My name is Alex Campbell and i have been cutting black mens hair and shaving black men for years. Over the past 15 years i have seen many men, black and white males, have problems with razor bumps. I have seen razor bumps be more of a problem with black males.

I have had razor bump problems myself because i did not know how to shave properly.  Learning how to shave can be very painful especially when the hair bumps surface.  The crazy part about the hair bumps is that you don’t know why you have them because you don’t even realize that you don’t even know that you don’t know how to shave.  Then you start itching and all types of other things.  You end up going to the store buying products that don’t really work because it’s not the product, it’s you.

If you knew how to shave properly, then the bumps wouldn’t have surfaced in the first place!!! But feeling that silky smooth shave is addictive i must admit.  But you have to ask yourself, do i want stuble or bumps? I would rather have stuble.

The theory is that black men have kinky hair and when you use a razor on the skin to cut the beard, the razor blade cuts the hair to short which is what causes the hair to start the regrowth process under the skin. But knowing how to shave makes a big difference in the outcome of the shave.

When the hair starts to grow under the skin, the kinky hair curls up and causes infection and razor bumps. All men would like to achieve and maintain a baby smooth face after shaving. But the sad reality is that everyone, especially black men, will not be able to achieve a smooth face for a long period of time after shaving because they may not know how to shave properly.



Once a man shaves, the skin will start out smooth, but after a few days, the skin will become irritated and razor bumps will start to develop. That’s mainly because he does not know how to shave. Sometimes razor bumps can leave dark spots on the skin as well. And then you have another issue which is trying to remove the dark spots on the skin. So even though men would like a nice clean shave, for some men, it will never become possible.

There are a few different ways to prevent razor bumps for black men. Shaving problems and hair bumps is something that every black man will probably have to deal with forever. With that being said you might as well think about the safest and most comfortable techniques on how to shave so that it can always be a pleasurable experience. Shaving without the proper tools or gels can lead to razor burns and razor bumps.

So you have to know of good products to help eliminate the risks of injury to your body. For starters, Aloe vera gel works great as a moisturizer and conditioner for the skin. Shave Therapy is also an extremely great product. Some say Shave Therapy is better than “The Art of Shaving” products. The Mach 3 and Mach 4 razors are great too. Now that you have your gel and razors, let’s get started.

Step 1 Make sure that you clean your face. Wash your face with warm water. Also washing your face can cut down on any type of infections in case you cut yourself. If you have a thick brittle beard, you may want to try a facial scrub as well.

Step 2 After you have washed and exfoliated the skin, place a warm rag on your face. The warm rag will soften the skin and also open your pores for easier shavng.

Step 3 Apply Shave Therapy or apply aloe vera gel and shaving cream to your face in an upward motion against the grain of the beard. Cover every section that you want to shave.

Step 4 Make sure you have a new razor. New razors cut the hair. Dull razors pull the hair which can cause injury to the hair folicle and cause razor bumps. Always use a fresh razor. Start at the top of the beard and shave down the cheek/jaw down to the jaw line in long even strokes.

Step 5 Shaving under your neck must be done with the grain. Shave from adams apple downward on the neck and shave from top of adams apple upward toward the jawline.

Step 6 Keep your skin pulled tight but not extremely tight. Pulling the skin helps prevent you cutiing yourself.

Step 7 Now to shave the lip. Bend your lip into your mouth over your teeth. Now shave downward on the lip on both sides.

Step 8 If you notice the razor not cutting properly it is probably because of the hair clogging the razor. So remember to rise the razor after every 2-3 strokes on the face to keep the razor from clogging up with hair.

Step 9 Now rinse your face with warm water so that you can remove the shaving cream and feel your face for missed sections. Make sure to keep the sections that you missed wet and also wet the razor so that you can shave over the missed sections again.

Step 10. Now rinse your face with warm water so that the pores of your skin remain open. Clean skin with witch hazel (not alcohol, because alcohol dries the skin and burns the skin)and then apply aloe vera to the skin as a moisturizer and conditioner.


9 Responses to “HOW TO SHAVE”

  1. Hank Payton says:

    Alex, Thanks for posting!

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  3. T says:

    How do I prevent razor bumps and dark spots on my cheeks after I use the trimmers on my face?
    It seems like the dark spots came after i started using a trimmer and im not going to use a razor to shave.
    So, any suggestions?

