Razor Bumps: Causes, Treatments and Prevention Tips For Bearded Men

Razor Bumps: Causes, Treatments and Prevention Tips For Bearded Men

When you’re growing your beard out, the last thing you want to see is little red bumps poking through your facial hair. In addition to throwing off your look, razor bumps can be itchy, uncomfortable and even painful.

So, why do men develop razor bumps on their face and how can you get rid of them quickly if it happens to you?

Royal Shave breaks down everything you need to know about razor bumps and shares preventative tips to combat their development in the future.

What are razor bumps?

Ryal Shave explains razor bumps

The scientific name for razor bumps is Pseudofolliculitis Barbae. This ingrown hair condition occurs when hair gets trapped under the skin, causing added pressure and forming razor bumps on the skin’s surface. 

In some cases, the hair never breaks through the skin’s surface, instead curling into itself and continuing to grow downward. Dermatologists refer to this instance as Transfollicular penetration.

On the other hand, facial hair can also break through the epidermis layer before curling. Razor bumps at this stage often occur when you shave the hair shaft at an angle.

The freshly cut tips are more likely to turn in on themselves and continue growing back into the epidermis layer, which is deemed Extrafollicular penetration.

Why do bearded men develop razor bumps?

Razor bumps are often a result of both genetic and physical care factors. While certain men and hair types have a predisposition to razor bumps, poor shaving habits also make the problem worse.

Incorrect lathering during shaving can lead to your razor tugging and pulling and leaving bumps behind. In addition, cutting the hair too close to the root leaves your sensitive skin exposed and prone to irritation.

Who is more likely to get razor bumps?

Royal Shave explains razor bumps

Unfortunately, the curling aspects associated with the development of razor bumps makes men with naturally curly hair predisposed to the condition.

With black men being the most likely to grow curly beards or stubble, dermatologists claim they are at the highest risk of developing razor bumps and ingrown hair issues. Some dermatologist reports claim black men make up as much as 80 percent of cases.

In addition to curly hair types, men with dry beards are also easy targets because snags are more frequent during shaving. Similar to curling ribbon at Christmastime, running scissors or a razor along a rough surface causes the hair to spiral and turn on itself.

What can I do if I develop razor bumps?

If you are visiting this article because razor bumps are already an issue residing on your beard, there are steps you can take to reduce their appearance and irritating symptoms.

First, avoid shaving while your razor bumps are healing. Cutting the hair shaft while it is irritated can cause pain and lead to infection.

Instead, relieve the pressure from your razor bumps by using a sterile needle to pop the bump and release the trapped hair. Gently wash your face afterwards to clear out any leftover irritants clogging the area.

To speed up the healing process in more serious cases, a trip to your doctor or dermatologist may be helpful. They can provide creams and antibiotics to provide more targeted healing and restore your beard’s appearance.

Preventative razor bumps tips

While you can’t change your genetic predisposition to razor bumps, there are grooming habits you can address to better your chances of keeping inflammation at bay.

1. Always wash your face and lather before shaving.

Royal Shave explains razor bumps

Before shaving your beard, it is important to get rid of the leftover dirt, oils and irritants.

Washing your face clears out your pores and provides you with a smooth canvas to shave on.

You can also use a wash cloth to gently exfoliate your face if needed.

In addition to washing your face, it is important to properly lather it with shaving cream.

The added moisture barrier avoids awkward tugging or pulling and the development of uncomfortable razor bumps.

Using a shaving cream designed for sensitive skin helps ensure your shaving cream isn’t the hidden culprit causing irritation. Typically, sensitive-skin products are free of harmful allergens or parabens that cause inflammatory reactions.

Shaving oils are also useful for men who develop razor bumps. The added oil locks in moisture, protecting your face before coming into contact with clippers or a razor.

2. Use clippers or a single-blade razor to control length.

When you have the choice between using clippers or a razor, clippers are more effective at reducing razor bumps because you can set the length and maintain an even cut.

