Shaving can be a sore subject for men of all ethnicities, but it can be particularly troublesome for Black men who are much more likely to suffer from razor bumps. Below, we’ve outlined the causes, reasons, and solutions. Questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Shaving Experts to find out which razor is ideal for you.
What causes razor bumps?
Razor bumps are caused when the hair is cut beneath the skin’s surface. When the hair regrows, it does so underneath the skin becoming an ingrown hair. As followers of OneBlade know well, with multi-blade razors, the first blade tugs at the hair while every subsequent blade cuts the tugged hair and removes more layers of skin. While cutting the hair below the surface of the skin results in what feels like an extremely close shave, this is actually what causes razor bumps.
Why are Black men more susceptible to razor bumps?
Shaving bumps can happen to men of all backgrounds, but Black men tend to suffer from them more often. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, up to 60% of Black men experience ingrown hairs, while other studies estimate that number closer to 80%.
Why? Black men tend to have coarser, tightly curled facial hair than White or Asian men. Because curly hair naturally turns back towards the skin during growth, it’s much more likely to develop into razor bumps. One study found that curly hair is 50 times more likely to become ingrown.
How do razor bumps cause scarring?
As razor bumps form, they cause irritation and inflammation which is exacerbated by continue to shave. The body tries to heal the damaged skin by producing collagen, but this can lead to keloid scarring where the collagen spreads into healthy tissue and creates a noticeable, raised scar.
Studies estimate that keloid scarring is 15-20 times more likely for people with darker skin. While these scars are not harmful, they can be difficult to hide. The good news is that an effective shaving and skincare routine can prevent the underlying razor bumps in the first place.
What can be done to prevent razor bumps?
The combination of a healthy skincare routine and a single blade razor have proven that irritation-free shaves are possible. Here are a few steps we recommend:
Exfoliating twice a week with a mild or gently scrub can be a game-changer. It will remove dead skin cells, prevent irritation and promote healthy regeneration of the skin. It will also help to soften coarse beard hair for an easier shave.
WASH YOUR FACE REGULARLY
Cleaning your face regularly will prevent bacteria that can make razor bumps worse. Using a face wash can also help maintain your skin’s natural PH balance.
DITCH THE DISPOSABLES
The best way to treat razor bumps? Prevent them in the first place! Multi-blade razors are virtually guaranteed to create ingrowns in all skin types. Switching to a single blade razor ensure that the hair is cut at the skin’s surface, not below it. Be sure to keep your blade sharp, and always shave with the grain.
Maintain healthy, hydrated skin by moisturizing daily—both in the morning and evening after washing your face. This is true for all skin types, even oily skin. Why? Healthy skin is less likely to develop redness and irritation in the first place.