Shaving is one of the most important rites of passage for young men. Different cultures recognize this rite of passage at different ages. However, once the beard begins to fill in, it’s time to pick up a razor.
Facial hair begins to grow and develop during puberty. According to Livestrong(you know, that should-be defunct foundation started by disgraced Lance Armstrong), adolescent boys typically begin puberty between the ages of 10 to 15. Typically, facial hair begins to grow in around age 15, but it take another several years for a beard to fully grown in.
Furthermore, Livestrong notes facial hair growth is like other aspects of puberty; it is a gradual adapation—not an immediate change. Although it might seem like facial hair grows in overnight, it is a gradual change.
So, this begs the question: How young is too young to start shaving? Read on to find out more.
When is the Right Time to Start Shaving?
The “right” time to start shaving really depends on the individual. HowStuffWorks explains that the best time to start shaving is when hair begins to grow in and becomes uncomfortable.
Dr. Steven Dowshen on KidsHealth.org explains that the best time begin shaving is, “whether you have any hair to shave, whether you see hair as a problem, and whether your mom or dad thinks it’s okay for you to start shaving.” There is no age attached to Dr. Dowshen’s criteria.
Another important factor to consider is the age of the individual. If the young man can safely use a razor (that’s what a safety razor is for), then he can begin shaving. If as a parent you are worried about your little neophyte shaver using a razor so close to his face, then an electric shaver is a practical option.
Parents should be involved in the decision to allow their son to shave. For fathers, this is a time to bond with your son as he goes through a rite of passage into manhood.
Clayton Cummings of ChildrensMD.org provides some tips for fathers teaching their sons to shave. Cummings talks about the importance of patience and understanding, especially since nicks and cuts are normal during the first few shaving sessions. Learning to shave takes time, so patience is key for fathers.
One of the most important tips for parents to be mindful of when teaching their children to shave is to avoid applying too much pressure while shaving. Applying too much pressure increases friction, which can cause painful razor burn and skin irritation.
Tips for Young Shavers
The first few times shaving for young men can be scary. Furthermore, because an adolescent man’s young man’s skin isn’t smooth, ingrown hairs along with razor burn are par for the course.
However, there are some tips that parents can teach their new shavers to help avoid these issues. Here are some tips to avoid some of the most common shaving problems:
- Speak With Trusted Adults: Parents, guardians, and older siblings can help young shavers understand the best time to begin trimming those emerging whiskers. Trusted adults will provide the best advice to avoid common shaving mistakes that every novice shaver makes in the beginning.
- Soften Skin: The best time to shave is after a warm shower. This is because the warm water opens the pores in the skin. Be sure to wash your face to get rid of microscopic dirt. Not only will exfoliating keep skin clean and clear, but it will also help keep skin smooth, which avoids nicks and cuts.
- Choose the Right Razor: Using a safety razor may be a little intimidating and challenging for new shavers. Electric razors won’t prevent razor burn or ingrown hairs, but they are easier to use and take less time to practice. Young shavers should ultimately use a razor they are comfortable with until they develop comfortable shaving techniques.
All in all, there is no set “right age” to begin shaving. Simply pay attention to how hair is growing in as this is best way to determine the best time to begin shaving.