When Was Your First Shave? The West Coast Shaving Giveaway

by Brett on May 25, 2010 · 969 comments

in Blog

For many men, shaving is just one of those things you do every morning to prepare for the day. It’s like brushing your teeth. You do it so you look presentable, but you don’t think much about it.

But think back to when you were a boy and lathered up and put a razor to your face for the first time. If you’re like me, that first shave was downright exciting. It felt like a small rite of passage into manhood. The Ancient Romans thought of it that way; they used a boy’s first shave as the event that initiated him into the community of men. Families would hold big festivals for the young man and the whiskers from the first shave were often put into a box and consecrated to the gods.

I didn’t get a party with my first shave. In fact, no one knew about it except for me. I was maybe 12 or 13. I snuck into my parents’ bathroom and rummaged through my old man’s Dopp kit for his razor and shaving cream.

I really didn’t have anything on my face except for some peach fuzz and maybe a few dark hairs. But I figured I should probably get rid of that stuff. So I shaved. I really didn’t know what I was doing. I just tried to remember how my dad did it after watching him shave growing up. I nicked myself a few times. I kept it a secret. I was sort of embarrassed about it, I guess.

The second time I shaved (a couple of months later) I wasn’t able to keep it a secret. I shaved off a big chunk of my upper lip, and I started bleeding everywhere. The bathroom looked like a crime scene. I put a bunch of toilet paper on my lip and had a huge scab there for a couple of weeks after. I remember going to the doctor for something, and he looked at my lip and said, “So, you’ve started shaving, huh?” I sheepishly looked down and nodded.

The West Coast Shaving Giveaway

The awesome folks at West Coast Shaving have recently revamped and relaunched their site. If you’ve never been there before you need to check it out. They have everything a man needs to get a classic wet shave. Want to get started with safety razor shaving? West Coast Shaving has you covered. What about straight razor shaving? Check out their selection of cut-throats. Oh, and they also carry some great shaving brushes, shaving creams, soaps, and after shaves. Whatever your manly shaving needs, West Coast Shaving’s got it.

To celebrate their relaunch, West Coast Shaving is giving away a starter safety razor shaving set worth $100 to one lucky AoM reader. The kit includes:

Merkur HD #34C Safety Razor (Value $33.50)

Vulfix 2234 Super Badger Shaving Brush (Value $55)

Taylor of Old Bond Street Shaving Cream in tub (Value $14)

How to Enter

If you’d like to get your hands on this awesome shaving kit, leave a comment on this post describing your first shave. How old were you? Did your dad teach you? Did you see it as a rite of passage?

Deadline to enter is Monday, May 31 at 11PM Central Standard Time. We’ll then select a comment at random to be the winner. Enter today!

701 Jeffery Caldwell May 26, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I remember my Dad making a big deal about being careful when switching methods. He said that it took your face time to adjust so you should stick with one that works or be willing to wait a while to judge until the new one starts working better. I think part of that was his way of saying don’t give up before you got the hang of it. I’m a hairy guy so by 11th grade I was shaving black stubble down every day. It wasn’t too long before that where I had done the experimental “shave the fuzz” using my older brothers single-blade disposable (white plastic handle with yellow ending) and some overly foamy Colgate. I have a chin scar from an old bike accident that I used to rip open about two or three times a month back then. Right now I have a sad electric razor with a ripped screen that I supplement with double-bladed disposable in the shower.

702 Derek Sullivan May 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm

My very first experience with the shaving ritual occurred when I was a wee tot – about 8 years old. I had several white hairs adorning my chin, which was thoroughly unacceptable. I looked horrid, downright unprofessional. Into my father’s medicine cabinet I went, and what a journey it was. A treasure trove to a child, is it not? Full of magic and smells and wonder. So I located the first necessary item: pre-shave. Then I smelled it, gagged, and put it right back. Then I found the razor, a plain old Gillette disposable. I lathered my face with shaving cream – a wondrous experience – and began carving into my chin like a butcher and oh dear God, the pain I felt that day instantly convinced me that a Santa/Karl Marx beard was the way to go.

703 Kent May 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

I remember being taught how to shave by my dad when I was a very small child, using a toy razor. I don’t really remember the first time I actually had to shave, because it wasn’t actually new to me. I do remember when I switched to using a vintage safety razor a few years back, because it was such a better experience than the Mach 3s and electrics I had been using.

704 Brenden May 26, 2010 at 5:59 pm

My first shave was when I was 13. I had been growing a ‘mustache’ since I was about 11. Some older girls at school convinced me to keep it because it made me look older and because none of the boys in their class had facial hair yet. I couldn’t disappoint such lovely ladies. When I finally did shave it was with a disposable razor I found in my parents bathroom. My little brother stood next to me as I did it, just as excited as I was to see what it was like to be clean shaven. I shave every second or third day now, since I like to scruffy look. I tried growing a beard once, but it wasn’t for me.

705 Matthew Hoover May 26, 2010 at 6:05 pm

My first shave was pretty similar to the authors. I was a little older than he but I borrowed my fathers razor and cream. I tried remembering what I had saw him doing and tried to copy it. More than this though I remember my first shave with a straight razor from a barber. My hometown doesn’t have a men’s barber shop so when I had the opportunity in college. That nice smooth feeling of a straight razor and hot towel afterwards are things I will remember my whole life.

706 Zak McL May 26, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I spent my first 6 years of shaving using an electric razor but last month I used a safety razor for the first time. I would say that was my first REAL shave. I don’t know how I used that meat grinder on my face for so long!

