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Ingrown Hairs and Razor Bumps—What You Need to Know

by Andrea Polk |

It’s no secret—black men are prone to razor bumps and shaving irritation, and we know these bumps often result from shaving facial hair too close.  But why does this happen?

The cause of razor bumps

A lot of black men shave with multi-blade razors or electric razors with multiple heads.  These razors provide an incredibly close shave but to detrimental effect.  When you shave your facial hair this close, you cut the hair beneath the skin.  Because your hair is curly, it curls into your skin when it grows back, resulting in an ingrown hair.  The irritation that happens at the site of the ingrown hair causes the razor bump.

Especially severe reactions are known as folliculitis barbae or pseudofolliculitis barbae. In these instances, you’ll notice what looks like a rash of razor bumps that are visibly red or irritated.  If not treated, this condition can lead to permanent scarring.

Preventing razor bumps

Preventing razor bumps involves changing your shaving routine. 

  • Exfoliate first: use an all-natural scrub to exfoliate before you shave. This gently removes the skin that entraps your facial hair, freeing the hair for a smoother shave.
  • Prepare in advance: don’t shave dry; instead, prime your face by wetting it with warm water and applying a moisturizing shaving cream. This softens the skin and the hair shafts, which also contributes to a smoother shave.
  • Don’t shave so close: use a single-blade razor or electric foil shaver to ensure you leave roughly 1 millimeter of hair above the skin.
  • Don’t shave against the grain: this causes you to tug on the skin and your facial hair, making irritation more likely.
  • Tighten and tone: use Brave™ All-Natural Aftershave + Toner to disinfect and tighten your pores immediately after shaving.
  • Moisturize: soothe your skin with our Smooth™ All-Natural Face + Beard Moisturizer. This reduces your chances of irritation.

And, if you do get razor bumps, discontinue shaving until they’re gone.  Continuing to shave over them will only make the condition worse.


Razor bumps can be a painful and unsightly problem, but simply adjusting your routine can ensure you get a close shave without the complications.