However, if a razor is your only option, it is best to use a single-blade razor. While it may seem like you get a smoother finish with a multi-blade razor, in reality each blade is responsible for a separate layer of your hair.

The first blade collects and pulls the hair up, while the second blade chops through the hair shaft. On straight, soft beards this offers a sharp clean-shaven look.

However, on curly beards, the separated slicing style creates curling and often leaves razor burn and bumps behind. Therefore, a single-blade razor offers more control and focuses the shaving process for men prone to these issues naturally.

3. Go with the grain and use gentle strokes.

During the shaving process, your techniques also matter. Shaving with the grain, or in the direction your hair grows, and using gentle strokes is especially important for men who commonly develop razor bumps.

Tugging hairs in the opposite direction with a heavy hand creates frizz and causes them to continue growing irregularly. Instead, choose a heavier razor and allow its weight to do most of the work.

4. Re-add moisture after stripping back hair.

Royal Shave explains razor bumps

After the shaving cream and hairs transfer from your face to your sink, it’s important to reconsider moisture.

Despite using shaving creams or oils prior to shaving, once your clippers or razor makes contact with your face, necessary moisture is stripped away.

To keep razor burn’s rash and razor bumps from developing, finish the process by applying a gentle after-shave to your beard area.

The Daimon Barber Cooling Post Shave Balm uses menthol for a cooling post-shave effect. In conjunction, its ingredients include a blast of vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients to revive your beard’s appearance and skin strength.

5. Shave regularly to avoid curling time.

Finally, it is important to keep up with a regular shaving routine. While you should reduce shaving when razor bumps are actively present, keeping a regular routine beforehand can actually halt them from showing up in the first place.

After all, when you stick to a shaving routine, there is less time in between each shave for hairs to curl and grow inward. The ideal time between shaves should be no more than three days.

Now that you understand why razor bumps develop, who they affect the most and how to combat them when they arise, putting your best face forward will be a bit easier. Following the tips above can help restore your beard appearance and your confidence.

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

Father’s Day Gifts That Will Make Your Dad’s Face Look Great

Father’s Day Gifts That Will Make Your Dad’s Face Look Great

As May comes to an end, Father’s Day is creeping up right around the corner. However, if “Father’s Day gifts” is still an item on your shopping list, fear not.

On June 16, we suggest making your Father’s Day gifts all about putting your dad’s best face forward.

Here at Royal Shave, we know that your dad’s face is one of his best assets. After all, it’s what housed that big smile he donned at your various baseball games, awards ceremonies and graduations.

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

Photo via Tyler Bolken from Flickr

It’s clear that dad has always been your biggest supporter. This Father’s Day, it’s time to give back to the man who loves you most.

Listed below are Father’s Day gifts that will leave your dad’s face feeling great and be sure to bring another smile to his face.

Products for his teeth

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

Photo via Tumisu from Pixabay

Like we mentioned, your dad’s teeth are definitely one of the most important parts of his face. To keep those whites pearly, introduce him to the world of luxury dental care.

Yes, there are toothpastes outside of the Crests and Colgates of the world. Consider Father’s Day gifts like the DR Harris Spearmint Toothpaste and the Travel Size Marvis Toothpaste.

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

Free of fluoride, DR Harris Spearmint Toothpaste will give your dad’s teeth a luxurious upgrade.

The formula mixes spearmint with aloe vera for a refreshing dental experience.

Aloe vera is a useful dental tool because it breaks down harmful bacteria that lurks in the mouth and causes disease.

Unfortunately, age can also take a toll on teeth so this is an especially useful Father’s Day gift for older dads. After all, a lifetime of chewing, grinding and biting definitely wears down tooth enamel.

It’s also just as effective as drugstore brands at keeping away cavities while offering a soothing feeling for the teeth and gums.

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

On the other hand, if your dad travels for business often, having a powerful travel size toothpaste will keep him looking and feeling his best on the road.

Marvis toothpaste tingles on your teeth while skillfully fighting off plaque and tartar, leaving behind a sparkling smile.