707 Mike May 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm

My first shave was pretty uneventful. It was shortly after I turned 16, my dad decided it was time.. he bought me a new gilette sensor razor.. he’s always used blades, never one of those electronic gizmos. I was excited at the time, I somehow came up with the need to shave myself a couple times on that first day… Didn’t really get any nicks or anything (until much later, I remember one time I moved the blade sideways and got a mini wolverine-type scar), it came pretty naturally.

708 Eric K. May 26, 2010 at 6:42 pm

My first time shaving was when I was five years old. Yes, five years old. I am not some freak of nature who had premature facial hairgrowth. My dad used to shave my brother’s and my faces in the morning when he was doing his own because we thought it was so great. My real first shave, or shall I say when I shaved myself for the first time, was when I was probably about twelve or thirteen years old. I took my brother’s razor that my grandfather had given him and shaved away the little bit of peach fuzz, if you could even call it that, away from my still young immature face. Sadly, I cannot remember the first time that I did it. I remember thinking that it was a manly and “grown up” thing to do, but the exact instance in which I first did so escapes me.

709 Johnson May 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm

My first shave was when I was a freshman in high school. I was at a military boarding school and it was mandatory for all students to shave everyday. It was a big deal for me since I had never shaved a day in my life. I went down to the bookstore and got some blades and some shaving cream. For most of the kids in my dorm, it was also their first time shaving. But luckily for me, my roommate had been shaving for quite some time. He gave me a few pointers and I’ve been shaving ever since!

710 Kevin May 26, 2010 at 6:47 pm

My first shave was when I was thirteen. I didn’t like the little peach fuzz I had on my upper lip, so I snuck into by uncle’s bathroom and used his razor to get it off. I was really careful and luckily avoided being cut too bad. I managed to do it a few more times before my uncle noticed I had been using using his razor and made fun of me. Now I have my own razor.

711 Ben May 26, 2010 at 6:53 pm

My first shave was at age 13. My next shave was at age 15. The one at thirteen wasn’t really necessary, but I wanted to be cool like my dad. Since my dad had always been an electric shave-man, I have been too, up until I started reading this blog and have started safety razor shaving. Now I’d never go back to electric. Thanks AoM!

712 Jacob M May 26, 2010 at 6:59 pm

My first shave was an important and slightly painful lesson in why shaving cream is necessary, and why disposable razors are always a poor choice.

713 Dennis Fullalove May 26, 2010 at 7:05 pm

My first shave was with an electric razor when I was 13. My father showed me how to use the pre-shave lotion to “set-up” my beard, the path to take with the electic razor and then putting after shave lotion on to close my pores and “sooth” my face. I started using a safety razor when I went to Navy boot camp. Dry shaving so are faces were “as smooth as a baby’s bottom.” Well, that and many nicks. I haven’t used an electric razor since that time. I am able to get a very close shave and love the process.

My grandfather used a straight razor. I remember seeing it hanging in my grandparents’ bathroom and then watching my grandfather shave when I stayed with them.

714 Robbie Bennett May 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I too snuck into my dad’s bathroom and took out one of his razors. I used barbasol – lime- shaving cream. I remember finally lathering up for the first time, and not really knowing how much to put on or what, since my dad usually shaved with an electric (a pity, I know). I just went about my business, going off of some stuff I had read online about shaving techniques, and on a sweep up against the grain, I sliced the dead center of the top of my lip! It bled and bled for what seemed like an eternity.

Overall, it was a successful attempt in my opinion!

715 Brad May 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Ever since I was young, my dad always let me lather up with him and then pretend to shave with one of his old razors without the blade cartridge in. I guess all those years of trying to “be like dad” paid off…by the time I was 13 and had the 8th grade dance and graduation coming up, I got to put it to practice without any nicks or cuts.
It did take a few more pointers from dad while I was working on the minimal facial hair that needed removing, even going back for a second pass after I missed a few spots (something that still happens if I’m too lazy or tired to notice). Since it coincided with my moving from junior high to high school, it was a good rite of passage into manhood.
It would have been nicer if my dad had brush and a single-blade safety razor or even a straight-blade to teach me with instead of just the disposable razors, but hopefully someday I’ll be able to pass something down a son of my own.

716 Blake May 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Unfortunately, mine was electric. Nothing much to get excited about. I’m in the process of growing a beard, so I haven’t shaved in awhile.

717 Louis House May 26, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Mine was much like yours, Brett, except the razor was my brother’s, not my father’s. I was embarrassed about it and did a quick job. I kept going back to his ‘tools’ for the first few attempts, and managed to do it without detection (as far as I could tell, anyway). A few weeks later my dad mentioned getting me a razor of my own and from there I have never looked back!

718 Zach H May 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm

my first shave was when i was 15 and i used a gillette disposable head razor. my brother, who’s six years older, taught me how to shave, and it felt like a huge rite of passage. it was one of the first things that made me feel like i was truly entering manhood.

719 Jeremy Sheffel May 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm

My first shave was when I was twelve, my cousin was at my house with me and I just decided to do it. My mom had gotten me a razor a few months earlier, dropping a not-so-subtle hint. I shaved half of my upper lip, then we had to take my cousin home right then and I didn’t get to finish until I got back.

720 Ross May 26, 2010 at 8:08 pm

I was probably around 10 or 12. My dad shaved with a normal razor, but used a horsehair brush (and still does). Lathering up with that thing was the best. I’m pretty sure I cut myself, too. Good times.

721 Blair May 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm

I started playing with a razor when I was very young. Being a boy scout, I knew how to use a blade properly. One day I decided to try my dad’s razor on my arm hair, just to see how well it worked.

Sometime near my sixteenth birthday, I received a Mach 3 Turbo in the mail from Gillette. I don’t know how they got my information but I was pretty excited. I started shaving frequently and pretty much taught myself. The problem was that the biggest influence was the Gillette commercial where the guy shaves his face from ear to chin with one stroke. With practice, I learned not to do that.

