Updated: Apr 20, 2019
Many women (not just men) encounter the problem of shaving bumps mostly on their legs, but occasionally on their face and underarms. Another name for shaving bumps is actually "ingrown hair." These are hair that curled and grew back into the skin. One of the problems shaving bumps bring is a lot of red spots that does nothing for your appearance. But these bumps can also irritate your skin and cause a bit of pain.
These red spots are known as "shaving pimples" because of their similar appearance to acne. The body sees the ingrown hair like some kind of infection and it turns into red bumps that are a common sign of irritation. Fortunately, these are easier to prevent and to get rid of than cystic acne because you don't have to worry about unpredictable hormones. Shaving bumps can be prevented and treated in a couple of ways. The most obvious would be: don't shave...
Of course, that's probably not the answer you were looking for. But if you do decide to shave, there's a large possibility you'll get some shaving bumps. Instead, you can look into waxing and epilating. Those methods will not bring shaving bumps at all.
But if you're certain nothing else would do for you except for a shave, then you can choose to shave once in a while rather than daily. Hairs on your legs and underarms technically do not need to be shaved daily.
Some people are a little impatient when they are shaving and just get right to it after they slather on the shaving cream. But you should really let the shaving cream do its job of softening your hair before you put the razor anywhere close to your legs because it can prevent angular cuts (it is these cuts that create razor bumps in the first place). I've never tried it but I heard rumors that conditioner can replace your shaving cream and be even more effective-so maybe you can give it a try. You can also shave in the showers (what most women do anyway) and let the steam and hot water further soften your hair, giving you a smoother and closer shave.
Shaving against the grain (the direction opposite to which the hair grows in) is a definite no-no. Although it might give you a closer shave, it creates those angular cuts that will almost inevitably create shaving bumps. Be careful not to re-shave an area more than twice because a problem similar to shaving against the grain will result.
Cleanliness is one of the most important rules to shaving. Because you'll be using the tool on a weekly basis, keeping it clean will prevent bacterial growth on the blades itself. This can lessen the chance of irritation.
Don't pick at any shaving bumps that did develop - it will only worsen them. You can use antiseptic treatments to sanitize the area and soothe it with tea tree oil or other kinds of ointment. Exfoliate your skin so the ingrown hair can straighten out and grow normally (if you exfoliate daily, you can prevent the ingrown hair formation all together).
Ultimately though, I think the best way to avoid shaving bumps is to stop shaving all together. There are plenty of other ways to remove hair so if you don't have to shave, it's just better not to. Waxed and epilated hair also takes a lot longer to grow back.
Do you choose to shave instead of waxing or epilating? How do you prevent the nearly inevitable shaving bumps that come with shaving?
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