Consult a Doctor

How to shave to avoid razor bumps

Last updated: ,
9 mins,
Content Writer
Medically reviewed by:
shave to avoid razor bumps

For a lot of people, knowing how to shave to avoid razor bumps will make a ton of difference on their skin and even self confidence.

This article is about showing what to do before, during and after shave without having razor bumps.


  • Razor bumps occur when hair strands curl back into the skin and begin to grow after shaving or when hair strands penetrate the skin without leaving the hair follicle leading to inflammation. 
  • It is important to have a pre-shave routine that includes washing the shaving area with soap, exfoliating, and using a warm towel.
  • Avoid using a blunt razor.
  • Shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize irritation.
  • Avoid excessive pressure on your body surface.
  • Grow your hair
  • Shave when hair is soft
  • Rinse and repeat technique for a clean shave without irritation.

Whether you are male or female, a teenager or an adult, razor bumps are a common problem for most people.

Once you hit puberty and hairs begin to grow out of your armpit, pubic area and your face (facial hair such as beards), shaving these hairs puts you at risk of having razor bumps. 

Razor bumps can cause your skin to itch, darken or redden and even become inflamed.

A  proper shaving technique will not only help you prevent these annoying bumps, but will help your skin look smoother, healthier and avoid other after-shave conditions such as razor burns, ingrown hair, itching etc. 

shave to avoid razor bumps
Credit: Canva

If you want to know the right way to prepare before you shave, what shaving tool is preferable, what to do after you shave to avoid razor bumps as well as how to maintain a healthy skin generally then this article will help you greatly.

What causes razor bumps?

Razor bumps are usually pimple-like bumps on the shaved area of the skin that develop a few days after you shave. 

They occur when hair strands curl back into the skin and begin to grow after shaving or when hair strands penetrate the skin without leaving the hair follicle leading to inflammation. 

Razor bumps are most likely to occur with people who have curvy or coiled hair because this type of hair tends to easily bend which makes it easier to curl back into the skin. This is why it is most common among black people and some Hispanic people too.

Even though they both cause the skin to be red and irritated, what differentiates razor burn from razor bump is that while the former looks like a skin rash, the latter looks like a pimple. So do not mistake them for each other. 

Bumps do not only occur when you use razor/blades to shave, they also appear even when you remove hair by waxing, plucking or using shaving creams. 

Ways to shave to avoid razor bumps

shave to avoid razor bumps
Credit: Canva

Pre-shave preparation: 

The first step in avoiding razor bumps is having a pre-shave routine. Although many people might find having a pre-shave routine time-consuming, it is a very important step and should never be skipped.


It softens your hair which makes it easier to cut without unnecessarily pulling the hair and causing you pain.  It can also help to reduce dryness in the area thereby avoiding irritation to the skin. Also, exfoliating before shaving can help in opening your pores and lift the hairs for a smoother shave. 

Before you shave, it is important to do the following: 

  1. Wash the area with a mild  soap or cleanser
  2. Exfoliate the area to get rid of dead skin cells which can clog hair follicles resulting in ingrown hairs. 
  3. Use a hot towel to increase blood flow 
  4. Apply a pre-shave oil to help the blade glide easily and by extension prevent cuts. 
Pro Tip: You can actually grow your hair: If you have the option, stop shaving and grow out your hair, which will eliminate the cause of your razor bumps


How to Practice Safe Sex Practices and Sexual Responsibility

Why it is Important to Drink Water after Sex

7 Health Benefits of Sleeping Naked

How to choose the right shaving tools and products

There are different shaving blades for different purposes. The type of blade you use to shave your head may not be the one you use to shave other areas of your body. 

Also, depending on how low you want the hair, convenience of use, skin type or even price, there are different options to explore when it comes to shaving tools. 

They include but not limited to:

  1. Cartridge razor: This is basically a shaving stick with a detachable head or blade. Once the blade is no longer sharp, you can replace it with a new one.
  2. Safety razor: This type of razor has a protective device positioned between the edge of the blade and the skin. This is to protect the user from cuts.
  3. Electric razor: This type has a rotating blade powered by electricity or a battery. It is the most convenient of all blades because of its ease of use and convenience but a manual shaving device will get you a closer shave compared to an electric one. 

