Sometimes after shaving men can experience bumps along the skin which can be irritating and look unsightly. Often, the cause of this is a condition known as pseudofolliculitis barbae which occurs most commonly in men with curly hair, and therefore more commonly in black men. In black men this will appear as dark bumps on the skin. When a curly hair is cut very short it can sometimes curl while still very short and end up growing back into the skin and occasionally become infected. This is what happens in pseudofolliculitis barbae.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Electric razor
- Single blade wet razor
- Moisturising shave gel/foam
- Post-shave moisturiser
- Prescribed cream/medication
- Laser hair removal
If your job and other considerations allow it, don’t shave for up to a month to allow all the ingrown hairs to grow out. When you start shaving again, don’t shave too closely. Use an electric razor if possible to leave a small amount of growth – the ones that are used as beard trimmers or hair clippers are good as they leave more hair than others designed for a very close shave.
If you must use a wet razor use one with a single blade because a razor with any more than one blade will take the hair too close and risk another outbreak of pseudofolliculitis barbae. However, make sure the single blade you use is very sharp and change your blade regularly. Use a moisturising shave gel, and plenty of it. Leave it to soften the hairs and your skin for a while before shaving. Shave in the direction the follicle is growing in and don’t stretch the skin out as you shave. Afterwards, use a quality moisturiser with aloe vera or witch hazel in, rather than one that is alcohol-based.
Grow a beard and keep it. If your employers object, get a note from your doctor outlining your condition. If you are dead against doing so, consider laser hair removal, although remember that this leads to permanent elimination of the hair follicle and you won’t be able to grow a beard or stubble again if you have your entire face done.
Speak to your doctor about the range of creams and antibiotics that are available. Use tretinoin, which is particularly useful for eliminating the dark spots associated with the condition.
Tackling the bumps
Tips and warnings
- Take your time when shaving and don't rush it.
- Consult a doctor as soon as you think there is a problem.
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