Ingrown Hairs and Razor Bumps - Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Ingrown Hairs and Razor Bumps - The Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Ingrowing hairs are unsightly red or darkened, painful ‘bumps' which can lead to ‘scarring' in severe cases.

What Causes Ingrown Hairs?

This occurs when curly hair grows out of the skin, curls round and then grows back into the skin. It also happens if the hair is cut too short.
Ingrown hairs result in the medical condition pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB).

An ideal shave cuts the hair flush with the surface of the skin and avoids any undue friction and/or irritation to the surrounding skin.

If you suffer from razor bumps, ingrown hair and shaving irritation, the chances are that you are pulling the skin too taut during the shave and the hairs are cut too short. Don't pull the skin tight and see if it makes a difference.

Other causes of ingrowing hairs include:

  • Shaving with a razor that's blunt - always use a sharp blade, the sharper the better, a safety razor is much better for your skin than an electric razor and multi-blade cartridge razors such as the Gillette Fusion and Mach3.
  • Pressing too hard with an electric razor and multi-blade cartridge razors such as Fusion and Mach3.
  • Wet shaving against the grain, i.e. the direction your beard bristles grow in on a first pass. Instead shave with the grain twice and once against the grain in that order to get a close shave - without irritation and ingrowing hairs.

People with PFB and razor bumps often develop ingrown or curled under hairs, which get red, raised and tender. These bumps often leave dark marks on the skin for many months and sometimes even cause scarring.

Who Tends to Suffer from PFB?

While PFB can occur in all ethnic groups, it is most common in those with very curly hair and especially amongst black skinned men.

What Treatments are Available?

Treatment of tough cases of PFB often requires special shaving equipment. In fact, some black men have opted to wear a beard rather than be subject to the pain and embarrassment that often accompanies severe PFB.
Special electric razors have been developed that cut the hair slightly longer than typical razors. In addition to these products, Skin Food is also helpful for many PFB suffers.

Aloe Clear has been specially created to tackle the problems associated with PFB.
Aloe Clear Ingrown Hair Treatment - a skin-friendly roll-on gel that contains Aloe Vera, Willow Barl, Multi-Fruit Acids and Mentha Piperita Oil to combat ingrown hairs. Another product worth considering is Clubman Pinaud Razor Bump Repair Gel, a treatment for various shaving-related skin problems that actually works, hallelujah! Use it to treat clogged skin pores, razor bumps, razor burn and ingrown hairs. It benefits from anti-bacterial properties. Apply also to spots/pimples and get fast results.

For most people, these products provide sufficient control of shaving related problems. In fact, as far as we know, there are no prescription products targeted specifically for shaving-related problems other than steroids.
Vitamin A related products such as Retin A (tretinoin) or Differin (adapalene) may be prescribed in some cases and work by helping exfoliate skin both on the surface and around the follicles. This results in less chance of the hairs getting caught in the skin and growing inward.

Shaving related problems usually respond well to a combination of proper shaving technique, equipment and products (double edge safety razors in particular).
For tough or treatment-resistant shaving problems, it is always best to consult personally with a dermatologist.



What Can I do to Help Prevent the Problem?

In addition to the tips on shaving, you might find benefit in the use of certain shaving devices and products. The products and devices tend to be specialised towards serving either those people with tendencies toward ingrown hairs or those with a tendency towards razor bumps and PFB. A large majority of PFB sufferers and sufferers of shaving problems generally tend to be black men. The reason for this is that very curly hair is most inclined to grow inward or curl around to form razor bumps.

Learn to shave properly invest in a safety razor, a shaving brush and a shaving cream, take your time, enjoy rather than endure your shave, watch this tutorial video below on how best to shave.

Products that Can Help

We recommend Aloeclear. This roll-on gel is formulated to aid in the relief of ingrown hairs, razor burn/bumps resulting from shaving, waxing, electrolysis and laser hair removal. Another option is Clubman Pinaud Razor Bump Repair Gel which you massage into the affected area twice daily. If you buy Aloe Clear go for the large 120mls size at £18.00.


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