That means your dad will no longer have to feel that uncomfortable film on the outside of his teeth or notice left-behind yellow stains.

Products for shaving his face

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

Whether your dad rocks a beard or keeps it clean-shaven, having proper shaving and trimming tools is important. When it comes to Father’s Day gifts, focus on revamping your dad’s facial hair routine to help keep his skin healthy and face feeling fresh.

Luckily, as a Father’s Day bonus, select shaving sets are on sale for 30 percent off. Check out the Kensington Boar Bristle Shaving Set and the Royal Shave 34C HD Shaving Set.

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

The Kensington Shaving Set uses stiff boar bristles for a rich lather and exfoliation application.

Boar bristles are effective when it comes to shaving because they are soft and flexible, which keeps them gentle on sensitive skin.

Also included in the set, the Kensington Classic Safety Razor is a 3-piece razor that accomplishes a sharp shave without trading away smoothness or comfort. Imported from Germany, the Wilkinson Sword Classic Double Edge Blades stay sharp throughout a week of shaving.

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

The Royal Shave 34C HD Shaving Set features the classic Merkur 34C Safety Razor. It’s popular for having a heavy handle that allows the weight of the razor to do the shaving.

Also included in the set is the Royal Shave PB8 Shaving Brush, made from silver-tip badger bristles. Silver-tip badger bristles are considered the best and rarest badger bristles, known for high water retention capacity that makes lather quick and easy.

The other tools and finishes in the set create the barbershop experience from the comfort of your dad’s home.

For example, the dome-shaped body makes for the ideal comfortable grip. The razor and shaving brush also come with a chrome stand for easy storage. Lastly, a styptic pen, barber towel and Royal Shave Lemon Sandalwood Soap packaged in an elegant ceramic bowl add safety, luxury and relaxation.

Products for his hair

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

Photo via Zack Beardoholic from Flickr

Your dad’s face doesn’t stop at his hairline. The bristles on his scalp deserve some love too. When it comes to Father’s Day gifts, consider adding some high-end products to your dad’s shower routine.

The trick to finding the perfect shampoo and conditioner is tailoring it to his lifestyle, environment and hair type.

If your dad is an active or athletic person, the Italian-made Acca Kappa Shampoo and Shower Gel is ideal. Its gel formula acts as a refreshing cleanser against oil and a moisturizer for dry ends.

Being active also usually entails extra time in the sun. This can cause sweat build-up and an oily scalp or dry, damaged ends from too much heat exposure.

That’s where the Billy Jealousy Cashmere Coat Hair Strengthening Conditioner comes in. Winner of Men’s Health Best Conditioner Award, the formula promotes healthy hair growth and heals a damaged scalp.

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

If your dad is a little older and going grey, the Floid Shampoo For Grey Hair is ideal for his hair care needs. It’s formulated to reduce the yellowing of grey or white hair and keep your dad looking like the sleek silver fox that he is.

Hair on older men can also start to get thin and brittle. When it comes to conditioner, nourishing your dad’s strands is necessary.

The Dreadnought Ultimate Conditioner For Real Men strengthens follicles with hydrolyzed wheat protein and soothes skin with aloe vera juice.


Now that you have your complete list of Father’s Day gifts options, your mid-month June holiday will be a breeze.

And to all the fathers out there, Royal Shave wishes you a very Happy Father’s Day!

Royal Shave shares Father's Day gifts

Catching Up With Rob Hammer on His ‘Barbershops of America’ Travels

Catching Up With Rob Hammer on His ‘Barbershops of America’ Travels

By: Sarah Wolstoncroft

Royal Shave-Barbershops of America-Instagram-barbershopsofamerica

Last time we talked to San Diego photographer Rob Hammer, he was traveling the United States, camera in tow, in search of the most unique barbershops in the country.

Royal Shave shares Barbershops of America update

Photo via Instagram / @barbershopsofamerica

Royal Shave shares Barbershops of America update

Photo via Instagram / @toucantrading

At the time, he had just put out the first edition of his photo collection “Barbershops of America.”

