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Posted on: May 21, 2015

Razor burn is a rash caused by improper shaving techniques. It can take the form of redness, bumps, or even infected blisters. It's uncomfortable and aesthetically unappealing. Fortunately, preventing razor burn is fairly straightforward:

1) Use a sharp razor.

Cutting a tomato with a dull knife usually results in a mangled tomato. Similarly, using a dull razor can do the same thing to the skin. While a sharp razor cuts hairs cleanly, a dull blade pulls and tears hairs. Depending on how tough your whiskers or hair is, you should change the blade after every three to ten shaves.

2) Use good shaving cream.

Pick something that has a lot of moisturizers and lubricants in it, for these will soften the hairs and keep them upright for the shave. That, in turn, will lead to less resistance, irritation, and scraping. A good shaving cream will produce a creamy lather that provides "slip" and enables the razor to glide smoothly and easily across the skin.

3) Wet the hair before shaving.

Hair absorbs water which makes it weak and easy to cut. Ideally, one should shower right before shaving, but if that's not possible, use a moist warm towel to wet the area to be shaved. Never apply shaving cream to dry skin, and never shave without wetting the skin and applying shave cream to it. Doing either of those is a good way to get razor burn.

4) Go with the grain.

In other words, shave in the direction that the hair grows. Shaving in the opposite direction can get you a closer shave, but it also increases the risk of nicks, skin irritation, and razor burn. Shaving against the grain also increases the chances of cutting a hair off below the skin level. That causes an ingrown hair in which the hair grows into the surrounding tissue rather than out the pore. Ingrown hairs can cause inflammation and infection.

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