Can men shave their beard daily? Does that cause rough skin? Dermatologists debunk all myths about shaving

Dermatologists discuss truth about daily shaving for men, debunk common myths and what needs to be done for smooth and healthy skin.

ByChetana Belagere

Published Jul 10, 2024 | 7:00 AM Updated Jul 10, 2024 | 11:29 AM

Dermatologists on whether men can shave their beard every day

For many men, shaving is an essential part of their daily routine that gives them a clean and polished appearance. However, the question of whether men can or should shave every day is often met with mixed opinions. South First spoke to dermatologists to know if it’s safe to shave every day.

Speaking to South First, Dr Girish MS, a renowned dermatologist at the ESI Hospital in Bengaluru’s Rajajinagar with a rich patient knowledge says, “Yes. Men can shave their beards every day. Daily shaving is a common practice for those who prefer a clean-shaven look.”

Agreeing with the same, Dr Manish Jangra, a renowned dermatologist and the Founder of the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) also says there are benefits from regular shaving. He says, “Shaving can prevent pore blockages, reducing the chances of acne and blackheads. It can also be a practical and time-efficient way to maintain healthy skin.”​

Benefits of shaving daily?

Shaving every day can offer several benefits, say doctors. They added that for men in professions where a clean-shaven look is part of the dress code, daily shaving ensures that they always look their best.

Doctors said that regular shaving can help exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and promoting a smoother complexion. Shaving daily can help reduce the accumulation of dirt and oil, potentially preventing acne and other skin issues.

Meanwhile, for some, the ritual of daily shaving is a way to start the day with a sense of accomplishment and discipline.

Drawbacks of shaving every day?

However, doctors also warn that it is important to use proper techniques and products to avoid skin irritation.

Dr Manish Jangra warns about the potential drawbacks: “Shaving a man’s beard can cause skin issues like irritation, razor burn, razor nicks, and pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB). These issues can be caused by shaving activating the perifollicular skin, which can be especially sensitive in people with sensitive skin”.

“Shaving can also cause the sharp tips of shaved hair to penetrate the skin, triggering an inflammatory reaction that can lead to itching, papules, pustules, and hyperpigmentation” adds Jangra.

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Can shaving everyday make your facial hair rough?

Dr Girish says shaving in itself does not inherently make the skin rough. He says, “rough skin can result from improper shaving techniques, using dull blends, or neglecting proper skin care routines can cause rough skin.”

He also said that using a sharp blade is important as dull blades can cause nicks and razor burns, leading to rough skin. Using a good quality shaving cream or gel helps to protect the skin. Additionally, applying a soothing aftershave balm or moisturiser helps to maintain skin health.

Some common myths about shaving

Shaving makes hair grow back thicker and rougher: Shaving cuts the hair at the surface, giving it a blunt tip. This can make hair appear thicker as it grows out, but shaving does not change the hair’s thickness, colour, or growth rate.

Shaving daily damages the skin: With the right techniques and products, daily shaving does not damage the skin. It’s the lack of proper skin care that can cause issues.

Shaving exfoliates the skin: While shaving does remove some dead skin cells, it does not replace a proper exfoliation routine.

Ideal skin care for men who shave regularly

Dr Girish gives a daily skin care routine for those who shave regularly. He said first it is important to have a Pre-Shave routine: Wash your face with warm water to soften the hair and open pores.

Use of shaving Cream/Gel: Use a high-quality shaving cream or gel to provide a smooth surface and reduce friction.

Shaving technique: Shave in the direction of hair growth to minimise irritation. Use short strokes and rinse the blade frequently.

Post-Shave care: Apply an alcohol-free aftershave balm or moisturizer to soothe the skin and prevent dryness.

Regular exfoliation: Exfoliate 1-2 times a week to remove dead skin cells and prevent ingrown hairs.

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At what age can one start to shave?

Shaving is a personal milestone for many young men, often marking a transition into adolescence. Dr Jangra emphasises that there is no specific age to start shaving: “There is no age cut-off for when one should start shaving. Basically, during puberty, you get hair, and that’s when you can start.”

Puberty typically occurs between the ages of 12 and 16. Doctors explain that though shaving depends on several factors, including the growth of facial hair, personal preference, and cultural or familial norms, they warned that there are some key points that adolescents must consider before they set to shave.

The growth of facial hair can start as early as when a kid is nine-years-old but more commonly between 12 and 16. The growth of facial hair starts as fine, light hair (peach fuzz) and gradually becomes thicker and darker.

Also, the need to shave typically arises when the facial hair becomes noticeable and may cause self-consciousness. “This is often when the mustache area and sideburns begin to darken and become more pronounced,” says Dr GIrish.

He says some boys may choose to start shaving earlier or later based on personal comfort, family advice, or cultural practices. There is no strict age requirement, and the decision is highly based on the individual.

Dr Jangra outlines some benefits of regular shaving: “Shaving can prevent pore blockages, reducing the chances of acne and blackheads. It can also be a practical and time-efficient way to maintain healthy skin.”​

Dr Girish and Dr Jangra list out some common myths about shaving and age.

Shaving early causes thicker hair growth: One prevalent myth is that shaving at a young age will cause hair to grow back thicker and faster. According to dermatologists, including Dr Manish Jangra, this is not true. Shaving does not affect the thickness, colour, or growth rate of hair. The perception of thicker hair is due to the blunt tip left by the razor, which feels coarser as it grows out​.

There is a specificage to start shaving: This is a myth. There is no set age to start shaving.

Shaving will cause more hair growth: Some believe that shaving will increase the density or amount of facial hair. However, hair growth patterns are determined by genetics and hormones, not by shaving frequency or age.

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Choosing the right tools for shaving

“For beginners, a disposable razor or a razor with multiple blades is recommended. For people with sensitive skin, it is advisable to use a razor with a lubricating strip with soothing ingredients, as it helps heal the skin faster. These razors provide a closer shave and reduce the chances of nicks and cuts,” Dr Jangra advised.​

He added that “A good shaving cream is essential as it reduces friction and the chance of skin irritation that happens during shaving. But post-shaved skin is more sensitive and prone to irritation. Aftershave products help soothe the skin and close the pores, preventing ingrown hairs. Moisturiser must be used to keep your skin hydrated and healthy after shaving.”

Dr Jangra concluded, “You might need to shave every day or you might need to do it every few days. The ideal timing depends on your body and preferences more than what others say.”

(Edited by Neena) 

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