I never have been able to grow a full beard, but I get stubble everyday. I used to shave every couple days, thinking that the stubble was not very noticeable. After reading the article on how to shave like grandpa, I started shaving everyday. I went out and bought a $7 boar hair brush at my local drug store, started using shave soap, and I also use after-shave. To be completely honest, this website taught me how to shave.

Currently, I have moved on to a badger hair brush, which belonged to my fiance’s grandfather. My fiance was cleaning out her grandparent’s things for a garage sale when she stumbled upon his brush. I dusted it off and now put it to great use every morning. I also use cold water for every shave. I find the cold water to be more soothing than warm water, especially on a hot morning.

722 Russell Fogle May 26, 2010 at 8:32 pm

My first shave was Christmas Day of 2005. I had felt the need to start shaving for a few months, but had neither the money for a razor nor any desire to ask for one. My father realized this, and Christmas morning I awoke to a Gillette 2-bladed cartridge razor under the tree. I suppose I did a fair job of it; there were a few missed hairs but I didn’t cut myself, so I deemed myself successful. That was a good day.

723 Chris Panzero May 26, 2010 at 9:21 pm

If memory serves me right, I was 15 when I first borrowed my dad’s razor. He’d offered to teach me before, but this was something I figured I could do on my own, so I tried my hand at it before he got home. I nicked myself pretty good under the chin, twice, but nothing too terrible. Afterward, I got a proper lesson, and I’ve been an official shaver ever since.

724 Ronald May 26, 2010 at 9:22 pm

I remember my first shave like the first time you go to a major league ball game of the first time you pull in a woman close and plant one on her! My first shave, in so many words, was one of and still is the manliest things I do. I started off with a safety razor and am now daily shaving with a cut throat. Never have I touched the automatic electrical razors. It takes away from the art and feeling of having “man-meditation”. I remember feeling like a million bucks as I splashed that Old Spice after shave on my sensitive face and felt the initial burn, the immediate coolness to follow, and the swagger I had as a 11 year old kid walking out of my dad’s bathroom.

725 Harry May 26, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I got my first razor for Christmas one year, the family got me a Mach 3 gift kit. My dad always uses an electric razor, so I asked my grandfather to show me how to use it since he uses a blade. He didn’t have much constructive to say that I couldn’t figure out on my own unfortunately. I don’t remember cutting myself, but I probably didn’t press that hard and I had only peach fuzz to remove anyway.

726 DVD May 26, 2010 at 9:38 pm

My first shave was in my early teens. It was with an electric razor though, one of those 3 headed remingtons. I feel a bit jipped…electric is definately not as manly as a straight razor. I’ve been meaning to get a nice badger brush and razor to start shaving with though. Maybe this will get me into it!

727 Kenneth Duncan May 26, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Actually I started shaving when I was 20 years old. Actually I didn’t grow facial hair early, so the thought of shaving didn’t actually cross my mind. It was only when my goatee and beard started to appear coarse that one day, my dad gave me an electric razor. When I was a kid, I didn’t actually understand why my dad had to use a “strange looking portable machine” and wondered why I didn’t have facial hair or what they were for, biologically. It was only when I was given a razor as a gift that I realized that I’ve become a man, and that while the gift was given on an ordinary day, I felt a special bonding moment that can’t actually be put into words. It signified a new relationship with my dad, and my transition to manhood. It’s not just about shaving that is special. It’s about a rite of passage, a new relationship, and a new era. It was at that moment that you felt mature not just physically, but also developed a new sense of responsibility and identity.

728 Bill May 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm

When I was 11 Years old, my dad took me camping. This was one of the first outdoor experiences I had with him. After a day of fishing, and a night sleeping under the stars, with just our old sleeping bags, an endless sky, and my younger brother and I, my dad woke me up at what must of been about 5AM.

As the sun just barely came up, Dad reached in his bag and pulled out three things, a small radio, an old style straight razor, and a bar of what looked like soap. He turned on the radio, lathered up some cream from that bar, and started rubbing it on his face as Johnny Cash’s ‘Walk The Line’ creaked out over the airwaves. He told me, in order to be a man, you have to know how to shave like one. As he finished dragging that deadly sharp piece of metal across his face, and rinsed off in the river water at his feet, he handed me the soap. By the time I was done, I had more cuts than not, but I felt like I had at done my best. Over the years, my hand has gotten steadier. Dad, while we might not have had a lot, at least we had a good shave, but really, did I have to use the aftershave? Ouch.

729 Leo May 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Shaving has been something I actually really, really dreaded the thought of doing.

I remember when I was young, I watched my dad shave meticulously around his moustache, which always stuck in my head. I wondered if I would ever have to do it myself and he always assured me that if my hair was anything like his- thick, coarse hair descended from Moorish roots- I would almost assurdly have to learn sometime. Unfortunately, he left my family when shaving would become a routine for me and our relationship was estranged just before then- when I would learn how to shave. I got one of those horrific 3-blade razors with gillette goo and hacked away at my face with it. I was around 13, 14 years old and I’m 26 now, having learned and again relearned how to shave with a safety razor and a brush. To my surprise, I found it so much simpler than shaving with one of the Mach 3s and far simpler with not many nicks than I thought, which was influenced by the guides online saying you’d nick yourself up pretty bad at first and get used to it.

Overall, I enjoy shaving now more than I ever did even though my razor- a cheap $30 used one I bought off ebay and my brush- an even more cheap-o boar bristle brush with $1.99 soap in a .99 mug- are all certainly not up to snuff. Here’s hoping West Coast Shaving can help a youngster like myself out!

