingrown hairs. When razor burn and tons of tiny bumps barge onto the scene, it’s a sure-fire sign that your shaving sucks. The good news is that you can push aside these pesky little pimples by adopting a stellar shaving method and arming yourself with the proper products. With these two things in place, shaving won’t be any skin off your back and you’ll hardly ever find yourself facing a hair-raising situation.

Open Wide

Shaving is a little like taking a girl to bed for the first time: there’s some pomp before the romp. And the best way to do this is in the shower. (Stay with me here – we’re still talking shaving.) Let the shower steam soften your skin and wiggle your whiskers loose for the first 5 minutes while you’re cleansing your body and shampooing your hair.

Bust Out the Badger

Thicker is better when it comes to shaving. Dip a badger brush (pictured above) into a generous amount of shaving cream and then gently apply to your face using tiny circles. This removes flakes before they can clog your pores and create irritating ingrown hairs. We already know what you’re thinking. You want to skip the badger brush and defer to your hands. Don’t. You’ll get fucked if you use your fingertips. Maybe that worked in your favor before, but it won’t in this situation.

Savor Your Shave

Take it slow. There’s no prize for powering through. Use a sharp blade and, with short, quick strokes, draw the blade down the skin in the direction of hair growth. Rinse the blade every few strokes to clean the cartridge, and then rinse your face with cool water to close your pores.

Shaving-With-Grain

Related: 10 Grooming Accessories Every Guy Needs

Take to Toner

Toner – with salicylic acid – is your new best friend when it comes to disinfecting your face and helping shed the dead layer of skin over any razor bumps. The goal when dealing with ingrown hairs is to keep the pores open and clean. If you have dry skin, smooth on a thin layer of non-comedegenic moisturizer after you tone.

Loosen the Loop

Who are you kidding? You can hardly keep your paws off your pimples; leaving your ingrowns intact isn’t going to happen. So here’s what you can do: Disinfect a tweezers with rubbing alcohol. Gently push the sharp end into the little bump and pull the hair from the opening. Just make sure to dab 1 percent hydrocortisone cream onto the area afterward to ward off infection and bacteria.

Burning Desire for Help

There are cases of pseudofolliculitis barbae that won’t budge no matter how you shave or what you treat it with. If you’re facing this fact, don’t despair. Visit a board-certified dermatologist who may put you on antibiotics or steroids to extinguish the itch and bury the bumps. If this doesn’t work, consider laser hair removal or electrolysis. These two methods are sure to get to the root of your hairy situation.

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