Thursday, August 27, 2009

6 Shaving Tips for Preventing Ingrown Hairs

Shaving often causes an ingrown hair problem to occur and that is why it is also referred to as razor bumps. Therefore, the best prevention technique is not to shave. Although this is a very logical approach, it is not very practical because not all men want facial hair and not all women are thrilled to have hairy legs or armpits. The alternative is to practice proper shaving techniques consistently and to follow certain shaving tips as described below.

1--Shave with an Electric Razor

Many individuals have found that shaving with an electric razor reduces the occurrence of hairs that are ingrown or razor bumps. This is likely due to the fact that electric razors do not shave as close as a wet blade. With blades, the shave is much closer and there is a greater chance of the cut and sharpened end of the hair to re-enter the hair follicle.

2--Use Shave Gel Instead of Foam

Gels are typically less irritating whereas foams can dry-out and irritate the skin. The shave gel product should contain plenty of lubricating agents and be specially formulated for sensitive skin. Do not use any product that contains alcohol. Alcohol will make this skin care problem substantially worse because it will dry out the skin and close the pores.

3--Wash the Skin Before Shaving

Wet hair is full of moisture and cuts easier. On the other hand dry hair is tougher and stronger. As a razor encounters this tougher hair, it gets pulled up from the follicle and then retracts beneath the skin surface after it is cut. This increases the risk of ingrown-hairs because the cut hair gets trapped inside the hair follicle and digs inward or sideways into the skin as it grows. The hair to be shaved should be wet for around five minutes prior to shaving. Washing the skin before shaving also helps to exfoliate it and helps lift the hairs away from the skin follicle.

4--Shave in the Direction of Hair Growth and this Same Direction Each Time

For men, the direction of shaving is downwards on the cheeks, chin, and moustache areas and upwards on the neck. For women this means shaving downwards on the legs. This is a very important factor in preventing hairs from becoming ingrown. It prevents the hair from being cut too short. If shaving with the hair grain (direction of growth) is done consistently, then the hair can be trained to grow out straight, which prevents it from curling back into the skin.

Shaving against the grain will give a closer shave and some individuals prefer this technique. However, if one is prone to skin irritation and the development of hairs becoming ingrown then shaving with the grain of the hair is strongly recommended.

5--Shave with Skin in a Relaxed State

When shaving it is best not to pull the skin too tight. A little pressure is okay, but too much stretching will result in the hair being cut too short. Also, do not use too much pressure on the blade.

6--Avoid Repeated Strokes in the Same Area

Repeated strokes with the razor over the same area will cause the hair to be cut too short and result in a greater chance of the development of an ingrown-hair problem. Also, a single blade razor is generally preferred. With rigid twin blade razors, the first blade lifts the hair and the second blade cuts it deep and usually at an angle that makes the development of ingrown hair likely. Pivoting head razors with multiple blades are not as bad as the fixed blades razors.

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