730 Mike May 26, 2010 at 10:53 pm

I don’t remember when I received my first electric razor (a hand me down from my Dad, which was still cool to a teenage boy), but I remember my first experience with a safety razor. My family went on a cruise together, and despite the fact that I still wasn’t in a “more whiskers than peach fuzz” phase, I forgot my electric razor. My Dad hadn’t packed his, so in my parents room in the middle of the carribean, I put a hot washcloth to my face, applied some shaving cream and attempted to shave under the instruction of my dad.
Needless to say, I didn’t escape without a cut, but from that day on, shaving with an electric razor was never quite as cool.

731 eric goughnour May 26, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Wow my first shave……well i recall watching my grandfather (he raised me) shaving every morning (except weekends). If memory serves my first shave at about 12 yo i was curious about it and wanted to grow up so fast then. It was with my grandfathers DE Gillette razor i still have a small scar on my upper lip from it.
i was found out however shortly after attempting the styptic pencil…probably by the scream that followed. I washed my face up and my grandfather offered to show me how to shave properly. I recall his attention to my learning thrift with the lather and what seemed like secret trick facial expressions that i still use today, and have shown my own son.

732 eric goughnour May 26, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Wow my first shave……well i recall watching my grandfather (he raised me) shaving every morning (except weekends). If memory serves my first shave at about 12 yo i was curious about it and wanted to grow up so fast then. It was with my grandfathers DE Gillette razor i still have a small scar on my upper lip from it.
i was found out however shortly after attempting the styptic pencil…probably by the scream that followed. I washed my face up and my grandfather offered to show me how to shave properly. I recall his attention to my learning thrift with the lather and what seemed like secret trick facial expressions that i still use today.

733 Benedict May 26, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I first shaved when I was fourteen, and headed off for a week’s CCF camp at RAF Cosford, home of the RAF College. At the time, I had long hair and fuzz on my upper lip and lower chin, which my school barely tolerated; of course, our senior NCO told me I’d be chewed out the moment I arrived at the camp if I didn’t have a shave and a haircut.
That day after school, I went to the barber and had a sharp military haircut; the next step was shaving. My father was away at a conference, and at the time sported a thick beard, so there was little hope of using his shaving equipment.
I borrowed a razor from my neighbour and shaved very nervously for the first time, escaping cuts more from the bluntness of the tool than any skill on my part. The next day I felt like a man, leaving home (albeit for only a week) in uniform with a freshly-shaven face.

734 Joel May 26, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I was 14 when my dad taught me to shave. He said “its time you started shaving, let me teach you.” He whipped up a soapy lather in his cup and showed me how to apply it to my whiskers (which were admittedly few and far between at the time) and how never to go against the grain with the razor. I can still remember the smell of the shaving soap, the steam coming up from the sink, and the smooth feeling I was left with afterwards. It was definitely a rite of passage into manhood for me.

735 Scott Conant May 26, 2010 at 11:53 pm

I was about 14 when I had my first shave. There was this tiny bit of fuzz, not even long; I had heard if you started to shave you’d get whiskers faster. I so desparatly wanted to be a real “man” and have to shave. Now I wish some days I didn’t have to so much!!!

736 Matt Glass May 26, 2010 at 11:57 pm

I remember putting about half a can of Barbisol on my face and not really knowing what to do next. So, I dragged the safety razor about in a variety of directions to see what would happen… Blood Happens – lots of it! So, I thought, let’s put on some aftershave … youch! It was many weeks until I took another swipe at it, with the old man’s assist.

737 kelly May 27, 2010 at 12:07 am

My first shave was when I was about 12 or 13. My old Man was not around to teach me any tricks of the trade so I had to take the right of passage into manhood on my own. I can recall using a single blade Bic razor without the moisture strip (the same razor I used for about 25 years) and no shaving cream because I never even knew what shaving cream was. Cuts and nicks where a common occurance growing up with those cheap razor blades and no shaving cream, over the years my face became tough as leather. Today I can shave with just about anything that is not a butter knife and hardly ever use shaving cream with all the new 3 or 4 or 10? blade razors.

738 Parker May 27, 2010 at 12:43 am

My first shaving experiance was when I was around 13 years old, and my family was on a camping trip in texas when my dad told me one morning he was gonna show me how to shave. So we went to the bathroom and he instructed me i was amazed that i had no cuts on my face… until i tried on my own a few days later.

739 Rob May 27, 2010 at 12:53 am

I was 12, i had a little fuzzy mustache in time for my confirmation. My mom forced me to shave it, a couple months later i started getting a fuzzy beard. I remember in High School everyone thought i was a year or two older. My dad never actively thought me how to shave, but i always remember mesmerized watching him shave. I see my first shave as a rite of passage, without it i would never have been able to purchase alcohol at the age of 14-15. To this day shaving is a ritual for me, my faces five o clock shadow seems to be formed in a couple hours.

740 Thom McGranor Jr. May 27, 2010 at 1:31 am

While I don’t really remember my first real shave, I do have some fond memories of fake shaving. When I was real young, I remember always wanting to watch my dad shave. then one day, I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 years old, my dad bought me a ‘razor.’ It was a cheap blue piece of plastic shaped like a safety razor, absolutely no sharp edges on it at all. But to me, it was one of the best gifts he ever got me. We went into his bathroom, lathered up my face, and for the first time, he got to watch me ‘shave.’ I remember that after I had used the plastic blade to scrape all the shaving cream off, he made a huge deal out of how smooth my skin was, and made sure that I put on after shave(Brute.)

Not exactly my first shave, but somehow, in the hustle and bustle that was going on when I got older, I never went through the actual shaving lessons, I just bought some disposables and went at it. So to me, my plastic razor was much more memorable.

