Your son’s growing up. His body is changing, his voice may be cracking, and all sorts of physical and physiological developments are gradually — and, sometimes, rapidly — taking place. One big milestone that might occur at any time? Facial hair.
So, when should boys start shaving? Typically, boys experience some stubble a little later in the teenage years, but some tweens may get a stray fuzz or two (a subtle mustache, some sideburns, or a few chin strands) earlier on.
Many boys are excited for this rite of passage. Others? Not so much. Either way, you’ll want to be involved in helping them learn about grooming, hygiene, and facial hair removal. Have you already hit that stage? Here is how you can help your teenage boy shave the right way.
When your son is ready to begin shaving, you’ll first want to pick out a good beginner razor. There are three options here: An electric razor, a high-quality razor with replaceable blades, or disposables.
Electric razors can eliminate the risk of nicks and cuts — so if your child is nervous about cutting himself, this could be the way to go. Of course, these can be a bit more expensive.
If he’d rather actively shave his face with a razor and cream, consider opting for a high-quality or disposable option with multiple blades. These will provide a soft, fresh finish without the use of too much pressure — reducing the risk of cuts and accidents.
Before you have your son begin shaving, have him wash his face with a gentle cleanser. This smoothens the skin and softens the facial hair.
Tip: If your son is also experiencing puberty-related acne, shaving can be even more challenging — so taking care of the skin before, during, and after is extra important.
Shaving should never be a rush job — especially when you are just starting out. Make sure your son understands that you have to prepare the skin first. That means hydrating with warm water and some shave gel or foam. Smooth it out over the face evenly and generously. This will help your kiddo get a better shave and prevent injury.
Before you hand over a sharp blade, have your son practice the shave stroke with a clean toothbrush. He should move with short strokes in the direction of the hair growth — this will keep it simple and predictable, and help to prevent nicks.
After a period of practice, your son can move on to using the actual blade on his face. Once he gets the hang of it and feels more confident and comfortable (it might not be during his first or second shave), he can try gliding the blade against the grain, as well. This will, ultimately, give him a smoother and closer shave.
Your son should learn to rinse and gently tap excess hair and shaving cream off the blade every few strokes.
Now, he can rinse his face with warm to cool water, and pat it dry with a clean towel. Using a moisturizer is always a good idea, but make sure it’s formulated with sensitive ingredients that take any skin issues into account. Moreover, tread lightly. Aftershave and other products can irritate skin that’s new to shaving — so less (product) is more.
Once your son is done shaving, teach him to give the razor a proper and thorough rinse; he can gently pat it but should not rub it against a towel. Finally, make sure he understands how to properly and safely store it away so that it’s ready for next time.
Here are a few more things to take into consideration while helping your son master the art of shaving:
- Start with a reflection: Your son should learn to shave in front of the mirror, so he can see his brushstrokes and take note of key spots. Once he becomes more comfortable, however, you might suggest he try shaving in the shower, as the moist air and hydration can help improve the experience and outcome.
- Watch the physical pressure: Boys might be nervous about shaving the first few times. As a result, they may use excessive pressure on their face. But that’s not needed, and it can cause irritation. Try to get your son to relax, hold the razor gently, and let it do its thing!
- Talk about hygiene: Your son will most likely be shaving at home, but it’s still important to instill key messages about hygiene. Make sure he’s aware that he should never give his razor to a friend or borrow someone else’s — this is a personal item. Sharing razors can result in cross-contamination, infection, and other issues.
- Shave as needed: Your son should start slow. He might be eager and excited about this new routine, but it actually shouldn’t be an everyday affair. For now, he should only shave as it’s needed. Remember, teenage skin is fickle, and he doesn’t want to risk irritation or outbreaks.
- Dispose and replace: If you opt for disposable razors, make sure your son keeps track of how often he’s used one before moving on to the next. Overuse can dull out the blade and result in a rougher shave and an increased risk of injury.
There is a learning curve to shaving — and, for the matter, one for growing up and going through puberty. It’ll take time for your son to get a knack of it, but eventually, he’ll be a shaving pro. In the meantime, with your support and savvy tips and techniques, you can help him get through this stage mostly unscathed.
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