  4. 12gents says:

    First of all A C ,I agree with some not all of what you said concerning techniques. There are reasons why black men suffer, let’s say most men included. I do not agree A C with you telling the Marine Sarge to use clippers. Most young black men today use them simply because barbers like you tell them and also use clippers on them most times. Electricity and water do not mix, meaning, how would you apply your moisturizer and rinse afterward. For centuries, soap, water, and steel have survived to this day. I’m an avid wet-shaver. I’m an older man, so I used these tools when I was a teen in the late 60’s. It seems that when your big corporate giant Gillette decied to switch from double-edge blades to a cartrdige type multi-blade in the early 70’s ,black men really started to suffer. I remember the barber when I was a teen would straight razor shave everyone. I could not wait to grow up and recieve one. It was very short lived because of the cartridge blades. Wet-shaving has made a very big comeback in America for all men. Now to technique. We wet-shavers break it down to passes. Meaning the number of times you actually pull the razor across your face. I’m a 2-passer, there are men who are 3 & 4 passers. Ok, so technique is a great part of your routine. Use a good double-edge razor with good sharp blades. Yes, DOUBLE-EDGE RAZOR!! Some blades are more aggressive and sharper than others. I’ve never heard of an aggressive cartridge razor, that being said, you wind up shaving in the same spot on your face trying to get closer with cartridges. Which most times results in itrritation and burn. If any pre-shave, try and wash your face with an organic face wash. Now for lather . Now we call that “can goo”. It”s so much crap in a can of shave cream ,no wonder we get irritated. So purchase a good shave soap or shave cream made for use with a BRUSH. Yes, like your granddad used. Most barbers used them too! Now in todays modern wet-shaving scene, we use a shave oil. As you know from your training , the more buffers between the blade and face the better, right? After your facewash and hot towel on the face, use a shave oil, massage in, then whip your lather up in a shave mug or on your face. Now you’re reaady for the passes. First pass, with the grain down. Try long smooth strokes. Now don’t try to get all the hair off. we have another pass that. Now under neck, you can shave against the grain, yes! don’t rtry and get all the hair off remember. Now, we’re ready for the second pass. Massage a bit more shave oil, then brush over it with your lather again. Hope you didn’t wash the brush out cause we’re not through just yet. You should have enough soap left. Now you can shave parallell to the grain. Across your stache area, then from your ear to your mouth. Double-Edge razors require NO pressure whe using, let the weight of the razor carry itself across your face. It’s a different technique for sure, but you will get use to it. Now feel your face, if needed, lather up a 3rd time and repeat like the 2nd past. If not, time to rinse with COLD water to close yours pores. Now is the time for aloe vera type gel or witch hazel or aftershave balm. Some guys like menthol. You can use an alcohol based fragrance aftershave if your skin is not too dry. But you do want to put moisture back in. I forgot to mention, the shave brush helps lift up your hairs to be cut off. I firmly believe that black men need to throw those clippers far away. It will leave a shadow on your face. I have converted a few young men form those clippers and electric razors, and they tell me after a month are so they notice their face clearing up. I know you’re an expert in this A C, but this wet-shaving thing is here to stay. Men in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Northen Africa still wet-shave. It’s only here in the USA where we fall victim to the giant corporate monoply. Everyman Jack a line that ‘s being sold at pharmacies, target, etc has gone to a wet-shaving theme. Their stuff is very reasonable. It was a very Bold move for a big corporate line. I have a line that’s mostly organic and handmade. It’s for the serious male groomer! There are a few black barber shops that offer a pampered type hot towel, straight razor shave. It’s truly a great experience! And for the Marine Sarge. If you shave the next day, only do ONE light pass. That should be sufficent enough for the protocol!

  5. Joey says:

    Im a teen learning how to cut hair but i want to learn how to cut all race or ethnic groups hair and how to do uneven hairlines and just be good.

  6. David says:

    Mr. Campbell,

    * I have two concerns. I am a Marine currently deployed and looking to open my own barber shop and would like to know if you have any personal advice on how to “Not” fail this mission. And I will have at least 5 chairs for rent, but what’s a fair/equal rental rate for each barber?
    * Second, on ths shaving article, I’ve tried to shave down but being that “we” (Marines) are military and have to shave everyday it irritates my skin. Is there an alternate method to shave?

    Staff Sergeant/USMC

    • ALEX CAMPBELL says:

      Just make sure you stick to the rules because barbers will try to take advantage of you. Booth rental can depend on shop volume and location. Between $100 a week to $300 a week. As far as shaving, just use trimmers versus a razor. You may have to shave more often but you won’t bump as much.

  7. Argentino says:

    I was wondering if u had a video on how to correct a edgeup or hairline, and plus a video on the facial directions on how to shave , please follow me on twitter because i could not find you

    • ALEX CAMPBELL says:

      I am currently working on several different haircutting and shaving projects. As soon as they are complete, i will post them on my website.

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