741 Russ May 27, 2010 at 3:08 am

Well, I don’t specifically remember it. I do know that I’ve always shaved every morning and I’ve always hated it, and when I get a real job out of college and make real money I can afford a real razor and brush–I’ve always used Gillette cartridges and Barbasol (though for a few days I tried an electric “foil type” razor and set myself against electric forever).

742 Brett May 27, 2010 at 4:00 am

I was young, maybe 6 or 7. My brother and I stayed at my grandparents house one night. While taking a bath, I saw a shaving razor lying on the edge of the tub. I knew better, but I began pretending to shave my beard with one long smooth stroke on the cheek while moving along until I got to the tricky mustache area. I was getting the hang of things very well until I lobbed off the corner of flesh right at the edge of the indention in the center of my upper lip. It didn’t hurt, but as I drew back my wet hand from feeling if everything was still attached, blood trickled down my wrist.

I knew had to stop the bleeding because no one could know I was playing with a razor. So I dried it and applied tissue after tissue until the blood started to slow. I finally removed myself from the bathroom and avoided eye contact until my grandmother asked, “What’s wrong with your lip?” I don’t remember if I denied or lied, probably both, but she saw right through me and said, “Boy, you been shaving with my leg razor?” She then turned to my grandpa and laughingly said across the room, “He’s been shaving with my leg razor and nearly cut his damn lip off.”

It was 7 or 8 more years until I ever shaved again.

743 Joey May 27, 2010 at 4:07 am

I was 13 and my father taught me, teaching me the proper use pf shaving cream though he himself didn’t use it as his face was “toughened due to using only water for quite some time.

744 Michael Frey May 27, 2010 at 5:11 am

I don’t think my dad ever really “showed” me because I always liked to do things on my own. From what I remember I did feel very manly afterwords and always looked forward to being able to actually shave beforehand. From what I can remember it was most likely a bic or mach razor with some shaving foam. My first real shave came many years later thanks to the good ol boys at B&B and mantic for my education. I look forward to taking the steps to showing my son in the future how to shave like a man.

745 Juan Blue May 27, 2010 at 5:13 am

I believe I was 11 years old, I had a little tash growing, I’m half Maltesse so we grow facial hair young, and i nicked myself a few times.

It was exsiting tho, it did feel like a rite of passage like the first time you get a zit or body hair.

just one of those forgoten childhood moments.

746 Neco May 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

14 or 15 years old. Electric shaving. Alone.

747 Jason Frasher May 27, 2010 at 8:51 am

I remember my dad teaching me to shave the morning of my freshaman year in high school. What a cruel trick that you have to learn to shave with all those pimples getting in the way! Thank God for steptic pencils. Man did they sting! I was embarrased the first few times but it was like a stepping stone to manilyhood.

748 Louis Bartee May 27, 2010 at 9:06 am

I was about twelve or thirteen and I was raised by my grandparents. Well my grandfather was never good around kids including his own. So we never had those deep fatherly talks people had. Well here I am I have hair on my face and people are giving me the “you own a razor” look. Well my best friend growing up talked me into to shaving. Never mind that he has never shaved himself. So we get a old disposable plastic razor that has been in my bathroom for all time. GASP! I shave with it. Not knowing that you wet your face. That you apply shaving cream to the face. I just wet the razor and went to shaving. I survived the loss of blood from the nicks and the road rash case of razor burn. Then he saw my face and said “Learned how to shave didn’t we”.

749 Andrew May 27, 2010 at 9:30 am

This may sound unconventional, but I didn’t learn to shave until I was 27. I transitioned from female to male five years ago and had to teach myself this art. And while there seems to be a fine line between artful and artless shaving, the former involving the tools proffered by West Coast Shaving and the former by Schick, the act itself is a sacred rite of passage for many different kinds of men. I’ve braved some embarrassing trial and errors, but few rituals have inaugurated my passage into manhood like learning to shave.

750 Stephen May 27, 2010 at 10:39 am

I remember ‘shaving’ with my dad occasionally when I was very young. While he was shaving, I would ‘fake shave’ with a little lather on my face and an old disposable razor with the safety guard still on. I’d imitate every stroke. I really look back on memories like that with fondness. And that’s how I learned to shave.
When it came time to shave for real (I was about 12 or so) it had been a while since ‘fake shaving’ with Dad, but I don’t remember having any trouble. I grabbed one of my dads travel razors and shaving cream and off I went. For the first time, I was REALLY shaving, not just pretending, and I do remember it as a rite of passage. I think my mom was the first to notice I had shaved after an upclose inspection, after that I didn’t have to borrow a shaving kit any longer.
Even 17 years later I enjoy shaving, dispite thick facial hair. I’ve used electric razors in the past, but I really prefer a wet shave. There’s just something about the daily routine of shaving that wakes me up and gets me mentally prepared for the day ahead. When I have a son, I expect I’ll have him next to me pretending to shave like Dad, just like me when I was a kid.

751 Allen May 27, 2010 at 11:24 am

I still remeber the first time I got to shave. I had really been wanting to shave because I thought that it was a manly thing, a part of being grown up. Unfortunatly it was with a cheap bic disposable. It was me and my dad althought I cant say that he specifically showed me any sort of technique.

752 Tom May 27, 2010 at 11:34 am

I feel like I had two first shaves. My first shave was age 13 or 14. My dad is an electric razor guy and started me there as well. He got me a basic electric and walked me through the process, how to clean, care for, etc. For me, electric razor=razor burn.
When I went to college, I decided to try a standard razor & shaving cream. Wow, this works! There’s something much more manly to me about holding that blade in your hand; been there ever since.

