Picture of How To Shave Without Getting Razor Bumps
Shaving. As if it wasn't dangerous enough with all the blades? Now there's those little ingrown hairs to deal with known as razor bumps. Here's how not to get them. Long time lurker, first time instructable, so please be a critic. But please, I beg you, be constructive. And hey, if you like it, please gimme a vote!

Update: Now with 50% more rambling about shaving tools! Bullets now included.

Step 1: Get your stuff ready!

Picture of Get your stuff ready!
Alrighty, you're about to shave, but wait, you don't know how? Or you do, but you need some pointers. And you definitely don't want any funny little bumps. Here's what you need, but there are more complex things if you wanna go further than these basics.

  • Hair that needs removin
  • A razor (Not electric). Any old bic or cheapo will do, though if you wanna get fancy you can buy one of those ten bladed Gillette's that vaguely resemble an onion slicer.
  • Shaving Cream. Again, you don't need anything expensive, but you can always shell out
  • more cash if you wanna for gels or the like.
  • A sink, or some other water holder. No need for fancy.
  • Washcloth. Not exactly necessary, but it beats using your hands to wipe your face.
  • Scissors. Again, really not needed, but nice for whacking down the major shrubbery before
  • you mow it.
  • Aftershave. Makes you smell nice, and helps kill anything nasty on your face.
  • Mirror. Almost needed. If you're good you can do without it, but I wholly recommend being able to see yourself while you work.

Once you've got what you need, all you really have to do is go ahead and fill your sink up with some nice warm water and plug that drain.
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Wizker6 months ago

great tips! what about exfoliating? do men get exfoliation like women do?

charli101 year ago
Men should see this and learn how to shave and not cut them selves
kayus43211 year ago
Informative tips above shaving. thanks
ubouragba2 years ago
How to get rid of razor bumps is a big question that I HATE! i have a tool that can get rid of them FAST coming out soon.
Razor bumps occur when a newly shorn hairs grows back to re-enter the skin. As it continues to pierce and embed itself into the skin, a bump will appear as a sign of injury.
To get rid of razor bumps rapidly, save the part free of sweat and germs. Wash the regarded area with antibacterial cleanser. Development of bacterium can exacerbate the precondition and prevents skin’s power to reclaim the bumps.
BobAJobRob3 years ago
I think that the most important thing to prevent rash and bumps is to disinfect immediately after shaving, and to keep the skin scrupulously clean whilst it is still tender.
I usually use the cheapest aftershave I can find, and lots of it. However, I have recently found Savlon Wound Wash spray which works just as well, doesn't sting, and doesn't make you smell like a big tart.
If you disinfect and then wipe your face with a towel....you've just reapplied a layer of germs. Disinfect again. About 10 minutes after you've finished shaving I think the danger has passed.
I used to suffer from awful razor burn, but since doing this it is a distant memory.
By the way - this applies to wet or electric shaves!
I agree on disinfecting the skin immediately after shaving. I use hand sanitizer and have had good results with it. I also use an antique safety razor that uses the double sided razor blades (I fancy myself a bit of a renaissance man ;) and it also minimizes waste). After using the razor and leaning my face, I swish the razor's head in a small tupperware-ish bowl of 90% isopropyl alcohol. This cleans the blade of any shin oils, dead cells and remaining whiskers after the water rinse. It also helps shed the water and any minerals it may contain to keep the blade sharp longer.
SKIN oils.... sheesh Hoopajoo, it pays to proof-read!
treynolds574 years ago
I wear a beard, so I only have to shave my cheeks and neck. I used a rotary electric for years, but never really felt that it was that close, especially in the days when we had to wear shirts and ties. A bladed razor is MUCH better and the shave is longer lasting.

For years now I've shaved in the shower with a disposable razor. I shampoo, wash all over with soap, then turn to the suction-cup mirror on the shower wall, lather up with soap, shave, then rinse everything starting with the hair and work my way down.

The benefits of this is that the time I've spent in the shower doing all of the preliminaries allows the warm water and moist air to soften my beard. It's less messy, I don't have to worry about cleaning the sink and I NEVER have to worry about errant stubble that makes its way into a shirt collar.

I buy the Gillette twin-edge disposables in the 52-pack from Costco. They're relatively cheap, I change them once a week or so and Gilette ins't making a mint off me.

Good instructable.
Tiktaky5 years ago
 Thanks for this, I'm a female but I still took some advice from this tutorial. 5 years of shaving my legs and not once has anyone ever suggested going WITH the grain. (all Ladies razor directions say to go "against")
It really depends on how your skin reacts to it.

If you go with the grain, the cut won't be as close to the skin.
However if you go against the grain on the first pass, it will irritate the skin.

Now if you do it a couple times with the grain and do the last shave against the grain, the result will be a much smoother shave. That is what I do and I don't get any ingrown hair from that. It just might not work for you.

There's a lot of little tricks that might work but most of all, it's good to use the proper shaving products, most women I know just use soap or bathing gel and it doesn't work nearly as good.
LouiseMarie4 years ago
I have no need to shave my face..........not many women do, but i enjoyed your instructable anyway. i feel like you really got into the teaching part. You did good. Thumbs up.
If you really wanna get a close great shave, check out my instructable @
garyomega6 years ago
Closest shave of all? Shave twice.
see thats where I get my burn, If I shave more than once every 2 or 3 days, I get burn
NRen2k56 years ago
I think electric razors aren't to be discounted.

Sure, an electric razor is a totally different beast, but I've been using one for the last two years to good effect.

