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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member tcmquincy's Avatar
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    Apr 2019
    Houston, Texas

    Default razor burn/ingrown hairs

    Hey guys. I have really bad razor burn on most days, with lots of acne and ingrown hairs on my neck (where I shave my neck, below my adams apple).

    Can you guys share your tips for minimizing shaving related redness/acne/ingrown hairs? I've had this issue for a while now and it hasn't gotten any better (some days it looks really bad). I use shave oil, a mach 3, and a good gel aftershave. Thanks
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  2. #2

    Default Re: razor burn/ingrown hairs

    Not a guy, but glycolic acid gel/lotion (I use Alpha Skincare brand) has been a godsend. It exfoliates chemically so that the clogs break up. I use it at night. If you use it during the day, you should put sunscreen on top. In fact, you should probably wear sunscreen the next day if you used it at night, too. It increases your risk of sunburn.

    You can also try Dr. Carver’s Miracle Repair Serum for a daily aftershave and my SO and I have gone through several bottles of that with good results.

    Also good are Stridex pads in the red box. But that’s salycilic acid, so moisturize after. (And sunscreen.)


    Try a gentle acid exfoliant.
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  3. #3
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    kbe's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: razor burn/ingrown hairs

    Some ideas how to avoid/minimize razor burn:

    "6 Reasons Why You're Getting Razor Burn (and How to Stop it)

    Do you ever want to go completely shaven but don’t because of razor burn? If so, you’re not alone. Razor burn is something that affects a number of men. Sometimes it’s the texture of your hair that’s causing those unwanted bumps, and in other cases, guys get razor burn from poor shaving techniques. Either way, having irritated, bumpy skin is not only unflattering, it’s also uncomfortable.

    Here are some reasons why your razor is irritating your skin, as well as various ways to prevent it from happening in the future.

    Reason: You’re shaving with a dull razor

    Even if you use the best razor on the market, the act of shaving can still put unwanted stress on your skin. But when you throw a dull razor into the mix, you end up giving your skin the harshest treatment possible. That’s because dull razors don’t shave nearly as effectively as they should. What you would normally achieve in one gentle stroke now requires three or four strokes, and that adds excessive stress on your face. Have you ever shaved with a dull or cheap razor and felt like your face was just a little sore? It’s because taking those extra strokes caused micro-abrasions in your skin. Over time, these tiny abrasions can become irritated or infected, causing your skin to develop razor burn in the form of rashes and bumps.

    Solution: Stop shaving with cheap razors. Ideally, you don’t want to ever shave with one of those dollar store disposable razors. But if you have to, then never use it more than once.

    You should also pay attention to how effective your razor is working while you shave. If you find yourself going over the same area in hopes of getting those stubborn hairs, your razor is probably past its expiration date.

    Reason: Your razor is dirty

    Regardless of where you’re shaving on your body, hygiene should be your topmost priority. And shaving with a dirty razor is about unhygienic as you can get when it comes to grooming. Every time you drag that razor blade across your face, you’re transmitting bacteria from the blade onto your skin. If you happen to nick yourself, those bacteria can get into the cut and cause further irritation or infections.

    Solution: There’s really no way you can stop bacteria from forming on your razor blade, but you can limit how dirty it gets by storing it in dry space with plenty of ventilation. Moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, and keeping your razor dry helps to prevent bacteria from building up on your blades. So think twice before you leave your razor on that wet sink or toss it into a toiletry bag.

    Once your razor has dried out, you want to put it back in the plastic blade cover it came in. This also helps protect your razor from rust and bacteria. Also, make sure to change blades after seven or eight shaves.

    Reason: You’re shaving dirty skin

    Your skin carries all of the oil, dirt, and grime that you’ve accumulated throughout the day. If you don’t wash your face before you shave, you’re placing your skin at risk of becoming infected. Moreover, all of this buildup can actually cause unnecessary friction, making it harder for the razor to work effectively.

    Solution: Wash your face before you shave and never try to shave on dry skin.

    Reason: Your hair texture is causing it

    Do you have curly, coarse hair? If so, your hair texture could be part of the reason you experience razor burn. Sometimes curly hair doesn’t grow completely outward like straight hair does. Instead, it loops back and grows inside the skin, never fully breaking the surface. This causes ingrown hairs to form, which explains for all the bumps that you may experience after shaving.

    Researchers have found that approximately 50% of African Americans experience this at some level.

    Solution: In clinical trials, topical ointments containing glycolic acid were seen to be effective at removing any bumps and rashes caused by ingrown hair, and there are a number of over-the-counter products designed for treating razor burn that contains this substance. But what about preventing it from happening in the future?

    There are a number of different products on the market that are designed to prevent this from happening. Simply apply a hot washcloth to your face for a few minutes, use the pre-shave solution, and then shave normally. Don’t forget to use shaving cream after you use the solution. But if that doesn’t work, you might want to consider switching to an electric razor.

    Reason: You have dry skin

    Taking a razor to dry skin will only exacerbate the dryness symptoms that you’re already experiencing. This can leave you with an itchy, red-colored patch of skin that’s as uncomfortable as it is unflattering.

    Solution: Buy moisturizer for your face (or body, depending on what you’re shaving) and apply it regularly. Even when you take shaving out of the equation, dry skin is something that you want to avoid.