753 Ryan May 27, 2010 at 11:44 am

I believe I was 18 years old when I first shaved. I never really grew much hair so that is why it took me until I was 18. I was fairly embarrassed by the fact that it took so long. I remember afterwards that my face felt puffy and I hoped that it wouldn’t feel like that after every time that I shaved. In any event, my face is now growing a lot more hair now at 21 years old. I feel so manly.

754 John May 27, 2010 at 11:47 am

From age 5 I would join my Grandpa for his morning shave each time I visited. He taught me to shave and showed me how enjoyable it could be.
My first real shave was an anonymous event at age 13 with a razor that I snagged from my dad’s disposable razor stash.

755 Steven J. May 27, 2010 at 11:55 am

I remember watching my father and brothers shave was I was young. My Dad used an electric razor and my brothers used the normal cartridge type razors. One day when I was about 7, my mom and sisters were having a grils night out type of thing. The males in the family decided to have their own little “man party” where we did archery and threw knifes and had a barbeque. The main thing we did that day was my father and brothers teaching me how to shave. My father first showed me how to shave with his electric razor which for me was very easy and safe. My brothers showed me how to shave with a cartridge razor which scared the heck out of me. I remeber feeling so excited when I was shaving with my father and brothers. It made me feel more like a guy. After that expeirence I didn’t really need to shave until about high school, but I still look back on that day and tresure it and if I have sons then I will enjoy teaching them how to shave.

756 Marc May 27, 2010 at 12:07 pm

I believe I was around 14. My whiskers were already dark, although thin.

Nowadays, I have the unfortunate combination of very light skin and very dark, tough and full whiskers. Shaving a two-day growth sounds something like cutting through barbed wire.

757 Connor Lawrence May 27, 2010 at 12:16 pm

My first shave was in 7th grade. Some kid in my math class starting giving me flack about having a “mexi-stash” so I asked my dad to help me out. My mom, the perennial scrapbooker and memento keeper, took a picture of the scene; me in my white bathrobe, creme on my face and a razor held up at an awkward angle, and my pops pointing into the mirror looking frustrated. You can almost see him saying “you’re going to cut your eye out!”

758 Jesse May 27, 2010 at 1:08 pm

My first wet shave was when I was about 4 years old. That’s right, with an actual razor. Albeit one of those plastic disposable safety razors, but there was a blade in it. We lived on a farm in the country and weren’t discouraged from experiencing reasonable and temporary injuries. Considering that I was allowed supervised access to hammers, saws, nails, and a full complement of non-powered hand tools, indulging my request to be like dad and shave with a real razor didn’t seem too out there. Both my parents were actually present for this event. Dad brought me and a little stool into the bathroom so I could reach the sink myself and see in the mirror and mom stood buy with her student-model Nikon SLR camera, an EM, I believe. Still have the damn thing around somewhere, if curiosity gets the better of me, I could just dig it out and check. Well, thanks to mom’s characteristic motherly urge to document things, there happens to be some wonderful photos of this event. I’m pretty sure one with my dad and me is in a photo album right now. I used to keep it stuck in the corner of my bathroom mirror, but since it is the only existing copy hard copy from a 20-year-old photo, I was a little afraid it would get water damage so I relented and put it away for safe keeping. I could probably find it though, if any one is interested in a little bit of my personal history. I didn’t start shaving regularly until I was about 15. Not sure if this early shave had to do with it, but I had the baddest set of chops of anyone in my high school by the time I was a sophomore. I’ve seen moved that over to beard ranging from well-groomed to mountain-man. I actually stumbled on this contest because I’m planning a trip to our local old fashioned barbershop in Louisville, Derby City Chop Shop. I’ve had this beard for a couple years now and I think the right way to take it off would be with a traditional straight razor shave.

759 Henry Lesesne May 27, 2010 at 1:30 pm

My Daily Shaving Saga

By age sixteen, I had accumulated enough peach fuzz on my face that my mother insisted my father teach me to shave. He dutifully complied and taught me the basics of shaving; soften your whiskers with hot water, lather up, drag the blade down your face and rinse between shaving strokes. Then put on a healthy splash of Old Spice aftershave that was like putting fire on my freshly scraped face. I didn’t have any nicks after my first shave, but the Old Spice turned me off to after-shave well into adulthood.

For the rest of high school, I got by shaving only once a month. My mom would ask me “Have you shaved today?” Eventually, my mom complained about the peach fuzz and how unkempt it made me look until I went and shaved. Usually I could escape her indignation sufficiently to limit shaving to once a month. The monthly shaving routine was brutally ended when I entered military basic training and had to shave daily, whether I need it or not. Formation inspections regularly revealed that I did not know how to systematically scrape peach fuzz off my face, as evidenced by the drill sergeant’s tirades about the “seven whiskers” I had missed. It seemed to always be that many, never more, never less and never the same seven. By the end of basic training, I could systematically shave all “seven whiskers” and escape the harangues.
After basic training, when daily inspections became weekly inspections, I could go a week without shaving because my “beard” was still peach fuzz, albeit thicker. Still the facial hair was fine and soft – a level of coarseness that required me to only change my razor blade monthly.

In my twenties, when I eventually had to start shaving every other day, my beard started to coarsen up and I dealt with razor burn and in-grown stubble because of poor shaving technique. My dad got me an electric razor as a birthday gift, but the spinning blades seemed to yank my facial hair out even more painfully than the razor burn. I resorted to shaving with a double blade; a permanent handle assembly with replaceable cartridges I still use. Eventually I learned how to shave properly, including using an aftershave for sensitive skin that had no alcohol to set fire to my face. Fortunately for me, and others like me who have fine facial hair that has not toughened my face through harsh shaving, there are many alcohol free after-shave balms available to soothe my face which can still be tender at times.

