Teach Your Child to Shave

Shaving – either the face or the legs – is a rite of passage for adolescents. For boys and girls, there are similarities in preparation but differences in technique. Diane Wood, master barber at King of Shaves, explains:

• Wash with warm water to open the pores, and use the proper products. Go with a shaving gel, cream or oil; these retain moisture and allow a blade to easily glide. Avoid foams, which obscure the skin your kids will need to see. Afterward, use an alcohol-free lotion or balm.

• Have your son or daughter watch you. They’ll learn how to handle the razor and see your controlled, short strokes.

• Don’t panic over cuts. If nicks occur, a styptic pencil or powder will stop the bleeding.

For Boys (facial):

• Start on the outside. The sideburns and cheeks have thinner hair that needs less time to soften. Then move to above the lip, the chin and finish with the neck.

• Make funny faces. For difficult spots around the nose or by the ear, have boys contort their face or tighten their skin to create a flat surface for the blade.

• Go with the grain. It’ll minimize irritation and ingrown hairs. On the second pass, you can shave across an area to get closer.

For Girls (legs):

• Work up from the ankle. Girls can shave against the grain since leg hair isn’t as thick.

• Manage difficult areas. Have your daughter flex her heel to smooth out the skin around the ankle. With the knee, have her bend it and shave across the cap in an east-west direction.

• Use a man’s razor. It’s uncomplicated and a four-cartridge blade will do the job. Many razors marketed to girls come with a soap block on top that’s harsh on the skin and blocks the view.


Steve Calechman is a freelance writer and a father in Salem.

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25 Nov 2013

By Steve Calechman