Someone once said that having curly hair can be burdensome, moreover shaving curly hair. While that can be true sometimes, curly hair can be a blessing rather than a curse too.
Some scientists think curly hair was a beneficial evolutionary adaptation to increased ultraviolet rays. Hominids living at the equator benefited from having this hair type because its natural thickness protected their skin from UV light exposure.
The problem is that those with shaved curly hair are more prone to post-shave skin irritations, like ingrown and razor bumps. So what’s a curly-haired male got to do to get a good shave, minus the razor bumps?
Here are our tips on how to shave your curly beard:
- Best Shaving Tips for Men with Curly Hair
- Tip 1: Shave Every Other Day
- Tip 2: Prep your Beard Well
- Tip 3: Cleanse and Exfoliate Your Skin
- Tip 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Oil Up
- Tip 5: Be Generous with the Lather
- Tip 6: Shave in the Direction of the Grain
- Tip 7: Always Use a Straight Razor
- Tip 8: Finish with an Aftershave
- Tip 9: Use Sunscreen
- Tip 10: Avoid Harmful Chemicals
Best Shaving Tips for Men with Curly Hair
These days, more emphasis goes on the styling possibilities of curly hair rather than its protective qualities. Grooming-wise, one can do so much with curly hair. African-American men, for instance, can try out a wide range of hairstyles thanks to their hair texture and volume.
But when it comes to shaving, curly hair can be burdensome when you do not know how to handle it. That's because it is 50 times more likely than straight hair to become ingrown. That is why many curly-haired males suffer from the condition called Pseudofolliculitis barbae, or what’s commonly known as razor bumps.
Around 60% of African-American men suffer from razor bumps. For instance, razor bumps are a leading concern among African American US Army recruits who are required to maintain a clean-shaven mug daily.
Check out these ten shaving tips perfect for every curly-haired lad:
Tip 1: Shave Every Other Day
Unless you’re in the military, you don’t need to shave every day—and that’s all right.
Human hair grows 0.35 millimeters a day or a half-inch per month. Shaving every other day will give the skin time to heal while allowing the hair to grow straight out of the skin’s surface. When one shaves daily, the razor forces the very short hairs to curl inwards back to the skin. This traps the hair inside the follicles, resulting in razor bumps.
If you’re dark-skinned, your one-day-old stubble or minimal shaved curly hair won’t be noticeable. Even if it were, ladies find a five o’clock shadow sexy. So, on that front, you’ll be okay.
Tip 2: Prep Your Beard Well
Preparing your beard well before shaving is half of what you need to do to get an excellent and comfortable shave.
This means taking a hot shower to moisten the hair and skin. The steam coming from hot water opens up the skin’s pores, releasing clogged sebum and making the skin relaxed. Additionally, when a single strand of hair is saturated with water, its tensile strength becomes approximately one-third to one-half less than the strength of dry hair, hence making it easier to shave.
Tip 3: Cleanse and Exfoliate Your Skin
Before shaving, it is essential to exfoliate the dead skin off your face. Removing the top layer of the skin gives you a fresh layer of smooth skin to shave hair from.
The gentle scrubbing motion removes toxins from your skin while improving blood circulation in your face. It also reduces the dead skin cells that can clog your razor when you begin shaving.
There are two ways of exfoliating the skin. One can apply beauty exfoliating products, which use chemicals or enzymes to dissolve the dead skin layer. But a simpler way would be to use a facial scrub or a washcloth and rub it gently on the skin in a circular motion. Once you’re done, rinse with running water to get rid of the dead skin cells.
Tip 4: Don’t Be Afraid to Oil Up
Apply some pre-shave oil to your beard before beginning to shave. It helps hydrate the skin by replacing the moisture stripped away during your hot shower.
Pre-shave oils help form a buffer against razor blade friction since the oil protects the skin from irritation. More importantly, it helps make the shaving easier by lifting the hair up and away from the skin, allowing the razor blade a closer pass. It also carries natural essential oils nourishing the skin and healing the micro-abrasions from shaving.
If you’re buying commercial pre-shave oils, choose ones that are organically produced. You can, however, make a homemade pre-shave oil just as quickly.
Tip 5: Be Generous with the Lather
Use lots of lather on your face before you start shaving. The lather helps with razor glide, reducing skin irritation while making your shaving easy and comfortable. It also keeps your skin hydrated, so it remains soft and smooth.
On that note, only use lather from shaving soap or cream. Bath soaps are strictly not recommended for shaving because they often contain harsh synthetic ingredients that aggravate skin irritation.
A shaving soap, on the other hand, contains higher levels of glycerin than bath soaps. This makes the lather thicker and smoother, helping protect the skin from blade friction while allowing the razor to cut hair more smoothly. Organically produced shaving soaps also have additional essential oils that provide nourishment to the skin.
Tip 6: Shave in the Direction of the Grain
When dealing with coarse and curly hair, it’s best to shave along the direction of the hair growth.
Shaving against the grain of curly hair will result in tugging at the skin and irritating it. As a result, you’ll suffer a condition called razor burn.
Additionally, when going against the grain, the blade changes the angle of the hair, causing it to curl back to the skin and create ingrown hairs. But if you feel like you must do this to get a close shave, try shaving across the grain instead.
Tip 7: Always Use a Straight Razor
Now, if there’s a razor that fits for shaving coarse and curly hair effectively and efficiently, it would be none other than a straight razor.
Straight razors provide the best close shave because they have the sharpest blades. They cut beards closer to the skin than any other type of razor. Its blade cuts hair quickly and smoothly without tugging the skin and without causing it to curl downwards to the skin layer.
And because it only has a single blade, there is less blade friction compared to multi-blade razors. It means your skin won’t get a nasty red burn afterward, only smooth shaved curly hair.
Tip 8: Finish with an Aftershave
Finally, always finish your shave with a splash of aftershave.
Aftershaves keep the skin moisturized while keeping it irritation-free. However, when using aftershaves, don’t use those with alcohol. These aftershaves dry out the skin, making dark skin look ashy. You don’t want to look like your skin is having a bad day.
Instead, use a natural astringent, like argan, aloe, or witch hazel, as they have the same disinfecting properties but also keep moisture in the skin. They will help keep your face free from acne-causing bacteria.
You can also make one for yourself. It’s simple and easy to do. Check out this post.
Tip 9: Use Sunscreen
When you have shaved curly hair, you also have microscopic abrasions on the skin from shaving. That is why allowing your skin to heal after wielding a sharp razor is vital in preventing razor bumps.
Tip 10: Avoid Harmful Chemicals
- Formaldehyde releasers
- Synthetic fragrances
- Polyethylene glycol (PEGs)
- PFAs and PFCs
- Carbon black
These ingredients can be carcinogenic, cause irritations, and worsen your skin condition. Hence, always check the label and read the fine print of the products you use.
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