Catching up with Hammer, 38, nearly two years later, “Barbershops of America” has now released a second edition: “Then and Now.”

Looking back at the project, the man behind the camera said it was “collectively one of the greatest learning experiences of my life.”

 

 

Traveling over 85,000 miles by car with his dog and his camera for the project, Hammer soon realized he had to abandon his online research and let the road lead him to the perfect destinations.

His search was for the hidden gems, not the places he said “exist on places like Facebook or Yelp.”

 

“My goal was to spend as much time off the highways and out of cities as possible,” Hammer said. “This has allowed me to see parts of this country that most people never do, towns that might not be on a map but would be looked over even if they were. Being in these places shows you how differently people live.”

He believes the world sees “a distorted view of American life,” glamorized in television shows that focus on the struggles of navigating big cities like Los Angeles and New York.

While photographing barbershops in more rural areas, Hammer found that “things are much simpler and move at a much slower pace.” He said the locals were good people who were proud of where they came from and “very happy to share what comes from their home.”

The lives behind the photographs

Royal Shave shares Barbershops of America update

The late barber Honest John (left) in his Burlington, Kansas shop

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In towns like Burlington, Kansas, Hammer found dedicated lifelong barbers like Honest John, who he described as a man who could “light up the room with his personality and smile” and someone who “was as sincere a person as I’ve ever encountered.”

And back home in California, Hammer found barbers in the outskirts of Oakland like Kenneth of Cuts and Bends Barbershop, whose long, narrow shop was “filled to the brim” with books and paintings.

Royal Shave shares Barbershops of America update

Barber Kenneth at Cuts and Bends Barbershop in Oakland, California

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“He answered my questions in such an honest way that you just don’t get from most people,” Hammer said. “His continued passion for barbering is unreal. When you listen to him talk, you understand that he would be lost with it. The world needs more people like Kenneth.”

Lessons learned along the way

The biggest change from then to now is Hammer’s perspective on barbers. When he first started his project, Hammer was convinced there was only one type of barbershop worth preserving: the old-school traditional style.

However, the travels for his second book rerouted away from middle America, where he found some new-school barbers that were changing the game and his mind.

Royal Shave shares Barbershops of America update

“The first book was entirely made up of old-school shops with only a small handful of the younger guys in the back,” Hammer said. “The second book is just about 50/50. Over the past two years, I continued shooting the old timers while also putting more of a focus on the ‘next generation’ of barbers across the country.”

He said, now that he stepped away from his own “stubborn ignorance,” his project finally feels complete.

“Once I got my head out of my ass, I realized that the recent barber boom has produced a lot of creative guys who are passionate about carrying on the old traditions. So, I started looking around and found a lot of beautiful shops.”

Back in cities like Long Beach, California, Hammer stumbled upon Syndicate Barbershop and its owner Tim Trezise, 36.

Royal Shave shares Barbershops of America update

Syndicate Barbershop in Long Beach, California

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With a mixture of old elements like vintage porcelain chairs and neon signs and new elements like barbers with tattoo-covered bodies, Hammer knew Syndicate Barbershop was the perfect choice for the cover of his book’s second edition.

Tresize said, “it was an honor” his shop was featured on the front cover and described Hammer as a “killer photographer” and “genuine dude” who works for the love not the money.

Royal Shave shares Barbershops of America update

Barber and owner Tim Trezise at Syndicate Barbershop

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“No one has done what he’s done before with documenting barbershops. He’s met more barbers than barbers have met, really. I don’t know if anyone’s met more barbers that Rob. He’s seen the business in and out,” Trezise said.

These days, Hammer mostly keeps up with new-school barbers like Trezise via Instagram. However, he tries to pop into shops he’s previously shot when he passes through town.

Hammer said their support has been “unreal.” In general, he said one of his favorite things about today’s barbers is their support of each other and the barbershop industry.

