prevent razor burn

The easiest way to prevent razor burn is to just shave correctly. It sounds simple enough that anybody should be able to follow it, but if so many people are suffering from burn or bumps after their shave, obviously something is going wrong somewhere. Let me rectify that today.

Razor burn is caused by various things and comes in various degrees. The mildest form is an itchy feeling, with redness and an ugly looking neck. The worst form, the actual bumps, comes from a combination of burn and ingrown hairs. Most people will tell you to avoid shaving against the grain to avoid getting ingrown hairs.

Since I am a big fan of shaving against the grain, I say it’s all about your preparation instead.

Simple Tips To Prevent Razor Burn

1.) Heat It Up! 

There’s a reason most people shave after taking a shower. A soft beard is easier to remove. You can try using a hot towel or facecloth if you don’t have time to shower, but you should have time to shower. Take a shower.

Bonus tip: Rub hair conditioner into your beard while showering.

2.) Exfoliation For Smooth Sensation

You don’t have to tell your friends this one. It’s actually an easy step and you’ll feel the added smoothness for a long time. Use a face scrub or one of those scratchy things (you can tell your friends it’s not yours. They’ll understand) and rub circles over your face. Circles are the best for removing dead skin.

3.) Use A Proper Lather

Don’t just smear foam or soap over your face and go for it. The better the lather, the better the shave. People who have sensitive skin can use a top quality badger hair brush if they really want to get it spot on.

If you don’t have a brush, that’s not the end of the world. Just get one later.

4.) Use A Three Pass Shave

First shave, go with the grain, lather up again, go across the grain (sideways) then lather up a final time, and go against the grain. Doing this will stop razor bumps and ingrown hairs. It might take you a little bit of practice and time, but it will be more than worth it. Learn more about the three pass shave.

5.) Keep The Blade Sharp And Clean

If you use a modern wet razor (silly you – switch to a straight razor), make sure you replace the cartridges when they start to get blunt. There’s no point trying to eek out as many uses as you can to save a few bucks.

Rinse between every stroke, and wipe it off before putting it away for the day.

Bonus Tip: Use alcohol to clean it if you can.

6.) Chill Out

Use cold water on your face when you are done, this helps close the pores faster. I guess it is quite refreshing too.

7.) Do The Home Alone Face

Use some aftershave and/or a moisturizer on your face as the final stage. Make sure you don’t put so much on that it stings like mad and you scream like this though.

Personally I think the biggest cause of razor burn is people shaving in a hurry and using blades that aren’t quite sharp. Yes a straight razor that is well honed and stropped will prevent this better than all of the above steps, but keep it simple for now, and follow them into a more comfortable shaving experience.


  1. Now that you mentioned it, I do remember seeing guys getting a shave on TV, and the barber always had hot, wet cloths piled on their faces. I guess there was a point to all that, huh? When you recommend using one of those ‘scratchy’ things, are you referring to one of those coarse, abrasive, seafloor-dwelling objects that some people use in place of a washcloth? I still haven’t been able to wrap my mind (or soap) around one of those things, but, just like the super-short socks I wear now, I’m sure one day I’ll make the conversion. Enjoyed the article! 🙂

  2. Hey Dom, yea the shower beforehand really works for me. If I try to shave without it I get a terrible rash. Showering not only leaves me refreshed but the beard nice and soft ready for the shave,

    • Yeah I think 90% of people will shave immediately after showering, but the towel option works well for people who want to “shave” a few minutes off their shaving time.

  3. yeah, no doubt about it lol. The three pass shave is the best way to avoid razor burn. Lot’s of people (as I mentioned) don’t bother with shaving against the grain because they get burn like you mentioned, but it means you miss out on a splendid shave!


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