Watching my eldest get to grips with his personal grooming was interesting to say the least, particularly when it came to shaving - when to start, how often etc. I have to admit to not being a great lover of facial hair so at the very first signs of the dreaded bum fluff I was keen for him to understand the importance of keeping on top of it but as a mother what on earth did I know about shaving? Well the truth is not a lot, but I knew it was something he had to learn to do properly from the outset and whether you are a fan of facial hair or not there is a world of difference between a good and bad shave.
Teaching your son to shave is generally considered to be a defining father-son moment on the path to preparing him for being a man. But what about all those single mothers out there in need of some advice to pass on or who just want to know what their son should be doing? Aron James is the editor of StubblePatrol and a father himself and here he shares his tips to help teenagers master the art of shaving, which I for one have found hugely valuable and have already thrust under the nose of my teenager to improve his technique!
THE IMPORTANCE OF SHAVING
Like most teenage boys, my son's facial hair was relatively unnoticeable initially, but once he started high school he had to up his game considerably and shave more frequently, otherwise he would just look very unkempt. He had to learn fast and although he made some mistakes as we all do when we start out, I gave him some pointers to put him on the right path. After all a young man wants to go into the world with style and be confident of how to look after himself, so here are my steps to help teenagers complete their look with a great shave.
THE ESSENTIALS OF A GREAT SHAVE
The essentials are a quality shaving cream that lathers and doesn’t foam; tea tree oil for its anti-microbial properties; a shaving brush that is not too hard or soft; a good quality razor; facial wash with tea tree oil and a clean towel.
TOP 3 TIPS FOR ACHIEVING THE BEST SHAVE
1. The first thing to do is to wash the face with warm water to ensure the skin is moist. It is easy particularly in the early days to be too eager to just start and ignore this step but keeping the skin moist is the best way to ensure a close shave as it is widely reported that this reduces wear and tear on the skin that may cause inflammation afterwards.
2. He should apply the shaving cream on his face with his hands, then use the brush to lather it around in a circular fashion, ending with strokes in a direction opposite to the hair growth. This is really important because the cream not only provides a smooth surface for the blades to glide over the skin but it keeps the hair raised after stroking which helps to achieve a closer shave.
Thereafter he should use a razor and stroke gently in the direction of the hair growth, ensuring he uses nice even strokes until all the cream is gone. If needs be, he can re-apply shaving cream once more and repeat the previous procedure to get an even closer and more even shave.
3. Rinse with warm water over the sensitive areas and use a facial wash high in tea tree oil to help kill inflammation-causing microbes after shaving. Rinse with cool water then pat dry with a clean towel and finish by applying regular tea tree oil to the skin to keep inflammation and possible ingrown hair from forming.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
These three top tips alone should be enough. However, if your son is anything like ours in the early days (a little arrogant) then he may not follow these tips exactly and end up suffering from a whole host of dermatological issues, so here are some other things for him to consider.
- Do not rush a shave. That is because the more you rush the more likely it is that you will get nicks and cuts as you are applying more pressure.
- Shaving against hair growth will lead to a closer shave but it may result in getting cut more as well as having ingrown hairs (my son learnt the hard way).
- Instead of trying to get everything done all at once to safe time, you should shave twice so as not to damage the skin too much by trying to get the closest shave in one go. This is particularly true if you do not want scrapes, cuts and in-grown hair.
- Ensure that the shaving cream used is specifically for sensitive skin since teenager's facial skin is sensitive in the early years of shaving.
Following the tips above teenage boys should be well set for following a path to shaving properly from the outset. Once my son understood this he was able to get clean and consistent shaves without cuts, scrapping and in-grown hair. These tips kept him out of the dermatologist’s office and caused him to shave more; improving his looks and his self-esteem. Take it from me as a parent of a teenage son he will thank you for giving him this expert advice, if not immediately then definitely in the long run!
Aron James is the founder of StubblePatrol.com a site on male grooming offering best practice advice on a wide range of grooming topics.
Editor's Note : This is not a sponsored post.