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Shaving bumps or razor bumps are very common among heavily bearded African men. Studies have shown that the reason for this is the nature of the hair. Compared to Caucasians, black men especially the Africans have very thick, curly hair that tends to grow back ‘into’ the skin. And so, when the hair follicles grow back and try to force their way back into the skin Pores, it causes several problems including inflammation, itching, irritation and bumps.

The main reason why black men are more likely going to have razor bumps compared to their white or Asian counterparts is because coarse or curly thick hair(which is generally their type of hair) is likely to be ingrown. In other words, the hair follicles on their jaws have 50 times more chances of bending and forcing their way back into the pores. Especially after shaving with a razor or clippers. But there are solutions for the problem.

   Fact: The medical name for razor/shaving bumps — pseudofolliculitis barbae

1. First, understand that bumps could be a genetic thing. Yeah, studies have shown that some people are more likely going to have razor bumps because it runs in the family. Maybe your dad or some uncle just has very tough beard hair that always grows back into his skin. No matter what you do, you’re just fighting your skin and the chances of winning are very low.

However…

You can still protect yourself from that embarrassing, confidence-diminishing problem. I’m not really going to suggest any extra ordinary shaving cream here. Avoid shaving too close to the skin. I mean, if you’re a black guy with the problem of bumps and tough hair, then this is quite important. You don’t need to bother about short hairs making you look untidy, your skin color masks it better than your white counterparts. So why not just leave the stubble and avoid bump trouble?  Using a nice single blade razor will give you a clean shave and still keep the blade roughly 2mm away from direct skin scraping. Cutting your hair to close to the skin my just make it change it’s direction and start growing into your skin.

FACT: There are more than 1.5 million reports of razor bumps in Nigeria. 

2. Wet your skin Pores with warm water. This will help soften the hair a bit and open up your hair pores.

3. Prepare for a nice shave with some shaving oil, shaving cream or shaving soap. Use the right shaving product. Avoid products that could react negatively with your skin. The essence of shaving oil or shaving cream is to prime your beard for a clean and stress free shave.

4. Try to shave in the direction of your hair growth. There is always this temptation to shave against the direction of hair growth in a bid to cut more lengths of hair and further get a cleaner shave. But this is so not proper. It could itch your skin and make a razor burn more likely and a razor burn will in a few hours give you a razor bump.

5. When you have  razor bumps,  especially serious ones. Stop shaving. Take a break and shape your beards instead until your skin heals properly. Continuing to shave will only open up those bumps in a bloody way, you know, bleeding and stuff.

FACT: 75% of most Nigerian men suffer from major cases or razor bumps.

6. Avoid using blunt razors or clippers to shave. Not only will this increase your chances of injuring yourself, it could cause skin irritation.

7. Use sterilized clippers. Sometimes, bumps and the irritation associated with bumps could be caused by bacteria deposited by the blades you use. Sterilizing your razor blades with alcohol or spirit or maybe petrol or better still- a sterilizing  solution could reduce the bacteria.

8. Pick the hair. Use tweezers to pick up ingrown hair and pull them gently up and away from the skin. Or you could use the very tip of your nails to grab them. This is useful for short hair closer to the skin. Make sure you don’t cut the hair halfway, otherwise the other part embedded in your skin will also be ingrown and could be much worse.

9. Shave immediately after a warm shower or during the shower. This will help you take advantage of the effect of water on your skin Pores. It makes it easier to remove hair.

So that is my bit about fixing up bumps. Well, I hope you found it useful. If you think I missed out something please leave a comment.  Have a nice day!

 

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