Shaving is a monumental step for teen boys; alongside characteristic growth spurts and deepening of the voice, growing facial hair is one of the key components of a boy's physical transition to manhood. Having the very best tools of the trade makes for a smooth transition, but there is no de facto “best” razor for teens -- the choice ultimately boils down to your child's personal characteristics and preferences.
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Although the options may seem overwhelming, you can help your teen choose the best standard, nonelectric razor by keeping a few basic principles in mind. Look for razors that have no less than two blades. Likewise, choose those with movable heads for easy maneuverability. The grooming product reviewers at Shaving 101 particularly recommend three-bladed cartridge razors for beginning shavers, as this type of blade offers an equal measure of safety and shaving power. Cartridge razors also help your teen get used to the process of regularly changing blades, which is a key habit of healthy shaving.
Electric razors are a viable, safe option for teens who prefer convenience and mobility. Selecting an electric razor is an especially important choice for teens; a man's skin can develop a preference for either foil or rotary type shavers, depending on which type he starts using as a youth. Convenience aside, electric razors typically can't compare with standard blades when it comes to providing a close shave. However, electric razors may serve as a stepping stone; speaking to MetroParent, pediatrician Steven Mason says “I think it's easy for boys to use electronic shavers -- and eventually, they can learn how to use [nonelectric] razors.” Electric razors also tend to irritate acne-prone skin less than standard razors. With high-efficiency modern electric razors, the “best” choice often comes down to personal preference. It takes about three weeks of shaving to get an accurate picture of how your skin reacts to an electric shaver, so be sure to select a device that includes a trail period.
Razors are no doubt important to your teen's shaving experience, but without the right shaving cream, he may experience dry or irritated skin. It's alright for your teen to experiment with different brands and types of shaving cream, such as foams and gels, but it's wise to stick with products formulated for sensitive skin at this early stage. If your teen finds that products with menthol irritate his skin, switch to non-mentholated shaving cream. Soap is never a proper substitute for shaving cream, especially for boys with sensitive or irritable skin. Likewise, avoid abrasive scrubs.
When a boy is first learning to shave, it's crucial to develop healthy shaving habits. Teach your boy to shave in the direction of hair growth and encourage him to always keep razor blades sharp and clean for a smoother, more comfortable shave. Your teen should wet his facial hair with warm water before shaving with a nonelectric razor, but electric razors accommodate dry shaving. Instruct the beginning shaver to use short, slow strokes and splash his face with cool water after shaving.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Northern Illinois University College of Education: Puberty in Adolescent Males...Ready, Set, Develop
- TeensHealth: Shaving
- ConsumerReports.org: Electric Razors
- MetroParent: Shaving 101 for Beginners: Tips for Tweens and Teens
- Shaving 101: A Test in Patience: Teaching Your Teen to Shave
- Men-U Grooming Products: Shaving Tips and Techniques: How to Get the Best Shave
- BBC: Advice: Hair Removal/Shaving (Boys)