Helpful Tips to Teach Your Son to Shave


Teaching your son to shave is a time-honored right of passage for fathers. It’s one of the first steps in the transition to boyhood and manhood, and while a mother can certainly do it, a father will have a little more firsthand insight. It also serves as a great bonding action at a time when your son is entering the uncertainty of teenage years and may have a less-than-stellar opinion of his old man. On the surface, it isn’t difficult to teach a young man to shave, but it’s helpful to be prepared. You’ve basically got one shot at it and you want to get it right, both to give him a good memory and instill good grooming habits. Here are the essential steps to keep in mind.

Make Sure He’s Ready

By all means, stock up on shaving cream, razors, soaps and lotions, but recognize that you can’t start until your son is ready. Obviously, boys mature at different rates, and it doesn’t do any good to start before yours has anything to shave. Conversely, even if he’s been rocking a bad peach-fuzz teenage mustache for months, he may not be ready. Adolescents are very self-conscious about their looks and image. You need to be sensitive to that, so the best approach is to wait until he asks you to show him.

Start with a Detachable-Head or Disposable Razor

The type of razor you use is a matter of personal preference, of course. If you’re the sort of man who can get away with a quick, dry shave, you may opt for an electric razor. If you enjoy the finer details of grooming and want to get the closest shave you can, you may have a straight razor kit. For beginners, the best bet is the more standard razor with a detachable head, or the disposable version of the same model. Showing a boy how to shave with an electric razor doesn’t really do him a lot of good, and straight razors require a lot of skill to operate properly. You don’t want your son’s first shaving experience to be a bloody mess! Show him the fundamentals with a safe razor. He can always make the choice to try something else out farther down the road when he’s more experienced.

Do a “Dry Run”

Proper shaving technique is largely a series of motions. It wouldn’t hurt to go through the steps with your son with the blade guard on his razor before actually shaving. You can also take an “I do, we do, you do” approach. Show him how you shave and explain each step. Start by washing your face with a cleanser or exfoliating scrub (or both). Rinse and apply shaving cream. Move the razor (slowly) down from the cheek to the chin. Pay attention to all the areas but be careful not to over do it on any one spot. Rinse, and spot check.

Teach Aftercare Early 

There was a time, not very long ago, in fact, when it was considered “unmanly” to care too much about your skin. This resulted in lots of unnecessary discomfort and some premature effects of aging, as well. Luckily, this silly stigma has gone by the wayside and men’s grooming has come into its own. As your son’s father, you probably have a decent guess of what sort of skin type he has-it’s likely very similar to your own. If he has oily skin, make sure he has aftershave products that will help absorb and mattify. If it’s dry, invest in moisturizing creams or gels. If he’s prone to acne, make sure he has creams and cleansers to help prevent post-shave breakouts. Explain what the products do, why it’s important to use them, and throw in the fact that good skincare is always attractive.

Learning to shave is, sadly, one of the last things a man gets to teach his son before he gets to adulthood. Prepare for it, and you’ll do a good job, leaving a lifelong impression!