How to Teach Your Tween Boy to Shave Safely

Teen boy shaving in a bathroom mirror

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If your son is already asking about shaving, it's time to think about how you'll prepare them for the milestone. Shaving is a big deal to many boys and they often look forward to it, even if they have to wait a while for puberty to catch up with them.

Most boys won't develop facial hair until they're well into puberty (generally around age 14 or so), while others may need to begin shaving in the later tween years. Either way, arm yourself with a few handy shaving tips to help your child learn to do it the right way, and so that he knows how to shave safely while practicing good hygiene. 

Tips for Teaching a Boy to Shave

Follow these steps when teaching a boy to shave for the first time:

Choose a Quality Razor

There are really only two choices here: electric or blade razors. Electric razors can be more forgiving, as your child will be less likely to cut himself. They're also convenient as you don't need to use shaving cream or prepare the face for shaving. The downside is that electric razors can be expensive and they don't always give you the closest shave. Blade razors typically get a closer shave, but that might not be a big deal to your child just yet.

Prepare the Face

If your child opts to use a blade razor, he has to prepare his face before shaving. He needs to wet his face and then apply shaving cream before attempting to shave. Never shave a face that hasn't been prepped, as it could cause cuts and skin irritation.

Finding the right shaving cream can be tricky, as your tween may be dealing with acne, oily skin, or other skin problems. He may need to try a few options before finding one that works well for his skin type.

Perfect the Technique

When shaving, short gentle strokes are best. The razor should glide over the skin. Encourage your tween to shave in the direction of the hair growth, to prevent nicks and cuts. Once he's more confident with the razor, he can shave against the hair growth for a closer shave.

Be sure your child rinses the razor after each stroke, to keep it clean and prevent nicks. After shaving, your child should pat his skin dry with a clean, soft towel. Rubbing the face is a no-no. Gentle pats are best. Allow the skin to breathe a little before applying an aftershave.

Go Easy on Aftershave

It's fine to use aftershave or lotion, but young skin can be very sensitive. Try to find an aftershave that is alcohol-free and made for sensitive skin. An aftershave that is heavy on scent might irritate your child's skin, so be careful when choosing.

Clean the Blades

If your child opts for a blade razor, be sure they rinse the blade after use and pats it dry with a towel. Disposable blades should be thrown away after the fourth or fifth use, to avoid cuts or nicks to the skin.

Don't Share Razors

A list of shaving tips wouldn't be complete without this warning: Never share razors with others! Sharing razors with others can result in a variety of problems, including infection.

Don't Go Overboard

Your son probably won't have to shave every day, at least for a while. Once a week may be all that's necessary. Encourage him to shave only when needed, to avoid unnecessarily irritating the skin. 

By Jennifer O'Donnell
Jennifer O'Donnell holds a BA in English and has training in specific areas regarding tweens, covering parenting for over 8 years.