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Managing Ingrown Facial Hair

Posted by STEPHANIE Willis on

Pseudofolliculitis also known as barber’s itch, folliculitis barbae, razor bumps and ingrown hair, is a common problem for individuals with coarse hair. It occurs after facial or body hair has been shaved and the hair begins to regrow. Coarse hair tends to curl into the skin instead of growing straight out the follicle, leading to an inflammatory reaction. The result is itchy, red and pimpled skin. Inflamed acne like pustules can also form, if the area becomes infected.

Pseudofolliculitis barbae can be divided into two types of ingrown hairs: hair that has exited the follicle and reentered the skin (extrafollicular) and hair that never exits the follicle (transfollicular), but because of its naturally coarse and curly nature, it grows back into the follicle causing fluid build-up, inflammation and irritation.

What contributes to ingrown hair and/or razor bumps?

  • dead skin clogging hair follicles
  • bacteria on the skin or tools used to shave
  • coarse, dry hair
  • dry shaving
  • disposable razors


Exfoliate the skin by using a gentle organic scrub (like sugar or finely ground coffee blended with organic coconut oil) or small bristle brush before shaving to help to remove dead skin and loosen coarse hair’s curl pattern. By doing so both before and between shaves, you can effectively free trapped hair out and away from the skin before the hair has a chance to embed itself.

Consider changing shaving techniques. Since we know that getting too close of a shave can create an ingrown hair problem (sad, I know), you may need to ditch the multi-blade disposable razor. This razor type is designed to lift the hair slightly before cutting, to give a closer, longer lasting shave but for those with coarse hair, it may also be a factor in the ingrown hair problem. It may be time to get acquainted with the straight razor! The fact is, if you have coarse curly hair and that hair is cut below the skin's surface, when that hair begins to grow, it can begin curling slightly before it reaches the surface, missing the original exit point, in an attempt to create a new one. This leads to unsightly hair bumps.

Do not dry-shave, no matter how convenient it is; it isn’t pleasant. Not only are razor bumps a potential but razor burn is almost instant. Properly prep and protect skin with a pre shaving cream, foam or a shaving soap to soften skin and hair, making the shave easier.


Follow your shave with a product that will properly treat freshly shaven skin like alcohol-free witch hazel. 

Our beard balm softens skin and hair, making it easier to manage the hair as well as help to minimize re-entry. It locks in moisture and tames that facial forest called a beard. Beard balm is ALL natural and can be used daily to keep the skin and hair soft. 

Skin is the body’s largest organ and I often advise individuals to eliminate the use of products containing synthetic ingredients and fragrance (parfum) as they: (1) contain cancer causing ingredients, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasers and hormone disruptors; (2) are known to cause irritation; (3) create or exacerbate eczema; (4) and can contribute to unsightly discoloration (darkening). Stick with natural products with ingredients that get as close to the source as possible, preferably a plant-source.

Often people aren't easily convinced so instead of rehashing information that's already readily available, we challenge you to (1) investigate the ingredients in your products and (2) do a simple search on fragrance oil and skin-health.

Whatever steps you take, remember to treat your skin kindly with chemical-free products. Know what you are putting on your skin!

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