Impeccable style starts with the right beard products and skincare regimen. Don't let razor bumps ruin your look. Read this guide to grooming and skincare for black men.
Keyword(s): skincare for black men
Are you sick of looking in the mirror and seeing a bunch of ingrown hairs along your jawline? Do you find yourself struggling with irritated skin every day, especially on the days that you shave?
Good news -- you don't have to live with these issues any longer! All you have to do is learn a little more about the proper skincare for black men. With just a few simple changes to your skin and hair routine, you can go from feeling irritated and looking less than your best to feeling great and looking sharp.
Here's everything you need to know about how to care for your hair and skin.
1. Create a Daily Skincare Regimen
The look and feel of your facial hair largely depend on the way you treat your skin. It's harder for your beard hair to grow the way you want it to when it's trapped under dirty, greasy skin. As such, you need to make it easier for facial hair to grow -- and not become ingrown -- with careful moisturizing, cleansing, and exfoliating.
Moisturize Twice a Day
It may sound like a big change to start moisturizing your face twice a day. But really, your new skincare routing should only take 3-5 minutes each time!
Moisturize once in the morning when you're getting ready for the day and once at night before bed. Do this after you cleanse or exfoliate, but make sure it gets done. To help your skin soak up all the good oils of a moisturizer, use a toner first.
Cleanse Daily and Exfoliate Twice a Week
If you're the type of guy who uses the same bar of soap for their body as he does on his face, you have a problem. Your face is much more sensitive to things like dirt and sweat than the rest of your body is. You can't expect a standard bar of soap to do the job, especially if you're trying to grow a nice beard.
Start using a cleanser that is gentle and moisturizing. Try to stick to skincare products that are all-natural if you can, and make sure you get an exfoliator when shopping for a cleanser.
You should be cleansing twice a day every day. The only exception to this is when you use your exfoliator, which should be 2-3 times a week. It's best to exfoliate at night then let your skin rest before the next day.
2. Take Your Time When Shaving
Whether you shave every single day for a clean-cut look or you prefer shaving every once in a while to maintain your beard, you need to know what you're doing. There are very simple adjustments you can make to the way you shave that will do wonders for how your hair grows.
Prep Your Hair and Skin Before You Shave
The biggest struggle most black men have with shaving is that their hair is thick and coarse. It doesn't grow in a way that makes it easy for razors to pick up.
So, it's your responsibility to prep your hair and skin to make the shaving process smoother. The best way to prep for a shave is by first exfoliating then applying a pre-shave oil all over your beard. Follow this up with a moisturizing shaving cream.
Note: You will get even better shaving results if you exfoliate while taking a hot shower. The heat will help your pores open up a little more and make it easier to soak in the nourishing ingredients in the pre-shave oil.
Also, you may want to explore a creamier kind of shaving cream rather than standard, foamy ones. These can provide more of a soothing effect, and they're typically not as heavy-loaded with chemicals.
Buy a Safety Razor
Even with all the prep you do before shaving, you can still get a lot of ingrown hairs if you're using a standard razor. Remember, you need a razor that can easily glide over the coarseness of your thick facial hair.
This will allow you to get the look you want without having to go over a certain area of skin over and over. Shaving over one spot multiple times contributes to your ingrown hair problem. It encourages hairs to coil back under the skin and it causes a lot of irritation to your face, too.
Luckily, this problem can be solved with a safety razor. Safety razors have sharper blades which reduce the amount of friction you create while shaving. They also help you get a clean shave without having to go over a part of your face more than once.
Don't ever shave against the growth of the hair, as this will create more ingrown hairs. Additionally, make sure your razor's blade is sharp; dull blades pull at the hair without actually lifting them, causing uneven shaves and ingrown hairs.
Apply a Gentle After-Shave and Use Beard Oil
Once you're done shaving, finish up with an after-shave lotion.
Yes, this is in addition to the moisturizer you should be using every day. After-shave lotion is hydrating, but more importantly, it's cleansing and soothing. It helps prevent irritation and ingrown hairs by calming down the skin after it's been in contact with a razor.
You don't need beard oil if you keep a clean shave all over your face. For mustaches and beards, though, apply beard oil at least once a day to keep the hair and skin nourished and un-irritated.
3. Do Everything According to Your Hair Type
Keep in mind that all of the steps above need to be done according to your hair type. Black men don't just have "curly" hair. Depending on your hair's growth, you may have a variation of curly or kinky hair.
Here's a closer look at how hair types break down:
Curly Hair (Type 3)
Curly hair is considered type 3 among the 4 different kinds of hair that all people have -- straight, wavy, curly, and kinky. Black men range between curly and kinky.
If you have curly hair, your hair follows an "S" pattern and maintains a good level of shine. You may have Type 3A, 3B, or 3C hair.
- 3A - well-defined curls with a lot of frizz
- 3B - tighter curls than that of 3A; they look denser and aren't as shiny
- 3C - the tightest of all curly hair types, but not quite kinky
Kinky Hair (Type 4)
Kinky hair is much tighter coiled than any curly hair type. Think of this like more of a "corkscrew" growth pattern rather than an "S" pattern.
Kinky hair also has 3 variations - Type 4A, 4B, or 4C.
- 4A - defined, tight curls that are prone to dryness, especially on the face
- 4B - this hair grows in a "z" pattern, which can be the trickiest to conquer when shaving; it needs a lot of moisture and care to be treated correctly
- 4C - grows like 4B, but in a much tighter manner
Hot Styles and Smart Skincare for Black Men
At the end of the day, every man's hair grows a little bit differently. You have to take these skincare for black men tips and discover which ones work best for you. This means exploring how different cleansers feel and trying a couple of beard oils before you find the one that works best.
But, the routine will still be the same. You need to cleanse and moisturize, prep for a shave and shave carefully, and continue learning about your hair type.
Then, you have to create a unique style to go with your clean-cut facial hair!