Why Do Black Men Get Razor Bumps

Why Do Black Men Get Razor Bumps – And What to Do About It

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Travis J.
July 31, 2022
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Razor bumps happen when hair is shaved below the skin’s surface and starts to grow out of the skin in the opposite direction. Black men are more likely to have razor bumps than white or Asian men because they have more coarse or curly hair.

What Causes Razor Bumps?

Several research articles have found that curly hair is 50 times more prone to get ingrown than straight hair because curly hair naturally grows towards the skin, causing razor bumps. Similarly, studies estimate that the risk of keloid scarring is 15-20 times greater for those with darker skin. As such, black men need to learn effective shaving techniques and treatments to avoid razor bumps. Besides, not all African-American black men want a full beard. 

As a black man, you shouldn’t give up on your clean-shaven look because of razor bumps, even if it is the most apparent answer. In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about razor bumps:

  • Why do black men get razor bumps?
  • How can black men avoid razor bumps?
  • How do I treat razor pimples caused by shaven skin?
  • How can I get rid of dark skin from ingrown hairs?
  • How can black men prevent ingrown hairs?

So, let’s get started. 

Why do Black Men Get Razor Bumps?

As a result of ingrown hairs, razor bumps are more frequent in black guys with curly hair. Ingrown hairs are trapped in your hair follicle and do not make it to the surface of your skin. Your hair follicle is the holes in the skin where the hair develops. For ingrown hair, you’ll only observe lumps and the occasional short tracks of hair attempting to emerge from under the skin’s surface. 

People with naturally curly hair (such as black guys) are more prone to razor bumps, blemishes, and burns on their skin. Hairs clipped too near the skin’s surface are the most common cause of razor blemishes, especially in those with naturally curly hair. When this happens, razor bumps are formed. These blemishes may leave permanent scars on the face due to incorrect shaving and naturally curly hair.

Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed that curly hair is 50 times more likely to become ingrown than straight hair. Research also discovered that those with curlier hair have genes that make them more prone to razor bumps and ingrown hairs. According to the findings, this gene is absent in people who don’t suffer from razor bumps daily. Unfortunately, razor bumps are genetically predisposed to appear more often in black guys than in most other races.

How Can Black Men Avoid Razor Bumps?

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To eliminate razor bumps on black skin and maintain a smooth appearance, it would be best if you always shave with the correct methods and techniques. You might want to try the following procedures when shaving. 

Completely Clean the Skin

Using warm water and a quality pre-shave cleanser will moisturize your facial hair cleanly and remove germs and dirt from the skin. Cleaning will reduce inflammation and clear clogged pores for African-American men. 

Using a heated cloth is the best method

For black men, shaving is crucial. Their hair grows fast on their skin, making stubbles look rough. Apply a warm or hot cloth to your face for 10 to 20 seconds after washing it. Your pores will open, making it simpler for you to remove the hair on your face.

Use a brush to shave

Use a high-quality boar bristle shaving brush to avoid razor bumps and burns on your face and neck. In a circular motion, lather shaving soap on your face with a shaving brush.

Avoid Multiple Blade Razors 

Hairs curl back into the skin when shaved with a multi-blade razor because they pull the hair out and cut it below the skin’s surface. In addition, the lack of control over these multi-blades makes them less desirable than a safety razor. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you’ll get an even better shave with less discomfort and save a lot of money on blades. Besides, you’ll avoid the inflammation that affects your body when razor bumps form. 

Shave Using the Proper Techniques

If you want to shave in a straight line, shave in the direction of growth. The skin should not be stretched or pulled roughly during shaving. Instead, gently pull for a closer shave to prevent ingrown hairs. 

To prevent shaving several places with a dull blade, shave each region once and replace the blade after 4 to 5 shaves.

Apply High-quality and Hydrating Aftershave

A moisturizing aftershave such as witch hazel or tea tree oil may be used to repair irritated skin after shaving and encourage facial hair to grow straight out instead of curling back into the face.

Shave Three Days a Week

Ensure you don’t spend more than three days without shaving to maintain a flawless appearance. To prevent razor bumps and keloid scars, reduce the length of time the hair grows and coils back into the skin.

Don’t Go Too Fast

There are days when a fast, one-minute shave seems like the only option for those who need to get things done quickly. Please don’t! You may avoid painful irritation and unsightly razor bumps, and skin irritation by shaving consistently and taking care while doing so. To prevent razor bumps and keloid scars, it’s preferable to forgo the shave if you’re pressed for time.