When I use(d) a disposable razor, right after hopping out of the shower in the morning I would apply some cream and shave. I find the electric razor works most effectively and painlessly on dry skin, i.e. before I shower. Even though I knew how to shave as you tell everybody here, I'd still get nicked on a regular basis with disposables. There's a rough patch on my throat that would always get scraped raw and bloody from just one or two passes of a disposable razor.

I don't have any such problem with my electric. The drawbacks are lack of precision, and it doesn't shave quite as close. Neither of them is a very big deal to me, since I've grown a circle beard and bought a precision trimmer to groom it, and my growth isn't thick enough to give me a bad 5 o'clock shadow.
aaahhh, barbasol. i remember years ago my dad would use that, and i would sneak into the bathroom when he was done and shave. i hate all this gel crap they have. i miss straight cream.
me too (hate gel). i use cream still.
tell me about, gel sucks! it burns my skin.
Good job. The only addition I want to make is you say to wipe your face when done. We see that a lot in television and movies, but if someone has sensitive skin, simply wiping off the lather residue might cause itching later on. Use lots of water. I use hot water first (fill the sink to half full) and then cold. I also rub all my skin with tea tree oil which smells nice and is a good antiseptic. Thanks!
JettyMae7 years ago
I saw this and just had to laugh. but you have so many good tips... i loved IT!
SteamKit (author)  JettyMae7 years ago
Haha, I'm glad to be of help!
orionc7 years ago
The last picture of step five is the best! Ha Ha!
Llewner7 years ago
I suggest that you now move on to the double edge straight razor. Muwhahahahahahah!
syberangyl7 years ago
Okay, I am still new to the instructables thing, and actually haven't contributed yet (I know.. I'm worthless), but this is, thus far, the funniest instructable yet while remaining informative. Being of the girlish gender, I don't, as of yet (there is still a random chance I won't be able to say this one day), have facial hair but I think I will try going with, then across the grain of the five o'clock shadow I get on my legs! Maybe it'll hurt less.
my girlfriend shaved my legs once when i was 16
not even two year ago in fact
funniest thing EVER
clogged up her "Venus" shaver so many times she got annoyed
then once finally done
(pictures taken and since "lost" =p )
a day later she was complaining of the stubble on my legs

LOL, the only thing I have to say about leg stubble is... you don't have to kiss legs. When my dad decided I was old enough to shave my legs he says to me: "I'm tired of looking at your hairy legs." I nearly froze to death because it took SO long and had to throw the razor away when i was done. Oh and I tried the across the grain, then with thing. Didn't work for mah legs. The best thing ever (EVER) is to get goosebumps then shave the goosbumps! That makes for darn smooth legs (smoothest EVER), but can you get goosebumps on your face?
i dont Think you can
i never can except slightly raised hairs where my sideburns would be
if the rest of the hairs on my face are effected
its not noticeable
good idea though
maybe you should do a leg shaving instructable?
if its so hard / different
i dont know
just thinking as this instructable helped me realised why i kept getting ingrown hairs on ma chin

although ive only ever got razor burn from using an electric shaver
which i will never use again

but meh
just an idea +
trying to get more instructables out there to the world!
static7 years ago
A WW II vet I use to work with sometime recounted how some of the "Mexicans" he served with used a plain old double edged blade with their hands , no metal handle to shave. BTW he wasn't using, Mexican in a pejorative manner, he seemed to speaking in awe of their skill.
SteamKit (author)  static7 years ago
Wow, I'll bet that was hard to do without cutting up your face.
Splortched7 years ago
This is a fairly good tutorial, but a better one is found on... myspace?!


I use this method, and shave against the grain. I have not once gotten razorbumps using this method, and my skin is healthier!
I thought that was not so great. Some vague pseudo-science about pores CLINGING to hairs and some of the things mentioned here... but generally very lacking in actual helpful information. I'd say skip it.
Bighead7 years ago
Always use cold water, hot water softens hair but softens skin even more so make the contrast greater increasing risk of cuts, use shower oil not any soap as oil is not rinsed away like soap when shaving, rinse in cold water help prevent shaving rash.Does not close pores as mentioned above , pore are incapable of any movement.Finaly apply a small amount of germolene or similar antiseptic cream on morning and evening following shave for smooth trouble free shave.
I've never heard of shower oil, what is that?
Shower oil is soap free shower gel for people allergic to soap.
lmn Bighead7 years ago
i shave my head and use the oil "shave secret" it costs $3 at walmart
engman757 years ago
Now I know how to shave right! thank you!
engman757 years ago
Now I know how to shave right! thank you!
Sariko7 years ago
I'm sure I missed an obvious line or something, but what exactly prevents bumps? I get bumps on my legs, but obviously I don't use aftershave on my legs (do any women?); is the aftershave the magical catalyst?
SteamKit (author)  Sariko7 years ago
The magic is in the direction of the shaving. First pass is with the grain, second is across it. Many people shave the second pass against the grain, and this tends to cause ingrown hairs, aka razorbumps. I wish you luck on this, but I'm not sure 100% sure about shaving legs. I'm starting to think it might be worth finding a lady on this site willing to collaborate with me and provide some tips for the women. I like the site, but not enough to experiment on my manly thick leg hair.
Yeah, I'm thinking the magic IS in the direction. When you first shave with, then against, the grain, it seems like you're shaving that hair to the point where the nub retracts into the pore from whence it came, where it may possibly become a speedbump in the near future. When you shave with then *across* the grain, I can imagine that there would be just enough length left to the hair to keep it's growth path pointed out of the pore instead of elsewhere, avoiding the razor-bump problem.
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