Razor bumps: they’re an unfortunate side effect that comes along with shaving for many individuals. No one ever wants to deal with razor bumps and redness, but if you shave your head, you may find yourself with this issue. Thankfully, there are plenty of strategies on how to prevent hair bumps, as well as treat red spots on your scalp.
Bumps on your head after shaving are nothing to dwell on. Keep reading for a complete guide on how to get rid of razor bumps on your head and how to prevent them in the future. Your scalp will be back to its natural, healthy, and glowing state in no time!
Why Do I Have Razor Bumps?
If you’re experiencing pimples on your head as someone with a shaved head, you’re likely wondering about the root of the issue. Plus, understanding why you have the bumps will help you understand how to get rid of razor bumps on your head.
Razor bumps are actually ingrown hairs that appear after a razor burn. When you damage or irritate your scalp while shaving, the hairs may grow back trapped inside of the pore. When the hair is trapped inside of the pore and can’t grow naturally, it causes inflammation in the form of a red bump.
People experience skin irritation after shaving for many reasons, the most common of which include:
- Shaving using old or dull razor blades
- Shaving when the skin is dry
- Shaving against the grain of the hair
- Shaving a section of skin that’s already damaged, red, or irritated
- Shaving too frequently or not giving the scalp time to heal
Razor bumps happen to the best of us, but that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with them forever. There are several treatment strategies, as well as tips that you can implement into your daily routine to avoid bumps on your head after shaving going forward.
Treating Razor Bumps on Your Head
When you find yourself with redness, bumps, and irritation on your bald scalp after shaving, don’t panic! Those bumps will be history when you find a treatment method that works for you. Below, we’ve listed the steps that you can take to effectively ease scalp inflammation and get rid of pimples on your head.
Take Time Off From Shaving
When you have bumps on your head after shaving, it's a sign that the razor blades are irritating your skin. The bumps are showing inflammation in your skin, so it's a good idea to give your scalp a break from shaving. A break will give your skin the time it needs to recover, heal, and get back to its regular, healthy state. Even just taking a day or two off can help minimize the appearance and discomfort of minor razor bumps and pimples on your head. For more severe cases, you may want to consider a longer, week-long break so that the inflammation can go down significantly.
After your razor bumps have healed, you can regroup and decide upon a new schedule for how often to shave your head.
Exfoliate Your Scalp
Razor bumps can be a result of clogged pores from dead skin cells. Exfoliating will gently scrub away the dead skin so that new, healthy skin can replace it. In the case of razor bumps, exfoliating can also help by shedding the topmost layer of skin to encourage the trapped hair to come out of the pore.
Exfoliating is a component of any great skincare routine. If you’re suffering from razor bumps, you should take extra care to ensure that you’re exfoliating in a way that will enhance the health of your skin. The strongest exfoliant isn’t always the most effective (nor is scrubbing as hard as you can), especially if you have dry or sensitive skin on your scalp.
Start with a gentle scrub that to remove dead skin without stripping your skin’s moisture, such as the M3 Naturals Activated Charcoal Scrub. This top-rated exfoliant uses activated charcoal to deeply clean your pores and shed away impurities. Plus, it’s infused with collagen and stem cell to leave your scalp with a healthy, youthful glow. Tip: if you suffer from an itchy scalp, this exfoliating charcoal scrub could work wonders for you. It rids the skin of itch-causing dead cells, excess oil, and impurities so that your scalp feels its best.
Consider Changing Razors
The type of razor that you use to shave your head makes a significant impact on the health of your scalp. If you're experiencing red spots on your scalp, take a closer look at your razor to consider whether or not it’s the best razor option for you. The problem may be that:
- You need to change razor blades more frequently. Blades should ideally only be used two to four times before you replace them. Old razors can carry dead skin and bacteria, which may transfer into your pores and cause bumps.
- You need to use a higher quality razor.
- You need to use different shaving cream (or more of it).
Use Topical Creams
Topical creams can be an effective treatment for red spots and pimples on your head. There are multiple options to try out that are both gentle and fast-acting; these include hydrocortisone cream and topical antibiotics.
