American men have curly, coarse hair and curved follicles, they frequently suffer from razor bumps. This is also true for people of Mediterranean descent. It should be noted that razor bumps can affect anyone who has curly hair or who has hair follicles oriented at oblique angles to the skin surface, which makes it easier for the sharp hair tips to re-enter the skin.
The key to controlling PFB is to minimize hair re-entry back into the skin (and subsequent inflammation) by reducing the sharpness of the hair tip and to leave the hair at the appropriate length after shaving.
What to do about razor bumps?
The best therapy is to avoid shaving and let the beard grow. However, this is not always a practical solution. If you do shave, the following step-by-step program is recommended.
Dermatologists will often recommend you let your beard grow out for several weeks. As the hair lengthens, the trapped shafts will act like miniature “springs” and eventually “pop free.” Your dermatology provider may even prescribe a short course of antibiotic pills.
- Wet your beard with warm water to soften the hair. The best way to accomplish this is to take a shower before shaving. Make sure that your beard hair is in contact with the water for at least 2 minutes. This will fully hydrate your hair. Hydrated hair cuts more easily and leaves a hair tip that is not as sharp. This will decrease the chance of re-entering the skin.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, in a circular motion on the beard area, to dislodge any hair tips that are beginning to pierce the skin. This should be done twice per day: before shaving and at bed time.
- Lather the entire beard area with shave gel. This is a gentle and highly lubricated product that is formulated to enhance razor glide and minimize irritation.
- Use a PFB Bumpfighter razor. This special razor cuts the hair at the correct length to reduce the likelihood of hair tip re-entry into the skin. Although this razor, by design, might not give you a super close-feeling shave, rest assured, it will appear to observers that you have a very close shave. Alternatively, you may wish to use an electric razor, avoiding the “closest” shave setting.
- Shave in the direction of beard growth. You may pass the area more than once, but be sure not to shave against the direction of hair growth, or pull the skin taut. Pulling the skin taut or going “against the grain” will leave the tip under the surface of the skin and cause transfollicular razor bumps.
- Apply Tend Skin to the shaved area.
- Use a “collar extender” whenever wearing neckties to avoid excess friction and pressure from worsening the PFB condition on the neck and collar area.