You do not become a man without cutting yourself while shaving at least once in your lifetime. Period. Whether it happened because you were in a terrible rush to get through the process or whether because you were still half-asleep in the morning, every man has and will nick himself sometime while pulling a sharp razor across his face. Admit it. It has happened to you, as it has to me and to all the other men in this world. And when it does happen, it leaves a messy, bloody face at the worst and a sharp razor burn across your skin, at the best.
Regardless of its inevitability, here are a few tips which definitely go a long way in avoiding shaving cuts and nicks, and razor burns.
Avoiding Shaving Cuts, Nicks & Razor Burns
1) Use a Sharp Razor – Yes, a dull razor blade only enhances the chances of nicks and cuts, as unlike a sharp, fresh razor blade, a dull one simply hacks at the base of the facial hair growth. A precise, single clean stroke to cut the hair near its root using a sharp, new blade is always a better bet to avoid shaving nicks and cuts, than a dull blade. Always make sure that your razor is sharp enough, do not just drag an old dull blade across your skin. Or better yet, instead of a razor blade, use a modern Electric Shaver. These are practically shave-cut proof, and will require minimum effort while shaving. You wont get the closest shave by a Electric Shaver though, like the one you can get with a sharp razor blade.’
2) Use a Pre-Shave Lotion – However conservative and manly you might feel, using a moisturiser or a good pre-shave lotion makes for almost a shave-cut proof shaving experience. Plus, it also makes your beard hair feel softer and keeps it properly ex-foliated.
3) Wash Your Face with Warm Water – Remember to rinse your face with warm water before you get down to shaving your beard. This technique opens up the closed pores of your facial skin and allows your beard hair to absorb a bit of water, which makes it easier to be cut down. Also, make sure you are done shaving your beard before the water dries off, leaving the beard hair high and dry again!
4) Shave with the Grain – This one is especially important for the beginners and the first-timers. NEVER try to start shaving by going against the grain. Well not unless, you want a bloody face with severe razor blade burns all across it. Use slow, downward strokes in short measures. This will take care of the hair well enough, whichever way the grain is growing and will leave zero burning sensation.
5) Adjust the Blade to Facial Contours – While shaving with a single blade safety razor or with the modern multi-blade razors, you must always get the skin flat by pulling it down (for your lips) and up (while doing the chin and the neck areas). Also, try to adjust the grip of the razor according to your facial contours; you are bound to face a little problem in the areas such as under the chin, along the jawline and around your neck. Slow and steady is the way to go here! Also, if necessary, it is always better to repeat the shaving process by applying the shaving cream again instead of trying to mop it up all in a go.
BUT, like I said in the beginning of the article, no matter who you are, how manly you feel, you are bound to cut yourself at least once in your life while shaving! And when it does happen, please don’t go applying toilet paper on your face. There are better (and more hygienic) ways to stop bleeding from shaving cuts! Read on…
Treating Shaving Cuts & Nicks
1) Use a Styptic Pencil – You might have seen these pencils in your grandfather’s shaving kit and they are mighty useful in stopping the blood flow from a shaving cut! All styptic pencils have a common ingredient, an Astringent (such as Titanium Di Oxide or a form of Sulphate) which acts as a quick blood clotting agent, when applied to a cut. These are readily available in all the cosmetics store and pharmacies as well. Our recommendation: Clubman Styptic Pencil.
2) Use an Alum block – A bar of soap-sized made of potassium alum, acts as an excellent treatment for multiple nicks all over your face. The same principle like the styptic pencils – constricting the skin’s tissues and clotting the blood, is at work in Alum blocks too. Additionally, they also act as an anti-septic which helps to soothe any razor burns, if present on the face.
3) Special Shaving Nick Rollers and Gels – These especially developed products have aluminium chloride as the main ingredient, along with Aloe and Vitamin E that helps in stopping the blood flow, and goes on to soothe your skin. They are as effective as an Alum block or a styptic pencil, minus the sting. Some famous products are Pacific Company Shaving Stick, My Nik is Sealed and Proraso Styptic Gel.
4) Use your After Shave – The alcohol present in the after-shaves acts as an astringent as well as an anti-septic, which helps in blood clotting and preventing razor burns. If your after-shave happens to have witch hazel too, it will act even better. Applying a after-shave to a cut will definitely sting, but it will effectively stop the burning and bleeding, and more importantly leave you teeming with the awesome manly smell!
5) Use Ice Cold Water – Using icy, cold water tends to freeze the blood vessels, cuts off the blood flow and eventually, fastens the blood clotting process. For even faster result, you can even apply an ice cube to the cut.
6) Use a Deodorant – Yes. Who knew, a deodorant can actually act as an effective treatment for cuts! Apparently, all deodorants have aluminium chloride or a derivative of it, which helps it act as an astringent and prevents the blood flow from a wound, by clotting it. You can either swipe a bit of your deodorant on a cotton swab or on your fingertips and apply it to the nick or the cut.
Apart from all these nifty tricks to stop bleeding from a nick or a shaving cut, you can always try to apply pressure on the wound…and use toilet paper (yeah, yeah it does work after all) if every other treatment is unavailable. Also, remember if none of the mentioned tips and tricks work, and you still continue to bleed profusely or even as a trickle, it is always recommended to go to a nearby hospital and get stitched up!