Hydrocortisone cream is an over-the-counter topical medication that’s affordable and easy to find at any drugstore. It works as an anti-inflammatory, so it’s effective at reducing the redness and swelling of razor bumps. Hydrocortisone is recommended to treat many different types of skin irritation and is completely safe for use on your scalp.
Topical antibiotics can help reduce razor bumps on the back of your head and all over your scalp by ridding the skin of bump-causing bacteria. In severe cases of razor burn, or when razor bumps become infected, a doctor may prescribe an oral antibiotic to heal the area.
Other topical remedies that treat inflammation include tea tree oil, witch hazel, and aloe. You may want to try out these options to see if one works for you. But, be careful about using these products in combination, as doing so could cause excessive dryness or even peeling of your scalp.
Don’t Pop the Bumps!
Popping razor bumps, while potentially tempting, is a sure-fire way to exacerbate the issue. Popping pimples and ingrown hairs will cause more damage to the skin, resulting in further redness and inflammation. Plus, by popping the bump, you’ll be spreading bacteria to nearby areas of your skin, causing more breakouts in the future.
So, if you find yourself reaching to pop those razor bumps, think twice; doing so will only lengthen the time that it’ll take for your skin to heal.
How to Prevent Hair Bumps
Taking the following preventative measures will help keep your bald scalp happy, healthy, and entirely bump-free. Trust us, giving your scalp a bit of extra care will pay off in a major way down the line.
Use Shaving Oil, Shaving Cream, or Both
Proper moisturizing prior to and during shaving is an exceptionally important factor in preventing razor bumps, as well as other types of skin irritation. Shaving dry or only with water affects your skin more harshly; the razor blades won’t be able to move across your scalp smoothly.
Shaving oil and shaving cream are two products that are used to lubricate the scalp prior to shaving. Shaving oil typically has fewer and more natural ingredients than shaving cream, although it entirely depends on the brand that you select. Shaving oil may also soak into the skin more easily prior to shaving, while shaving cream often holds its shape when applied to the scalp.
The Art of Shaving Pre-Shave Sandalwood Essential Oil is a popular shaving oil with excellent ingredients. It’s formulated with essential oils and botanical ingredients to prevent skin irritation and razor burn. Plus, this product doesn’t leave an oily or greasy residue, leaving your scalp feeling clean and refreshed.
Replace Your Razor Regularly
Reusable razor heads can become built up with dead skin and bacteria. When used too many times without replacement, the blades may spread that bacteria across your scalp, increasing your chances of having bumps and irritation. Additionally, razor blades become duller with every use. A dull razor doesn’t provide a close enough shave and can easily lead to ingrown hairs, nicks, cuts, and razor burn.
To prevent skin issues as a result of a dull or overused razor, replace disposable blades every three to four uses. Always keep an extra pack of razor blades on hand so that you’re not caught without a replacement. By keeping your razor blades sharp and clean, you’ll be doing wonders to keep your scalp clean and healthy.
Razor quality is important, too. The best razors for shaving your head have an ergonomic handle, a head with multiple blades, and a durable design. Shop around to find a razor that you’re comfortable using and that fits easily into your regular shaving routine. Ideally, replacement blades for your razor of choice will be easy to find and affordable.
Shave With Care
The method with which you shave your head can impact the likelihood of razor bumps. While we all want to finish shaving as quickly as possible and get on with the day, shaving thoughtfully is crucial to the health of your scalp.
To achieve a close shave without incurring razor burn or bumps, shave with the grain of your hair, not against it. When you shave against the grain, the razor blades pull strands of hair before cutting them off. This increases the chances of the hair growing back inside of the pore, instead of upward in its natural orientation. Ingrown hairs cause unwanted red spots and bumps.
It’s a wise decision to shave your head right out of (or in) the shower. After a hot shower, your pores are open and the skin on your scalp is soft, which minimizes the chances of razor burn. Shaving dry can irritate the skin, causing bumps and discomfort.
Razor bumps on the scalp are a common problem among individuals with shaved heads. While skin irritation from shaving can be uncomfortable, there are ways to not only treat the problem, but also to prevent it. Above, we’ve reviewed the main ways in which you can handle red spots on your scalp with ease. Healthy skin is entirely attainable, all it takes is a little extra TLC for your scalp!