The Men's Room

I always get ingrown hairs. Should I swap my razor for one of those depilatories?

Well, I wouldn’t give up on shaving so quickly. I’ve personally noticed that once someone has learned the proper way to shave his face with a razor, all irritations typically subside.

Depilatories (i.e. Magic Shave, Nair…) can be a great hair-removal alternative for some, but I’ve consulted with men who have experienced nightmares with their use, and I’ve also tried my share of them with mixed results.

The main concerns are: (1) Can your skin handle the aggressive nature of these products, and (2) Can you wait two to three days for your face to heal before you are able to use them again?

In short, since everyone’s face has different sensitivities, I feel that it’s much easier to control a razor’s cutting ability rather than depend on the effectiveness of a chemical. The skin quality (oily vs. dry) can also play a role in the success of a depilatory. Unfortunately, finding out whether it will work with your skin could result in an increased level of skin sensitivity. My suggestion is to practice proper shaving techniques, buy a good razor and shaving cream, and give that razor another try before going down an alternate route.


**From Craig the Barber’s expert Q+A at Men’s Life Today



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  1. Deron Yost February 3, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Tried depilatories on my chest with nightmare results.

  2. Shea July 10, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks again Craig you rock. Excellent information and you’re right – just a little patience and the right product goes a long way.

  3. Dylon November 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Hey Craig, I’m an 18 year old white guy and suffer from constant razor burn and ingrown hairs after shaving. Not shaving isn’t an option, but I’m so tired of having bad skin complexion simply from shaving. I used to think it was just zits/acne, but am sure that nearly all my facial blemishes arise from shaving.

    I’ve tried using the double-edged razors with Proraso soap and bristle, but I’m still getting them pretty badly. It’s even worse when I use a cartridge blade. The thing is I’ve already had 5 laser hair treatments on my beard area because I am content only having the option of being clean shaven if it means no more irritation and ingrowns, but the hair still grows back and the unsightly cycle continues each shave.

    Any advice?

    • Craig the Barber December 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      Dylon, I am very sorry to hear that you are struggling with so much shaving irritation. Based on what I am hearing it sounds like you would do best with sticking with beard trimmers. This way you can have the appearance of a clean shave while also maintaining the control of your facial hair since it will never fall below the skin-line. I hope this helps!

  4. Dylon November 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Also, can you get as clean a shave with edgers compared to a razor blade? Do you think that will help with the issue?

    • Craig the Barber December 16, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      Sure you can definitely get a clean shave! Just not as close as a razor. But, it should certainly reduce the issue!

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