In my thirties, I had enough density and coarseness to my facial hair to attempt a mustache. Although it was thick enough, and I was quite proud of it as a badge of my manhood, my wife was having nothing to do with it – or more specifically me until I got rid of it. By the time I retired from the military, I had mastered the art of shaving, and had reached the point in my life when I had to shave every day. My wife claims my face is like sandpaper if I don’t shave daily; in a way I take pride in that as a surrogate for the mustache that was my badge of manhood. Nonetheless, I only have to replace my razor blade every three days because my beard has coarsened enough to actually dull them.

My dad came to visit me and to see his three grandsons a couple of years ago. We were sitting in the park watching my sons playing on the jungle gym, all of them fresh-faced and between the ages of four and six. They are all fair-headed like me, with fine hair and will most likely not have to shave daily well into their twenties. As we watched my sons playing, my dad looked at me with a straight face and in all innocent sincerity, he asked me, “Have you started shaving every day yet?”

760 JABrown May 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm

To this day I can not grow a decent beard. I’ve got some on my chin and little scattered all over. “Oh you’ve got it easy.” Maybe, I just see it as really annoying. I would rather it just be all or nothing. None of this in-between stuff.
But it was always like this. Even as a boy in my early teens I was embarrassed about my lack of facial hair. If I let it go it was just gross looking and I was always self conscious about it. Well, I begged my mom to let me buy a razor, “Fine, as long as you don’t take it to camp with you this weekend.” Well that was the whole reason I wanted it. I didn’t want to go to summer camp with a gross peach fuzz face! Plus I wanted to look grown up. Well I brought it and my mom found out and took it away.

My very first “shave” though was when I was very young. My parents bought me a toy razor and lotion. I remember shaving all day over and over with it. I was very sad when I lost it one. Weird how big a deal that was.

761 Matt May 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

The first time I shaved was when I was about 14 or so. I was a late bloomer in the facial hair department, so there was no reason for me to do it beforehand. I was embarrassed about doing it. I didn’t have that much hair, and I knew my brother would make fun of me for shaving (He was that kind of guy). So I took one of my dad’s disposable razors, went into my room, and shut the door. Notice I said ONLY a razor. My first shave was a dry shave. Bad life choices. I shaved the little hair that was on my face, cutting myself a bit, and afterwards my face felt like it was on fire. I thought “Is this what it feels like to shave?!? This is awful!”. I didn’t shave for a while after that. The next time a did (A few months later I believe), I got up the courage to try it in the bathroom, where my family could see. I lathered the shaving cream onto my face (Rather poorly I might add) and started shaving. A few minutes later my dad walked in the bathroom. I was horrified. He looked at me, smiled, and said “So how long have you been shaving?”. I haven’t been embarrassed to shave since.

762 Mike May 27, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Summer after my freshman year – I was at summer camp and and a older friend leaned over the table at dinner and told me I needed to shave. Used a disposable razor right there in the cabin to scrape the few chin hairs I’d developed that had grown out. Since I hadn’t brought all the gear with me, getting the full treatment had to wait until I got back home the following week.

763 Josh May 27, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I shaved for the first time when I was 15. Peach fuzz was accumulating and my dad knew it was time. I remember being taught and seeing all of the blond fuzz on the razor. I was excited to learn, but more eager to have a real face of hair. I’m 22 now and the only facial hair I get is on my upper lip and chin. I haven’t developed the discipline to shave every day, but I have become very interested in safety razors, so I hope to win a free one and be off on my shaving adventures into a respectable routine with a classy new razor.

764 Lydon May 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm

My first “shave” was when I was a young boy with my dad helping me through it. I put “shave” in quotations because while my dad was doing the real thing with a razor, I was using a popicle stick to shave of my not yet grown in whiskers. My dad taught me how to lather up and how use different strokes, and I pretended to be doing the real thing my scraping off my shaving cream with my popsicle stick. I remember it being fun and made me look forward to the day when I grew facial hair and I could put the techniques to good use.

765 Michael May 27, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I can’t really remember my first shave. Too long ago but I was probably 13 or 14 and had no real reason to shave. I just did it because it was “cool”. It was a long time before I had a real need to shave. Even into my early 20s I could get away with shaving only once a week. Now in my 40s I have to shave daily and recently started “wet shaving” which I enjoy a lot more than I ever did using disposable shavers.

766 barry May 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I remember more about the blood than the shave. It consisted of a dry razor and me shaving a mustache that made me look like a 12 year old puerto rican off my face. Sadly I don’t know what looked worse the terrible stache or the cuts I was left with when I removed it.

767 Gordon Howard May 27, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Like the youg man in the advertisement getting his first shave that was me. I got my first with a twin blade west coast shaver also, I slathered on the soap and proceded, ouch! well it got better with time, that was in 1973. I often think of using a straight edge maybe soon.

768 Morgan May 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm

It is not the easiest thing to remember back that far. My first shave unfortunately was with an electric razor. Nobody tells you they tend not to work very well on peach fuzz. I spent about 45 minutes trying to use it, all it did was rip out the hairs. My face felt like it was on fire for the next 2 hours. I didn’t have to shave again for about a month. I went through this for a while. Then I moved up in the world. I think I was about 14 when I truely shaved for the first time. Thet was cool. I felt like a new man. Then I spent the next six months shaving everyday wether I needed to or not to try to get the hair to grow thicker and faster. Now that I am almost 40 I am realising that was not the best of ideas. But I digress. I just finished teaching my 14 year old son the importance of a proper shave. I sure wish my old man had done that for me. Might have made life a little less nick and acne prone. And now to complete the circle my son and I while on vacation this year are going to get straight razor shaves together for fathers day.
I can’t wait.
Mahalo for the site that brightens my day when I get you daily emails.