All three blades are very good, but making a preference depends on your needs. If you have sensitive skin, you may have to avoid using blades and rather explore other options such as waxing or sugaring

You might also consider the use of shaving creams for sensitive skin. Products like Nivea Men Shaving Foam for sensitive skin, Veet Shaving Cream for sensitive skin, or even Edge Sensitive Skin Shave Gel are highly recommended and can be found in various shopping malls. 

Pro Tip: Shave more often. shaving daily, or at least every 2-3 days, gives hair less time to grow and curve

Proper shaving techniques to avoid razor bumps

The following are a step-by-step guide for a bump-free shave:

1. Prepare the razor and ensure it’s clean and sharp. Avoid using a blunt razor.

2. Shave in the direction of hair growth to minimize irritation.

3. Avoid excessive pressure and let the razor glide smoothly.

4. Rinse and repeat technique for a closer shave without irritation.

5. Shave difficult areas with care and precision.

What to do after shaving to avoid razor bumps

Even though most people tend to skip it, after-shave care is just as important as shaving, especially if you are prone to post-shave issues like razor bumps, irritation, dry skin, cuts etc. Even if you do not experience these issues, you still need after-shave care to protect your skin. 

Here’s a guide on what to do after you shave to avoid razor bumps:

  1. After you shave, rinse with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.
  2. Apply alcohol free after-shave as it tends to dry out your skin.
  3. Apply a sunscreen as shaving makes your skin sensitive to the sun. 
  4. Apply a moisturizer or a hydrating balm to help hydrate your skin since shaving dries out your skin. 

Recommended post-shave products and remedies for reducing irritation:

  1. Old Spice After Shave lotion 
  2. Nivea Men Sensitive After Shave Balm 
  3. Blue Atlas After Shave 
  4. Bro-presol After Shave Lotion
  5. Shea Ultra Rich Body Cream

TIP: Using a cool compress on the skin for a few minutes may help with irritation too. 

Maintaining a healthy skin to avoid razor bumps

The best skin care routine to prevent razor bumps and irritation is by shaving every 2 to 3 days. This will prevent the hair from growing long enough to curl back into the skin. 

However, it is important to always follow up with a moisturizing lotion immediately to avoid irritation and dryness.

In cases where the bumps are already on the skin, it is advised not to continue shaving over the bumps but giving it a break until completely healed. 

Medical aestheticians and skincare experts like Amy Peterson agree that “exfoliation is the key to preventing ingrown hairs or razor bumps. That’s really the only way you can prevent them.”

She goes further to add that “it is important to prepare the skin and hair before shaving by loosening the hairs with a gentle exfoliating cleanser such as one that contains alpha or beta hydroxy acids.” 

Therefore, moisturize and hydrate your skin for optimal healing and rejuvenation after shaving in order to avoid razor bumps. 

Are there tips for shaving specific body areas? 

shave to avoid razor bumps
Credit: Canva

Whether you are shaving your face, armpit, legs or pubic area, it’s the same technique if you must avoid razor bumps. 

The most important things to keep in mind are to: prep your skin before shaving, shave in the direction of hair growth and follow up with after-shave care, and you’re good to go. 

Home remedies for getting rid of razor bumps? 

Now that you know how to avoid razor bumps, you may ask, how can I treat existing razor bumps? Well, there are few home remedies for getting rid of razor bumps such as:

     1. Applying cold compress to soothe swelling on the affected area.

     2. Applying aloe vera gel which is known for its soothing and healing properties.

     3. Applying tea tree oil which is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial.

     4. Scrubbing with a natural scrub instead of a chemical-based scrub.

   5. Using garlic on the area since it also has anti-inflammatory and antifungal/antibacterial qualities. 

  1. Applying coconut oil on the area.

Razor bumps usually heal on their own after some weeks or even months, but in cases where your symptoms don’t resolve within a few weeks, talk to a doctor or a certified dermatologist to ensure there are no other causes for your symptoms. 


Razor bumps do not usually pose any serious health issues; however, they are not a pleasant sight to behold and can affect a person’s confidence.  

Something as simple as changing or improving your shaving habit and routine can free you of your struggles. 

So, it is encouraged to practice a proper pre-shaving, shaving and post-shaving technique each time you shave to avoid razor bumps.

Share this article on social media:

LinkedIn Instagram Facebook Twitter
Avatar of Joy Nkiruka

Joy Nkiruka is a dedicated freelance health writer with a strong passion for promoting healthy living. She specializes in creating engaging content on various health and fitness topics.

Sidebar Newsletter form

time is money flier
Untitled 1 1

Subscribe to our Blog

We publish helpful posts every week!