At what age should boys start shaving?

morning routine: a man shaving before going to work
Make sure your son uses a shaving cream or lotion when he begins shaving. See more pictures of personal hygiene practices.
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Shaving is a rite of passage for many boys. It's one of the many milestones on the road of adolescence, and some boys can't wait to start. Facial hair begins growing during puberty or shortly after. This typically happens between the ages of 9 and 15, but in some cases it may occur at a younger or older age [source: Avert]. There's no specific age when boys should begin shaving -- that's a question that parents must answer on an individual basis. The decision often depends on a number of factors including how much hair the boy has and if it's bothersome to him [source: Hirsch].

Deciding when to let your son start shaving isn't an easy question to answer, but as a rule of thumb, if your son has enough hair to shave and can safely handle a razor then it's probably OK to let him [source: Hirsch]. The key is making sure he knows how to shave safely, and following a few simple steps will ensure his first shave goes smoothly.


When your son is learning to shave, he'll likely cut himself a few times because there's a lot of uneven terrain on the face. To avoid nicks and cuts, try having him shave after a shower or bath -- warm water helps soften hair and open pores [source: WebMD]. You'll want to make sure he uses a shaving gel or lotion before shaving to protect his skin and prevent irritation. Also, make sure his razor is clean and sharp. When he's ready to start, direct him to shave with the grain of the hair -- the direction that it naturally grows -- and not to push too hard. A good razor will glide across the face with little effort. When he's done, he should wash his face and use a moisturizer. If shaving irritates his skin, he may want to switch to an electric razor because they can be easier to use and less irritating to the skin [source: WebMD].

For more information on when boys should begin shaving and how to do it safely, see the links on the next page.


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Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Avert. "Puberty and boys." June 19, 2009. (Accessed 09/01/2009)
  • Hirsch, Larissa MD. "Shaving." Kids Health. July 2007. (Accessed 09/01/2009)
  • WebMD. "Shaving Tips for Teen Guys." February 8, 2009. (Accessed 09/01/2009)