    Reason: You’re shaving against the grain

    Did you ever finish shaving only to feel like your entire face was on fire? If so, you probably shaved against the grain. In other words, you were pulling your razor in the direction opposite of how the hair grows. Shaving against the grain creates unnecessary friction and stress as each swipe of the razor roughly pulls your hair, leaving you with a sensitive, red patch of irritated skin.

    Solution: Take your time and shave gently, with the direction your hair grows.

    Getting a Comfortable Shave Every Time

    The best way to reduce razor burn is to take your time and not rush through the process. You are dragging an incredibly sharp metal object across your skin, after all. You might also want to look into some of the premium razors sold at men’s stores and specialty shops. While the initial cost of these razors can range anywhere from $50 to $100 dollars, they’re known to give a better shave provided you change the blades frequently."

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  4. #4
    Dependent RichMan'sOldSpice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: razor burn/ingrown hairs

    Quote Originally Posted by tcmquincy View Post
    Hey guys. I have really bad razor burn on most days, with lots of acne and ingrown hairs on my neck (where I shave my neck, below my adams apple).

    Can you guys share your tips for minimizing shaving related redness/acne/ingrown hairs? I've had this issue for a while now and it hasn't gotten any better (some days it looks really bad). I use shave oil, a mach 3, and a good gel aftershave. Thanks
    As the previous poster advised it is best to shave "with the grain" to avoid ingrown hairs etc. Most likely the facial hair from the top of your cheek to your neck grows downward (usually does I believe). Below the adams apple your hair may grow in a more upward direction. See if you can let the area below the adams apple go for a couple days and then if you want to shave that area just make sure you are shaving with the grain, in the general direction those hairs grow. Hope this helps.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: razor burn/ingrown hairs

    I have quite sensitive skin on my neck so I stopped shaving it and I trim it instead.
    If I were you, I'd do the same at least for some time to let your skin heal. Then you can try different advises to see if it works for you.
    P.S. Buy yourself a trimmer with a really small footprint for this purpose.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: razor burn/ingrown hairs

    For the skincare part, I second Kotori. AHA acids, like glycolic acid or lactic acid, lightly exfoliate and so help to prevent ingrown hair and remove debris that could cause irritation. Salicylic acid instead help clean the pores, so for instance one could use a face wash containing salicylic. There are now several such products, usually found near the acne area of drugstores.


  7. #7

    Renato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002

    Default Re: razor burn/ingrown hairs

    I find Mach 3 quite harsh, compared to Fusion (others disagree) - try the cheapest Fusion cartridge.
    Instread of shave oil, try any of Trumpers cream, Art of Shaving Cream, or Crabtree & Evelyn cream - these are among the slickest creams I know.

    Before applying that aftershave gel, first apply alum - either from an alum block, or from the much cheaper crystal alum "natural" deodorant sticks. The alum seals up micro nicks - you'll know you have micro-nicks by the little stings. The alum also helps you gauge how well your razor/shave cream or soap combination is doing. Less stings means a better shave with less chance of razor burn/ingrown hairs.

    Second best thing for sealing up micro-nicks is witch hazel, but it doesn't sting - so you get no feedback on how well you are shaving.
    Last edited by Renato; 16th April 2019 at 01:44 PM.

  8. #8
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    notspendingamillion's Avatar
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    Sep 2018
    Middleof, Nowhere

    Default Re: razor burn/ingrown hairs

    Shave after a shower, it opens your pores and makes your facial hair softer. I prefer shaving cream to the gel. Straight Barbesol With Aloe. Slather the shaving cream on. You should look like santa claus. Never ever go even 1 millimeter off of the shaving creamed area. If you want the closeness of an against the grain shave, go with the grain first, re-lather, and repeat against. Rinse the excess shaving cream off with water, and then dry your face. Last, all those foofy poofy aftershave lotions leave me with red itchy neckburn. So finish it off and use a traditional alchohol based, fire on the face, aftershave. My favorites right now are Brut and Aqua Velva Musk. If those scents are not to your liking there are others like Old Spice and many Gillette versions. Don't skimp, this stuff is cheap and the smell will dissipate before you leave the house. Anywhere your blade has touched needs to be thoroughly doused in alcohol. Also, it might be time to try a different razor. Like Renato above, I prefer the Fusion. Make sure to shave every day if your beard is thick, every other day if it is not.

    edit* Just want to mention that if I don't use aftershave the spot where my beard meets my neck will get razorburn every single time, and I battled this, so I understand exactly what you are saying. Just use the old fashioned splash aftershave.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: razor burn/ingrown hairs

    For me, it was switching from multi-blade cartridge razors to single-bladed, 'old fashioned' razors which helped me most. With this does come a learning curve, but is worth the time and effort spent. Very little pressure is required, use of a slick cream/soap with a brush to do some of the 'exfoliating' and mapping the beard growth. That is, determining which direction the hair grows and shaving in the same direction, just as you'd sand wood with the grain. Sure, you might not get as close a shave until you start experimenting with 'against the grain' and 'across the grain', but the likelihood of ingrowns for me has significantly reduced.

    Similarly, use an exfoliant on the days off from shaving. This will help stop the hairs from trying to grow under the uppermost layers of skin.

    The old-school razors come with the benefit of cheap(er) blades. You can swap them out more regularly and ensure you're cutting the hair with a clean, sharp surface which also helps reduce the amount of untoward pressure used and thus reduces likelihood of ingrowns.

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