Ingrown facial hair can be an unsightly and painful problem for men. These ingrown beard hairs, or shaving bumps, generally occur when the hair is trimmed too closely and becomes trapped under the skin of the face or neck. This also can result from an infection known as barber’s itch. Shaving bumps can often be prevented by using proper shaving techniques and adopting a facial skin care regime. In severe cases, sufferers may need to see a doctor for treatment.
Poor shaving techniques are the most common cause of ingrown beard hairs in men. Establishing good shaving habits will decrease the chances of getting shaving bumps in the future. Taking a hot shower or placing a warm towel on the face for a few minutes before shaving will help soften beard hairs and open pores. Men who are experiencing ingrown hair problems should avoid shaving against the grain of the facial hair and try to use only a single stroke.
Some men may wish to experiment with different types of razors when dealing with ingrown beard hairs. Electric razors can often help with this issue but may not deliver as close a shave as many men would like. Straight razors and single-blade razors are options for men who wish to keep using a blade. Using a shaving cream or gel designed for sensitive skin also can help avoid shaving bumps. The cream should be applied evenly over the shaving area and allowed to sit for a few minutes to help soften the hair.
Men suffering from ingrown beard hairs should avoid aftershaves containing alcohol, which will dry the skin. They should look for moisturizing products specifically designed for men with shaving bump problems. These products should help soothe the skin and help prevent further irritation. Exfoliating the face and neck at night and before shaving in the morning also may help condition the skin and prevent a recurrence of shaving bumps. Adopting a good skin care regime will have the added benefit of reducing the effects of aging.
There are a few permanent solutions for men with shaving bump issues. Electrolysis and laser hair removal can be used to treat troublesome areas, although these treatments can be expensive and may not work for everyone. Men also can try switching to depilatory creams designed specifically to deal with unwanted facial hair. As a last-ditch attempt at a solution, men can try growing a beard, either permanently or just until the ingrown beard hairs heal and the irritation goes away.