How Do I Treat Razor Pimples Caused by Shaved Skin? 

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There are several things to do to treat pimples caused by shaved skin. As long as you shave, you’ll have to deal with razor bumps regularly, but it is possible to cure them if they appear. Below are some measures to take to avoid them from recurring in the future.

Medications

There are no particular medications for treating razor bumps, but using over-the-counter medication may hasten the healing process. Use over-the-counter steroid lotions that contain hydrocortisone.

In rare cases, razor pimples may become infected with germs or fungi and cause skin irritation. If this occurs, meet your physician or dermatologist for a prescription for antibiotics or antifungal medications.

Practice Good Hygiene 

Keep the areas affected by razor bumps clean and avoid touching them too much. Also, do not shave the area with lumps until it heals completely.  

Soothe Razor Bumps with Saltwater Solution

While skin care products are reasonable, you can soothe inflammation and razor burn with a saltwater solution. Add a teaspoon of salt to two cups of hot water; dip a clean washcloth in the saltwater and apply to your skin.

Avoid Plucking and Squeezing Razor Bumps

If the ingrown hair is visible on the surface of your skin, do not pluck or squeeze the affected area because when you do, a new strand of hair will grow in its place, and the cycle won’t break. 

Instead, use sterilized needles and tweezers to remove the hair. Please, ensure you clean the skin well and sterilize the needle or tweezers with alcohol before you use them. If you can’t see the hair, don’t attempt to pull it out; by penetrating the skin, you’ll worsen the lump.

Exfoliation

Salicylic acid and glycolic acid, both found in several skin care products, may hasten the healing process. Exfoliate ingrown hairs with acids that remove dead skin cells and allow the ingrown hair to resurface.

According to some individuals, rubbing a dry brush on your skin is one of the treatment options available for alleviating ingrown hair.

How Do You Get Rid of Dark Skin from Ingrown Hairs?

It would be best if you strictly adhere to the following steps if you want to get rid of dark skin caused by ingrown hairs successfully.

  • For a smooth shave, don’t shave until all of your bumps heal properly. Remove ingrown hairs on black skin by gently releasing the hair loop using a toothpick or sterile needle. Don’t snip. Open your pores by applying warm compresses to your skin.
  • Consult with a board-certified dermatologist. Your prescription might include Tazorac or Retin-A, commonly used with an antibiotic gel in mild situations. When administered to the correct patient, oral antibiotics may be very effective. If you want to slow your hair’s growth, your doctor may prescribe eflornithine cream, but the results take weeks to show; plus, you need to apply the cream eternally.  
  • For keloid scars or hypertrophic, intralesional steroids, injections may help. The laser may be curative for black men’s beard ingrown hair in more complicated situations.  

How Can Black Men Prevent Ingrown Hairs?

Although quitting shaving is the best way to avoid them, we understand that that’s going extreme. So, here are some ways black men can avoid ingrown hairs. 

  • Shave using shaving gel once you’ve warmed up your skin.
  • Use as few strokes as possible and rinse the razor after each stroke to get the best shaving results.
  • After shaving, use a cold, moist towel to soothe the skin.
  • Get rid of any stray hairs using an exfoliating scrub.
  • Consider using a hair removal lotion instead of your usual hair removal technique.
  • Laser hair removal is a long-term option for hair removal.
  • Having a close shave too close to the skin or clippers is not recommended for black males. 
  • It is easier to achieve a clean-shaven look on black guys since their facial hair grows at a lower level, making stubbles less obvious.
  • Make sure that your razor is always fresh and sharp by using just a single-blade razor while shaving.
  • To avoid damaging your skin and causing infection, do not use your fingernails to scratch, pluck or crush ingrown hairs.

Final Words

In summary, razor bumps emerge when hair is clipped close to the surface, and ingrown hair makes black males more prone to razor bumps than white or Asian men. 

To reduce ingrown hairs, be familiar with your skin type, do proper skin care, and although you can’t avoid shaving, don’t put too much pressure on your facial or body hair when you shave. 

Preventing razor bumps is easy but might be difficult if you have sensitive skin. Here’s a recap on how the shaving tips. 

Prepare the hair for shaving by running warm water over it for a few seconds. Make use of heavy shaving cream to keep the hair in an upright position as best you can. As you shave, avoid squeezing the skin too tightly and always shave in the direction of hair growth. This method prevents pimples, especially if you use aftershave cream at the end.

Travis J.