Face Shaving Tips

How to Know When to Shave for the First Time

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when a guy should first shave. First facial hair can grow from as early as age nine, while others won’t get any until their late teens. In a 2018 survey of around 3,738 men in the UK, we found that 85% first noticed facial between the ages of 12 and 16, and 76% shaved for the first time between 14 and 17.

We carried out this study as part of our continuous efforts to understand our consumers and how we can improve our shaving products for them.If you’re a teenager growing facial hair for the first time, you might be wondering if you should shave your beard and how to use a razor. Fret not, for this guide will help you through your first shave; covering everything from how to use shaving gel to how to shave properly.

Where Does Facial Hair Grow First?

When you first develop facial hair, the teenage beard growth stages are usually as follows:

  1. Upper lip
  2. Sideburns
  3. Chin
  4. Cheeks
  5. Neck

The first facial hair to grow is usually the teenage moustache – the hairs might grow very thin and sparse at first, before developing into fuller moustaches as you get older.

Looking to keep the teenage moustache? There are many beard styles for teenagers to choose from, from the wild and rugged stubble to the more refined moustache and goatee.

Around the same time as you’re growing your facial hair, you’re likely to start growing chest, armpit and pubic hair too, while the hair on your arms and legs will begin to look darker and wirier. To learn everything there is to know about manscaping and managing your body hair, check out our complete guide to body grooming.

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When to Shave for the First Time

You’ll know when you’re ready for your first shave. The first facial hair that you grow will probably be more like fluff than thick beard hair, and lots of guys like to shave this off. However, you might want to see how much of a beard you can grow, and wait to shave until your facial hair is a little thicker.

When you are ready for your first shave, the best shaving kit for teenagers will be designed with sensitive, younger skin in mind. Try our  Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Razor – it’s specially designed to help protect your skin from the blades, for a more comfortable shaving experience.

If you’re wondering whether to wait for your first shave because of problem skin, our SkinGuard Sensitive Razor has been certified by the British Skin Foundation as suitable for sensitive skin, so you won’t need to worry. Here’s some more detailed advice on shaving with acne prone skin.

How to Shave for the First Time: 5 Simple Steps

For the best way to remove facial hair for teenagers, follow our five step shaving guide:

1. Wash Your Face

Have a shower just before you start shaving to hydrate, clean and soften your facial hair – this will make it much easier for your razor blade to cut through.

Our Gillette SKIN Ultra-Sensitive Facewash is specially formulated to soften facial hair for an easier shave, while ridding the skin of daily dirt and oil build-up. This facewash is designed for daily use and omits the alcohols and dyes typically found in facewashes that can lead to and aggravate irritation.

2. Prepare Your Skin

Get your skin ready for the razor by applying shaving gel or foam all over the area you’re going to shave, making sure you work up a really good lather.

Shaving gel tends to be richer than foam, so try our Gillette SKIN Ultra-Sensitive Shaving Gel for your first time shaving. Dermatologically tested on men with sensitive skin, the gel forms a lather ‘cushion’, helping to reduce friction against the skin and making shaving facial hair much easier. Read more about the differences between shaving gel and foam here.

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3. Get Shaving

Starting with light gentle strokes, guide the razor in the direction of your hair growth, so you are shaving with the grain. Pressing too hard and shaving against the grain can increase the risk of cuts.

The best shavers for teenagers are easy to use and account for sensitive skin. Our Gillette SkinGuard Sensitive Razor has unique SkinGuard technology between the blades to minimise pressure, so blades press less on sensitive skin.

For your first shave, take your time. As with learning anything new, mistakes will happen. If you do cut yourself, apply pressure to the cut using a warm flannel to stem the flow of blood. Use an aftershave balm or moisturiser once the bleeding has stopped to soothe the area – a bit of stinging is completely normal.

4. Rinse as You Go

Rinse your face well after you are finished to ensure all shave gel or foam is removed.

Remember: never tap your blade on the side of the sink and don’t wipe it on your towel. Doing either of these can damage your blade, making nicks and cuts more likely. Read our article on how to take care of your razor to learn how to look after your razor and blades.

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5. Moisturise

Give your face and neck a final rinse, then moisturise to soothe and hydrate your skin. The best aftershaves when you’re just starting to shave are gentle and moisturising; our Gillette SKIN Aftershave Balm can do all of these jobs. You can learn more about what makes the perfect post-shave routine here.

Practice Makes Perfect

If, after following all these tips for shaving you experience irritation, it may be that your skin is very sensitive, and you need to adjust your technique slightly. No one gets it perfect first time, so just keep adapting your method until you find your shaving groove.

Tools of the Shave

The whole Gillette SKIN range is ideal for your first time shaving and beyond. All products within the range are accredited by the British Skin Foundation and dermatologically tested on men with sensitive skin.

You can also make shaving completely hassle-free by subscribing to Gillette’s shave club which delivers everything you need for your first shave to your door in a handy starter kit.

Give it a go and you won’t have to worry about remembering to buy fresh blades. You’ll also get access to exclusive offers too.


Now that you have mastered the basics, our Gillette experts have tons of advice on shaving that can take your skills from barbaric to barber.



Writer and expert