While that can be true sometimes, curly hair can actually be a blessing, rather than a curse.
In fact, some scientists think that curly hair was a beneficial evolutionary adaptation to increased UV ray exposure. Hominids living at the equator benefited from having curly hair because its natural thickness protected their skin from UV light exposure.
These days though, there’s more emphasis 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 hair styles because of the texture and volume of curly hair.
But when it comes to shaving, curly hair can be a problem if one does not know how to handle it. That's because curly hair is 50 times more likely than straight hair to become ingrown. This is why a lot of curly-haired males suffer from the condition called Pseudofolliculitis barbae or what’s commonly known as razor bumps.
In fact, razor bump is a leading concern among black US Army recruits who are required to maintain a clean shaven mug daily. Around 45-83% in African-American men suffer from razor bumps.
So what’s a curly-haired male got to do in order to get a good shave, minus the razor bumps?
Here are our tips on how to shave your curly beard.
Shaving curly hair can be easy and manageable when you know how to do it. It also helps if you are equipped with the proper tools and products.
— D'Rock, Naked Armor Founder
Tip 1 Shave Every Other Day
Unless you’re in the military, you don’t need to shave everyday. And that’s all right.
Human hair grows .35 millimeters a day or a half-inch per month. Shaving every other day will give time for the skin to heal while allowing the hair to grow straight out of the skin’s surface. When one shaves on a daily basis, the razor forces the very short hairs to curl inwards back to the skin. This traps the hair inside the follicles, resulting to razor bumps.
If you’re dark-skinned, your one-day old stubble won’t be obvious. 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 in order to get an awesome 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. That makes 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 also removes the 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 to slough off the dead skin cells. Once you’re done scrubbing your face, 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. The pre-shave oil helps hydrate the skin by replacing the moisture that was stripped away during your hot shower. It also helps 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.
Pre-shave oils also carry natural essential oils that nourish the skin while helping heal the micro-abrasions which result from shaving.
If you’re buying commercial pre-shave oils, choose ones with are organically produced. You can, however, make one for yourself just as easily.
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.
That being said, only use lather from a shaving soap or cream. Bath soaps are strictly not recommended for shaving because they often contain harsh synthetic ingredients that can aggravate skin irritation.
A shaving soap, on the other hand, contains higher levels of gylcerin than bath soaps. This makes the lather more thick and smooth so that it helps 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 that one 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. This results to the 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 in-grown hairs. However, if you feel like you must do this in order 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 fit for shaving coarse and curly hair effectively and efficiently, it would be none other than the 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 in comparison to multi-blade razors. This means that your skin won’t get a nasty red burn afterwards.
Tip 8 Finish with an Aftershave
Finally, always finish your shave with a splash of aftershave.
Aftershaves help keep the skin moisturized while keeping it irritation-free. However, when using aftershaves, don’t use those with alcohol.
Alcohol-based 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 those with hydrating ingredients like argan, aloe and witch hazel. Not only do they help retain skin moisture but they also have astringent properties. 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.
So as you can see, shaving curly hair can be easy and manageable when you know how to do it. It also helps if you are equipped with the proper tools and products.
Here at Naked Armor, our select line of quality straight razors and shaving products will add a luxurious dimension to your shaving experience.
Our razors are made from Japanese stainless steel and sandalwood while our shaving products are produced organically, using sustainable methods.
Check our site to find out more.
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