The very first shave in a young man’s life is a titanic moment.
Like your first kiss, or your first car – your first shave as a teenager is an unforgettable ‘big deal’- it’s a monumental milestone that marks the start of manhood.
At around the ages of 10 – 15, boys will hit puberty, and will start to experience strong physical changes. It usually starts with the growth of pubic hair and underarm hair, then a deepening of the voice and an increase in muscle mass, and finally, the development of prominent facial hair.
Of course, the timing of puberty varies between individuals – these changes can happen at a younger, or older age, and in a different order – as genetics control this.
These dramatic ‘Incredible Hulk’ like changes are brought about by an increase in free androgynous testosterone circulating in the body.
Ironically, it’s these same androgens that can cause hair loss later in life. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we’ll save that discussion for another day.
When Should a Teenager Start Shaving?
Since you’re reading this, I assume you have either reached the age of puberty and have visible ‘Peach Fuzz’ on your face, or you’re the parent of a teenager in this position.
I’ll surmise it’s the latter – either way, the answer is pretty simple – if your teenage son has grown enough hair on his face to shave, or has unwanted sprouting beard and moustache hair, then it’s probably the right time to start shaving.
There’s no perfect age to start – no magic number exists – you’ll be able to decide when the time is right by the level of facial hair growth, and by talking to your teenage child.
I don’t know about you, but I can still clearly remember my first shave, at the age of 14. Going into the shave, I was a nervous wreck because I feared I would cut myself, or mess the whole thing up. I didn’t want to walk into school the next morning looking like I’d tried to remove my facial fluff with a broken bottle. Running a razor blade across your face for the first time with inexperienced fingers is scary, and required intense concentration.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to have anyone to show me how to shave, my dad always had a beard, and I was a shy kid. I didn’t have any big brothers, and my grandfather wasn’t around to help with shaving guidance.
This was before the internet, so I didn’t have the luxury (like the kids of today) to just jump online and watch a video shaving tutorial or read an article that would teach me how to shave, I had to figure it out for myself.
Luckily, it went fairly smoothly for me. I used basic, cheap, shaving foam and found a small disposable “Bic” razor with just one blade under the bathroom sink, and managed to remove most of the hair without any trouble. Though I didn’t cut myself, I did miss a few spots here-and-there, and had a few patches of unshaven hair left over.
To ensure the first shave is performed safely and effectively, always provide guidance from a competent adult. Ideally, someone who knows how to shave… properly.
What Kind of Shaver is Best for Teenagers?
Having the right shaving tools at hand is of utmost importance. Great experience is no substitute for proper shaving equipment.
Blunt razor blades, poor quality, dysfunctional electric shavers, and incorrect application of shaving lubricants will result in a very unpleasant experience, even injury.
The right tools for the job are necessary, before you get started.
There are two main choices when it comes to your first shave: Electric razor or disposable razor.
Both work well, but let’s talk about each of them before deciding on which one is best.
Please note, that it will take around 3 – 4 weeks to see how your skin reacts to a new shaving routine, particularly with fresh, unshaven, teenage skin. You’ll need to adjust, and see how the skin takes to the re-growth of stubble and repeat shaves, before settling on a shaving method that’s right for you.
Wet Shave with Disposable Razor Blades
The classic manual shave with plastic disposable razors, or handle and replaceable razor blades, with shaving gel or foam, is the most common way to shave.
It’s simple and time tested efficient:
- First, wet your face with warm water (this helps soften and lift hairs, and open pores).
- Next, massage shaving cream or gel into a lather and onto the hairs you want to shave off. This helps the blade glide over the skin, and protects against razor burn. (use a quality lubricant for sensitive skin to minimise irritation)
- Now, press the razor gently against your skin and draw the blade downward with the grain of hair growth, in short strokes.
- Don’t press too hard – Let the weight of the blade do the work, and cut in the direction of hair growth – not against. This will help prevent ingrown hairs and post shaving rash.
- Always make sure you’re using a sharp blade, it should cut easily and not snag on any hairs.
