There are numerous reasons why men shave their head. However, frequent shaving may result to razor bumps in the head and more and more men are getting more concerned.
Initially, the condition may appear to just be a typical skin problem that will fade in time, but, continuous shaving actually makes it worse.
What are razor bumps?
Pseudofolliculitis barbae, commonly known as razor bumps or razor burns are small bumps on the skin which contain ingrown hair. Ingrown hairs are caused commonly by shaving or other hair removal methods such as plucking and waxing.
Causes of razor bumps
Razor bumps are often caused by ingrown hair. As hair regrows after shaving, the hair tends to curl and turn inwards.
When new skin cells grow over the shaved hair, the hair is trapped which causes the development of razor bumps.
On other instances, dead skin (caused by lack of natural moisturizing) blocks a hair follicle which forces it to eventually grow sideways or inside the skin. Ingrown hairs create small bumps which are irritable and painful at times.
Types of razor bumps
Razor bumps come in all sorts and sizes and not only develop in the head but also on other areas of the skin like face, under arms, legs, and on sensitive pubic areas.
Generally, there are two types of razor bumps: extra follicular and transfollicular.
Transfollicular is the type of bump in which the ingrown hair has grown inside the skin prohibiting the hair from going out.
On the other hand, extrafollicular is the type in which the hair has grown out but re-enters the skin. In most cases, a small amount of hair is exposed, making it possible to pluck it using a pair of tweezers. However, doing so might cause deeper ingrown hairs.
Who are mainly affected by razor bumps?
In a survey conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology, it showed that 78% of men experience different kinds of irritations caused by shaving. These include redness of the skin, soreness, and razor bumps.
One of the major factors that contribute to the development of razor bumps is genetics. Apparently, men with curly hair are more likely to experience these bumps more than straight-haired ones, most often among Indo-European and African men.
This is due to tight curly hair which is prone to curling around when hair grows after shaving. The unevenness of extreme curly hair makes it more likely to push itself back into the surface of the skin.
How to avoid razor bumps
Typically, one of the main causes of a razor bump is an unsharpened, poor quality razor blade. However, there are many ways to avoid it.
Consider replacing your dull blades with sharp ones. Using dull razor blades may result to a terrible shave because of the pressure being applied to the razor.
Not only does it increase the chances of cutting your skin, but it also becomes the major cause of ingrown hair and razor bumps.
Shaving can also be a challenge especially if you do not moisturize your skin well. After shaving, see to it that you apply a good amount of moisturizer to the shaved area to hydrate and protect your skin from itching. Applying cold compress to the skin may also reduce the worsening of razor bumps.
Here are 3 DIY recipes that you can try to soothe razor bumps on your head:
#1 - Razor Bump Spray
What you will need:
- 8 oz. glass spritzer bottle
- 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel
- 1 tablespoon witch hazel
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 cup chamomile tea
- 5 drops lavender oil
- 5 drops tea tree oil
- In a bowl, mix all ingredients thoroughly.
- Use a funnel in transferring the mixed solution to the spray bottle.
- Shake well before use.
- Spray the solution to the affected skin before and after shaving. You may also use this solution to avoid razor bump appearances.
Aloe Vera is a traditional treatment to soothe irritated skin. Applying its gel to a razor bump or burn gives a total instant relief. There are Aloe Vera gels sold on stores, just be sure to select the unscented and unflavored ones that do not contain artificial ingredients.
Witch hazel, chamomile, lavender, and tea tree oil are common natural cures to skin inflammation. They are known to calm irritated skin because of their anti-inflammatory properties.
#2 - Oatmeal and Yogurt Paste for Razor Bumps
What you will need:
- In a bowl, combine equal portions of yogurt and ground oatmeal, and mix.
- Then, add a teaspoon of honey to form a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste to the skin, covering fully the affected area.
- Allow it to dry for 30 minutes before rinsing off.
- Make sure to use warm water in washing your skin.
- Use the paste twice daily in the morning and before going to sleep.
- Recommended period for application is three days, but you may repeat the procedure until you get better results.
Oatmeal is greatly known for removing dead skin cells and treating dry skin. Furthermore, oatmeal contains saponins, which are compounds proven as natural cleansers.
Yogurt is a good source of probiotics which help hydrate the affected skin and easily restore the skin’s outermost layer.
#3 - Razor Bumps Solution
What you will need:
- Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a bowl.
- Apply the solution to the affected skin using a cotton ball. Let the skin dry naturally.
- While drying the skin, soak the black tea bag into the hot water for a few minutes.
- Remove the tea bag from hot water then place it inside the refrigerator for about ten to fifteen minutes.
- Apply the cold tea bag to the skin with razor bumps while massaging it.
- Repeat this method every day for as much as you want until bumps diminish.
- You may also use this solution for a quick relief.
Apple cider vinegar contains natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which help soothe irritated and wounded skin. It goes well with black tea since tea bags are a great source of tannic acid, a component known for relieving razor bumps and burns.
For other people who have no time to make their own DIY treatment for razor bumps, there are products on amazon that you can purchase which offer the same relief, but in a faster and instant way.
- High Time Bump Stopper is a good product for razor bumps. It is clinically proven and dermatologically tested. It is a concentrated cream which works great on exposed hair and reduces occurrences of bumps and ingrown hair.
- Power Shave Ingrown Hair Razor Bumps Treatment for Men specializes in treating ugly razor rashes, bumps, and skin irritations. It also contains anti-inflammatory agents which are perfect for soothing shaving burns.
- Aftershave Serum is a natural and organic serum that prevents razor bumps and ingrown hair. It has all in one formula that exfoliates, making your skin free of blemishes.