For a black man, shaving can be a painful task. One of the main culprits is a condition reportedly common for up to 80% of black men. Pseudofolliculitis Barbae or Razor Bumps occurs when shaving causes inflammation. But for the smoother faced brothers who rely on a fresh shave as part of their morning routine, what's a realistic solution?
A quick answer would be to shave less throughout the week. You probably wouldn't use the term 'trauma' to describe what's going on but that's exactly what it is. And if there's no significant time between shaves, then the healing process becomes harder to achieve. But we get it! Based on your work environment or just your personal preference, taking a break from the razor might just be a pipe dream. If you can't decrease shaving frequency, then you have to be more effective.
The first tip is to prepare your face before shaving. Preventive measures such as using the right cream, powder or gel for your skin type can go a long way in stopping new bumps from forming. But to treat the ones that are already there, use an exfoliator (tip number two)! What can happen is that when you shave, you tug at a hair instead of cutting it. When that occurs, a hair can easily curl back into the follicle, cause an in-grown hair-- no one likes those! That can become irritated and have an inflammatory, sometimes painful response response as well. The exfoliator can work to gently release that hair and start to make your skin smooth again.
Finally, if you want to get a bit more technical, have your barber 'grain map' your facial hair. The most successful shavers avoid irritation because they already know the landscape. By knowing how hair grows in, you'll make finding and shaving 'with the grain' that much easier. And that means you get a closer shave that lasts longer.