- Look upwards by tilting you head back when shaving under the chin and neck, this will flatten the skin for a smoother, flatter, shaving surface.
- Make sure to rinse the blade in water after every 2 – 3 strokes to clear cut hairs, dead skin, and soapy build-ups that might block the blades.
There… a simple, proven shaving method used by millions of men all over the world, in bathrooms every day, and suitable for your first shave as a teenager.
Try to use a razor with at least 2 blades, more is better, because more blades equal less irritation and more cutting power. When considering this method, bear in mind that you’ll need to buy new replacement blades every 2 – 3 weeks. However, with an electric shaver, you only need to look at changing the blades about once a year – big difference – which I’ll get into in just a minute.
If you’re going with this option, use a good blade like Gillette fusion, Mac 3, Wilkinson Sword Hydro 5, or Philips One Blade. Avoid very cheap single bladed razors, especially if you’re cutting thick or dense hair, always buy the best razor your budget will allow.
Shaving with An Electric Shaver
The second option is to use an electric razor, which might just be a better choice for teen boys, over the old school manual shave. I’ve tried not to be bias here, and gave manual razors the thumbs up, but having used both methods, I’m in favour of electric shavers because of their benefits.
The modern, technologically advanced electric shavers of today have extremely efficient cutting elements in both rotary and foil cutting systems. They provide a fast, close, and comfortable shave for men of all ages.
And here’s a few reasons why, for teenagers, they trump the manual throw-away razors.
Acne and General Pimples
With raging hormones and oily skin, puberty brings the problem of pimples to teenage skin. Spots and acne cause painful red bumps, and whiteheads called pustules.
When you shave, the blades can catch on, and cut into the lumps and bumps on the skin, causing deep cuts and bleeding.
Because electric shaver blades are behind a metal foil, blades never come into contact with the skin. The cutting foils glide effortlessly over spots, capturing and cutting hairs only, without aggravating, or worsening the acne.
The ‘Cool’ Factor
Most teenage boys like their electronic gadgets, and electric razors are just “cooler” than little bits of disposable plastic with a couple of basic razor blades attached. Advanced electric shavers look modern – futuristic, even – and with their captivating looks, and technology packed features, are very appealing to teenage boys and men alike.
Just look at men’s electric shaver like the Philips Series 5000 Turbo and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
The Need for Speed
less mess, less hassle, just a fast, dry shave whenever the time is needed. And because most electric shavers work under-water, they can be used in the bath or shower, so they can kill two birds with one stone by combining washing and shaving.
Let’s face it, teenagers are not always the most motivated when it comes to personal grooming, so a tool like an electric shaver provides an ideal solution to get a fast, smooth shave, at the touch of a button.
Less Irritation for Teenage Skin
With an electric shaver, there’s far less chance of cuts and nicks, because no blades are exposed. The cutting elements lift hairs and cut behind the foil, and some come with skin cooling, and massaging features for maximum comfort.
You’ll also find that most electric shaver work wet or dry, meaning you can use a good quality shaving gel or foam, to make his first (and future) shave even more comfortable and enjoyable. Because a little bit of shaving gel, acts as a protective barrier and lubricant, to leave skin fresh, smooth, and smelling nice.
It’s likely that your first hair growth is doing to be quite long and “fluffy”, which might be troublesome to shave with a disposable razor, as the hairs can clog between the blades. Electric shavers on the other hand, have special cutting elements for long, bushy hair, so will have no issues blitzing through areas with bundles of bushy, dense, hairs.
Which Electric Shaver Should You Buy for Teenager
In my opinion, the best electric shaver for a teenager, or beginner to use would be a quality, mid-range electric razor by Braun or Philips – the leaders in electrical shaving and hair removal.
I recommend the Braun Series 3 Pro Skin or the Philips S5320 Series 5000 because they offer exceptional cutting power, minimal irritation, and tick all the boxes for a teenager looking for an introduction to electric shaving for the first time. Plus, these electric shavers are suitable for reliable, every-day use.