Perfecting the art of a traditional shave is a right of passage for men around the world. However, anyone who knows about the benefits of a closer finish is no stranger to the occasional nick, scratch, or cut.
While shaving cuts tend to be minor ailments, they can cause more pain by being annoying, than actual physical pain. There’s nothing more annoying than getting dressed up from head to toe in your Sunday best, only to spatter that crisp white shirt collar with spots of crimson.
We know, you’ve tried it all.
We’ve dug around aimlessly in our bathroom drawers to find old Band-Aids, or a broken alum chalk. While there are an abundance of proposed quick fixes for razor nicks, most aren’t worth the hassle.
I mean how many times can you get blood all over your rug while looking for a hand towel, bandage, or gauze?
In this article we’re going to critically assess one of the most common approaches, the ice cube method, and also introduce a lesser known yet highly effective way to stop cuts from shaving–forever!
Do Ice Cubes Help Bleeding After Shaving?
We study everything here at Glyder. From the finest handpicked, lab-tested ingredients, to the breathtaking ease-of-use of our products, we test it all. We even had our industry-leading chemists swing by for some extra cool scientific facts about how the ice cube method works.
Enter, science. Because science is awesome!
When you apply an ice cube to a shaving cut, the cold compresses and restricts the surrounding area. The temperature drop causes the capillaries in the affected area to contract and constrict the blood flow.
Once the blood flow slows down to a near standstill, it is able to form a clot (usually with the help of a bit of tissue dabbing), and the cut is sealed.
In essence –this really works, kind of.
Why aren’t we convinced?
Ice cubes may help to stop bleeding after shaving, but we’re not 100% persuaded that it’s the most effective method.
You see, when you get your skin wet, it also causes the blood to further run. This can stain your clothes, your hands, sink, counter, grandma’s rug–you name it!
Applying ice to the face directly can actually cause damage to capillaries from the extreme cold. That’s why you use an ice pack for a sprained ankle rather than dumping your leg in icy bath water.
If you’ve ever broken a bone or had surgery, then you know first hand that the doctor’s discourage actually compressing the injured area with direct cold. Instead, they tell you to use a towel that will help to act as a protective barrier between your wound and the ice pack.
Also, the real problem with this is that it isn’t a quick cure. There is nothing that actually stops the bleeding simultaneously in this approach. Meaning, that you may have to pack a bag of ice cubes to take with you on the train on your way into work. Not fun. Or, worse yet, you may need to navigate rush hour traffic with one icy cold hand glued to your now numb face. Again, this is not good.
The ice will inevitably cause your face to become red. This can be embarrassing, especially if you are about to go on a date, or prepping for an important formal event.
Unfortunately, shaving cuts can take some time to stop bleeding, and taking a handful of ice cubes on your morning commute can get very wet, very fast. So although ice can help to slow down blood flow, it can be a messy and inconvenient way to stop your shaving cut from bleeding.
Do It Like the Pros
Styptics are a lesser-known solution to stop bleeding after a shaving nick. They are widely used in the military to treat soldiers injured in the field. The wonderful thing about styptics is that they reduce the flow of blood to a wound, without causing the damage of ice, or encouraging the spread of bacteria in Band-Aids.
If you cut yourself shaving, simply roll your styptic pencil out from its protective casing and apply it to the wound. Then, watch the magic happen. You feel a tingling sensation, perhaps a slight sting, as the skin around your cut contracts and the blood flow is stopped in a matter of seconds. No need for a face covered in toilet paper confetti, or a slowly melting ice pack sitting on the subway on the way to work. It’s just pure, unbridled healing power – without the inconvenience.
Styptic pencils can be found in some pharmacies, but your average drugstore product has a tendency to crumble when it gets wet. Thankfully modern alternatives, like Glyder, have given the styptic pencil a new lease on life, with their protective packaging that makes it last longer than most alternatives. They are affordable, and portable, and we think it’s well worth spending a few bucks on something that will save you the stress of treating a cut at the wrong time.