Treating and Preventing Shaving Nicks


Recently, I received a phone call from my good friend and grooming client. He was really concerned about a nick he created on his face while shaving. He stated he was bleeding and could not get the bleeding to subside even after applying tissue. I questioned him to determine if he used anything else on the cut to clot the bleeding. He was clueless and was about to apply some rubbing alcohol to his face, which is a big no-no.

He did not have an astringent on hand, which by definition causes skin contraction or shrinkage of the tissues, arrest of secretion, or control of bleeding. He also did not have a styptic pencil, or styptic stick, which works in the same way that astringent does. Styptic pencils usually contain titanium dioxide or a form of sulfate, which will help the blood clot quickly. Styptic pencils can be found at a variety of pharmacies and beauty supply stores, and is a great accessory to mention to customers purchasing shaving products.

Next, I advised him to get a few tablets of aspirin and crush them up in a small bowl, then add a tablespoon or two of water and mix. I then advised him to get a Q-tip or cotton ball and apply the solution directly to his cut and face; this quickly worked for him. aspirin will also soothe the skin which may have been irritated by the razor blade. By the way, if he did not have aspirin he could have used deodorant. Deodorant and most antiperspirants contain aluminum chloride which can, in addition to shrinking sweat glands, constrict blood vessels and stop bleeding.

Also, consider applying an Alum stone or Alum Powder. Alum is well known for water purification and an after shave treatment to help stop bleeding.

Finally, make sure you moisturize your face before and after shaving. Shave in the direction in which the hair grows and make sure the razor blade is fairly new or at least clean. Your razor may be the cause of your nicks; be mindful of moles or existing razor bumps when shaving.

Keep up the good work!

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Dwayne Thompson, aka “The Barber Ambassador,” is the CEO of The Fade Club LLC, a marketing and promotions company designed to grow the barbering industry through education and brand management. He wears many hats as the founder of The Barber Academy Tour, creator of “The Barbettes,” a term designed to promote female barbers, and the former host of Against the Grain Radio show, the first barber related radio show on Blog Talk Radio. He is a dynamic writer, educator, product broker, consultant and social media expert. He has held several Executive positions with a former barbershop publication and a national health outreach program. Mr. Thompson is also the Founder and Publisher of Tonsorial Times Magazine, “The Official Barbershop Trade Publication” focused on highlighting products, franchises, schools and educators directly connected to the barbering industry. For more information, visit