Understanding and Controlling
Razor Bumps

What are Razor Bumps?

Razor bumps are small, irritated bumps on the skin that develop after shaving when strands of hair curl back on themselves and grow into the skin. Razor bumps cause irritation and the development pimples. They also may cause scarring. Razor bumps are not uncommon to men with coarse or curly hair. About 60% of all African American males suffer from razor bumps, medically known as pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB). Razor bumps tend to be more of a problem for men than women since many men shave daily.

What causes Razor Bumps?

Shaving causes razor bumps. Strongly curved beard hairs formed in curved follicles exit the skin at various angles. When these hairs are shaved, needlepoint sharp tips are formed which may then penetrate the skin causing an ingrown hair. This leads to an inflammatory reaction causing these ingrown hairs to become very painful for some men. Shaving with any type of a blade will cause razor bumps, however, the worst offenders are safety and electric razors. Hairs emerge parallel to the skin and shaving with these razors cuts the hair on an angle. A number of electric clippers and safety razors have been designed with elevated guards to keep the cutting blades away from the skin. These razors will help reduce nicks and cuts thus reducing the chance of inflammation, but do little to change the angle at which the hair is cut, eventually resulting in razor bumps.

Dermatologists continue to see a growing number of patients with shaving related problems. Most agree the best way to deal with razor bumps and ingrown hairs is prevention. An effective way to prevent razor bumps is by practicing a shaving regimen that provides the entire process of the pre-shave, actual shave and after shave. High Time Products has been the leading razor bump treatment for over 35 years. High Time Products is constantly reinventing itself to stay at the forefront of shaving products especially designed for African American men. High Time Products recommend the following Do’s and Don’ts to prevent razor bumps.

Do’s & Don’ts to Prevent Razor Bumps


Do Cleanse your face thoroughly before shaving and be sure to clean the razor too. Use a facial wash to thoroughly cleanse your face while lifting facial hugging hair for more accessible, complete shaving.

Do Shave with a thick low lather shaving gel, use shaving gel for the best possible protection from nicks and cuts. Use a thick low lather shaving gel that reduces razor drag and minimizes irritation by providing the most protective shaving surface possible.

To achieve the best shave possible, while reducing the chance of suffering from razor bumps, High Time Products recommends taking the following steps while shaving:

Do Treat the skin after shaving to prevent razor bumps. Use a razor bump treatment, either a sensitive skin formula or a double-strength formula for individuals with more serious conditions. A bump treatment conditions and clears the skin while preventing unsightly razor bumps caused by ingrown hairs.

Do Lighten any dark spots caused by shaving problem skin. Use a fade cream on dark spots caused by shaving to even skin tone marred by bumps, ingrown hairs and keloid formations.

Do Condition and moisturize the skin after shaving. Use an after shave with tea tree oil to help heal and condition the skin. A after shave cream that does not contain alcohol and is enriched with cocoa butter and other essential conditioners to soothe and moisturize the skin.

Do not

Don’t Tweeze and pull hairs from the follicles. At first sight, tweezing and pulling of hairs would appear acceptable, but in most cases, the hairs are broken off in the follicle, and severe inflammation sets in.

Don’t Use electrolysis, or electrical epilation to remove unwanted hair. Because electrolysis is similar to tweezing it may cause inflammation.

Don’t Try brush training the beard. Coarse curly hair growing out of curved follicles cannot be trained to grow in a specific pattern.

Special Cases

If you use a chemical depilatory (shaving powders and creams):

Do Use a razor bump treatment when bumping occurs from hairs that never exit the skin.

If you use a salicylic or retinoic acid based formula bump treatment:

Do Use an after-shave cream when irritation and dryness occur from salicylic or retinoic acid being applied to the skin.

Do Purchase High Time Products for a complete line of shaving products for however you choose to shave.