“It would be so easy for one barber to hate the next guy or just treat him like the competition, but they don’t,” Hammer said. “They are all connected and try to make one another better. So, that positivity and support has spilled over on to me as well. I’m lucky to have met a lot of these guys and have them embrace what I’m doing.”

In the future, Hammer hopes to take his barbershop search international and find another passion project to pursue.

Royal Shave shares dental care tips

From Bathroom to Barbershop: Four Professional Barber Tips to Try at Home

From Bathroom to Barbershop: Four Professional Barber Tips to Try at Home

Hot Towels

Arguably one of the best parts of visiting a barber is the hot towel service. Nothing is more luxurious or satisfying for the start of your prep routine like a nice hot towel. Recreating a hot towel service at home is simple- all you need is a towel and a bowl of hot water or towel warmer.

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Photo via Instagram/ @akinbarber

Start by grabbing a small towel. To get a relaxing experience place 2-3 drops of an essential oil like lavender, eucalyptus, or sandalwood on the towel at this step. Thoroughly wet the towel with water and ring out the excess with your hands. Next, fold the towel in half and roll it up like a sushi roll. Place the damp towel in a towel warmer or warm water A microwave can be used to warm the towel, too. We recommend about 30 sec. Always use caution and test the hot towel on the inner part of your forearm before placing the towel on your face or neck.

Once the towel reaches your desired level of warmth, apply the towel to your face and hold it there until it starts to cool. If you’ve applied essential oils, take some deep breaths and relax, oils like lavender are relaxing while sandalwood is a memory booster. Once the towel cools down, set it aside to use again at the end of your shave.

For more information on hot towels, head over to How to DIY a Barbershop Hot Towel Treatment at Home.

Dry Your Hair Like a Pro

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One of the biggest hair health mistakes most people make is the way they dry their hair. Most shampoo commercials would have you believe that the best way to dry your hair is to vigorously rub your head with a towel. Vigorously rubbing hair while wet can roughen the cuticle of hair, causing frizz. This can lead to permanent damage, like split ends or breakage  

To dry your hair like a professional, start by taking handful sized sections of hair with your towel and gently squeezing the water out. Repeat small section by section until you’ve dried your entire head. At this point your hair is about 50-75% dry, which is the perfect time to add styling product.

Maintaining Your Neck Line

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Nothing makes a haircut look more unkempt than a messy neckline. After a visit to the barber, your neckline will be clean with no hairs along your neck. However, maintaining a clean neckline between visits to the barber chair is a an extra step you can take keep looking sharp.

The most important thing to remember when you are maintaining your own neckline is to make sure you don’t cut into the hair line. The hair line is the line that separates your hair from your neck. Avoid the hair line and only cut the hairs that appear below the hairline on your neck.

Prior to shaving you will need a few supplies- a hot towel, shaving cream, and a sharp razor. Start by applying a hot towel to your neck. After the towel cools, remove it and apply a shave cream like Geo F. Trumper Soft Shaving Cream. Now you are all set to shave your hairline. Just remember to shave with the grain.

Shave Like a Master Barber

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Getting a professional shave is a wonderful and luxurious experience. Master barbers spend years perfecting their craft, and their life is dedicated to the art of men’s grooming. Even if your barbering skills are not at a professional level you can incorporate professional techniques into your own shave routine.

The art of shaving takes precision, so make sure you have enough time set aside to be precise. Start with prepping the hair and skin with a pre-shave oil like Truefitt and Hill Ultimate Comfort Pre-Shave Oil. Pre-shave oil softens the hair and allows a smooth surface for your shave cream.

When it is time to apply a shave cream use a brush. Shaving brushes lift the hairs away from your face which allows for a closer shave and prevents ingrown hairs. When you have finished your shave, take the hot towel you had used prior and apply the now cold towel to your face. This will close your pores and soothe your skin, reducing redness, post shave irritation, and acne. Finish up your shave with a splash of aftershave for disinfection and a light moisturizer to keep your skin smooth and you’re ready for your day.

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