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The use of disposable razor is much popular in ensuring quality and smooth shaving which men usually require. But experts warn that its inappropriate use can predispose to cuts, abrasions and irritation, just as its poor storage can make it harbour many disease-causing germs, reports Sade Oguntola.
It’s a ritual — shower, comb hair, shave, brush teeth, dress. Shaving presents a clean face. A clean shaving face gives a young attractive look. But a proper shave can be pricey. Razors can carry heavy costs that impact both finances and health.
Researchers have warned that every time a person shaves, they put their health at risk, from the danger of germs from razors. And not just from cuts, razor burn and ingrown hairs. Over the course of a year, it’s easy to spend hundreds of naira on disposables and replacement of blades, but disposable, wet razors, a study has found, can harbour up to five million germs.
Disease-causing germs can irritate hair follicles on the face and legs and result in shaving rashes, including pimples and irritation on the skin.
A razor is a bladed tool primarily used in the removal of unwanted body hair through the act of shaving. Kinds of razors include straight razors, disposable razors and electric razors. While the razor has been in existence since the Bronze Age, the safety razor - electric or not - is most commonly used by both men and women, but other kinds still exist.
Shaving is most commonly practised by men to remove their facial hair and by women to remove their leg and underarm hair. Both men and women sometimes shave their chest hair, abdominal hair, leg hair, underarm hair, pubic hair or any other bodily hair. Head shaving is much more common among men. It is often associated with religious practice, the armed forces and some competitive sports such as swimming, running and extreme sports.
Shaving can have numerous side effects, including cuts, abrasions and irritation. Nonetheless, many of these side effects can be minimised by using a fresh blade, applying plenty of lubrication and avoiding pressing down with the razor.
Dr Bola Ogunbiyi, a consultant dermatologist, University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, stated that although, there is a tendency for razors to cause bumps, especially when it is not properly done, the trick to prevent bumps is to shave every day.
“One of the things we always advise is that people should shave almost every day because the African hair curls back as it grows. Ingrown hairs form when hair, growing back after shaving, fails to grow out of the follicle. In either case, hairs lodged in the skin cause inflammation, followed by pus formation.
“If you want to get the perfect shave and without bumps, like our parents used to do, shaving must be done daily. They soften the area and shave.”
Besides, she stated the need for regular changing of shaving sticks and blades based on the recommendation of the manufacturer. There are some razors that can be used for a week; some can only be used for two or three days and so on.
“People talk about changing a shaving razor when it is blunt, but after the recommended length of usage, there is a tendency to have razor bumps,” Dr Ogunbiyi stated.
What causes shaving bumps? According to her, “blacks have a higher genetic tendency to have shaving bumps. Still, the technique of shaving and use of a razor that is not sharp is equally important.”
A dull blade will cause you to push down harder in order to be effective, pulling at your hairs and skin and causing irritation and possibly ingrown hairs.
A lot of people do not carry out any pre-shave process. According to the expert, “if you want to shave and you wet the area to be shaved either with soap or water, it will soften the hair. So, it is easier to cut and it does not give a sharp edge. When it is dry and you cut, it gives such a sharp edge and that is what penetrates the skin, causing shaving bumps.”
Pre-shaving mainly consists of getting the skin and hairs ready for the blade. The shaving products could be oils, creams and shaving soaps. These products come in various formulations which are designed for a particular type of skin or beard. They may also be chosen according to the instrument which is going to be used for shaving. Individuals that use a manual razor tend to skip this step because the soap or cream which is used for shaving provides the same benefit as a pre-shave product.
Generally, shaving creams and foams are used with disposable razors and soap is more commonly used with straight razors. These shaving products are intended to smooth the face by lubricating the skin which allows a gentler shave. It seems that individuals who use these products are less likely to cut their skin and the shaved area is smoother by comparison with people who use only water before shaving. Moreover, the shaving products also help in preventing and reducing skin irritation.
Most electric razors come with features which help to raise the hairs, allowing them to be cut more efficiently. This prevents the skin from being irritated by excessive motion from the razor.
So, when is the time to replace shaving blades? Well, according to experts at the art of shaving, it is better to dispose off a shaving blade every three to five shaves, or up to seven shaves in people with light hair. But in people with coarse hair, making a change after every two to three shaves will do.
Another way to know when it’s time to change a blade is when there is the need to go over the same portion of skin more than once in the course of shaving.
Also, consider investing in quality shaving products like pre-shave oil, which helps soften the hair and protect the skin. Shave creams and after-shave lotions can keep the skin moisturized and ingrown-hair free, as well.
Now with so many different razors in the market, one’s choice of razor to purchase should be based in one’s skin type, hair type and any skin sensitivity. To get the shaving blade to last longer, avoid letting it sit and rust in the shower. Dry the razor after every use.Share
written by bell ross replica watches, September 18, 2012