The Science Behind Shaving
For most men, shaving is a part of daily routine that they cannot do away with a whim. Shaving is part of their everyday hygiene that needs to be done, unless they want to achieve a certain look that involves beards and mustaches.
The fact is, shaving is a practice that literally acts as a double-edged sword: It produces a clean, suave and lightening effect on the shaver, while at the same time causing much stress on his skin. The simple act of running a blade – no matter how smoothly – over one’s skin already produces small injuries that actually expose the skin to more possible damage and problems.
What are these problems?
In essence, shaving is a form of exfoliation, where the top layer of the skin is scraped off with a blade. Removing this layer is like removing a barrier that protects your inner skin from dirt, bacteria, inflammation and dehydration. It is also not uncommon for shavers to experience ingrown hairs, or worse, razor bumps.
A severe case of ingrown hair on the beard area results in a condition also refered to as pseudofolliculitis barbae. It is a common condition among, but not limited to, mostly African American men and those with coarse, curly hair. Curly hair tends to grow back into the skin and this causes inflammation. The body treats it as a foreign body, and thus inflammatory reactions are trigerred. These are redness, itchiness, and even the formation of pus that causes a raised bump.
Razor burn is an unsightly condition on the beard area that can occur as a result of shaving. Shaving too closely or quickly, or against the direction of hair growth, with a blunt razor, and without proper lubrication are just some of the causes of razor burn. It can last for a few hours causing mild discomfort, or for days and resemble a rash or scratch on the face.
Coarse, Heavy Beards
Most men from African American ethnicity have heavy, coarse beards that are tougher to shave. Often, they will encounter clogged razors, tugging of the hair, and scraping of the skin. Coarse hair will need an extra sharp razor blade for it to be shaved properly. In order to do this, the hair must be softened and lifted from the skin, and the skin protected with a layer that will prevent irritation, stinging and dryness.
Products for Coarse Beards
Shaving creams designed for coarse beards usually have a high ph content that softens the hair, however, this will strip the skin and leave it taut and dry and prone to irritation. Products with humectants or moisturizers and conditioning agents will counter this. Other products to look for are those that contain camphor, clove flower oil, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, wheat germ extract and yeast extract. These are ideal for men with coarse beards, as they they provide protection, aid in opening up the pores, lubricate and hydrate the skin and combat irritation.
Prevention of those above-mentioned conditions is basically the target of these shaving products. Men need only to be informed of the principles behind shaving, the different skin and beard types, and the appropriate skin products that will best suit them in order for shaving to be both comfortable and actually a pleasing experience for them.
Article source: Best electric razors 4 u
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