769 Greg May 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I was 14. It was a Braun Electric. All it tended to do was irritated my face. It was a privately proud moment. Since graduated to a nice wet shave, and learned what a good shave really is.

770 Geoff M May 27, 2010 at 3:32 pm

In a move that would excite the most hardcore slasher film enthusiasts, I attempted to shave using my father’s safety razor shaving kit. The name of the razor did little in the way of creating a safe atmosphere for my first foray in manhood. I was on the lighter side of seven when I decided that I was grown up enough to follow in my dad’s footsteps and shave like him. At the time I neither knew nor cared what exactly I was supposed to be shaving but that was merely trivial as I secretly crept through the master bedroom and on through into the bathroom. I stepped on an overturned trash bin and examined all the marvelous tools before me as the overpowering scent of aftershave and shaving cream did little to clear my head. I covered my entire face, throat, and even chest in shaving cream and picked up the razor with trembling fingers. I took one last breath as I plunged into a sea of white and away I “shaved.” The first stroke went well (as far as I could tell, it was perfect… i.e. no blood yet) and the second and third strokes followed in a similar manner. It wasn’t until midway through the 5th stroke that I realized something was amiss: the white was turning pink before my very eyes. It was entrancing at first, the colors blending and turning different shades… and then the pain came. It hit my like a punch never would. I flipped off the back of the bin and into the wall behind me, blood and cream going everywhere. I grabbed the closest towel and tried to uncover my wound from the quickly amassing blood. I finally found the source just as my mother found me (in s scene I’m sure still gives her nightmares) and I passed out in her arms. I awoke in a haze about 15 min later in a kitchen chair with a wide assortment of bandages and cloth wrappings encompassing my tiny throat and head. Through the slit of towels in front of my eyes, I could see the entire family (and one or two neighbors) surrounding me. My brother laughed until he peed, my mother didn’t speak for days, and my dad was never prouder.

771 John May 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm

One morning, when I was six, I wandered into the bathroom while my dad was preparing for his morning shave. He asked me if I would like to learn how to shave and I jumped at the chance. He loaded my palm with a pile of Foamy cream. (You know, the kind that can’t stop a roller coaster.) I applied it just like Dad and reveled in the mild tingle on my face. I watched with wonder as Dad changed the blade in his injector razor. But I needed a ‘razor’. Dad went to his desk and got me a medium sized alligator clip. With the arms extended I used the edge on the end of the clip to match my pop’s shave stroke for stroke. After applying a bit of Old Spice I went off to school feeling like a real man! I will always be greatful for that lesson.

772 John May 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Not having much in the way of an old man to learn from, as a kid I found my grandfathers travel DE Safety Razor, I didn’t really know what it was, but I knew that it had to do with manliness. Fast forward a couple of years and I am at an all male Catholic School where shaving was part of the dress code. I had no clue what I was doing, but I brought the razor with me to school one morning and shamefully asked Coach what the story was with all of it; with a bit of a grin he showed me how and welcomed me into the way of the wet shave.

773 Eric May 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm

My beard was non-existant until I made it to high school, and in my high school, the Brothers checked each morning that we were clean shaven. So my first shave with a multiblade was an absolute disaster. Little cuts all over my face, and it was only Monday! Those little cuts kept getting opened each day. Terrible, but there were many others with me, so we survived that first week in quiet solidarity. Until I got to college and was shown the light by a fellow across the hall from me. Safety razor, real cream and a brush! I haven’t looked back since!!

774 Derek Darling May 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm

I used one of the cheapest Bic razors you can probably buy and Gillette foam shave cream. I am not sure that I really needed a shave, so I don’t remember really feeling anything about it. My Dad didn’t really teach me much, but my Grandpa gave me a few pointers a few days before I tried it out. Now I am a big Proraso fan, but would love to upgrade my brush and razor. I tried out the Merker razor at the barber shop a couple of weeks ago and loved it!

775 Joe May 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm

A girl I liked commented on my “funky mustache” when I was 12. That’s right, I said 12. Being a 12 year old boy, paying attention to my own appearance hadn’t occurred to me yet. I was too busy paying attention to how the girls looked to notice that I looked like some kind of funky hobo – until that comment.

The next morning I was staring at my face in the mirror and realized I did have a funky, pre-teen boy mustache, as well as some random hairs on my chin. I was appalled. But I didn’t have a clue what to do about them. My step-father and I didn’t have the sort of relationship where I could comfortably ask him to teach me how to shave, so I stared at his shaving gear and decided to just give it a shot on my own.

This was before plastic disposable, multi-bladed razors were common. The equipment in front of me was a functional (if unbalanced and cheap) safety razor, a shaving brush and a shaving cup filled with a block of shaving soap. I filled the cup with warm water, mushed the brush in there and created enough foam to shave a yak with. I lathered up my face and with no further preparation, began dragging the razor across my face. When I got to my upper lip the less-than-sharp blade yanked the whiskers from my skin.

I thought to myself, “My step-dad does this every day? He’s nuts.” When I rinsed off the lather I was bleeding from multiple wounds, my upper lip was raw and red and the bathroom sink was a hairy, bloody, soapy mess, but the funky mustache and oddball chin hairs were gone. My sense of accomplishment lasted all the way up until angry bellowing began emanating from the bathroom due to my less than thorough clean-up job and the mess I’d made of my step-father’s razor.

776 Brian May 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm

I don’t really remember my first time shaving. I don’t think it was that big of a deal. I just started on the wet shaving path in January of this year and it was like walking out of the wilderness and into the promised land.

It was that good.

777 Daniel Fryar May 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm

My Papa Dude gave me a hand-me-down electric to start with. I always just “half-shaved” with electrics for years and years.
A few months ago, Papa Dude passed away. I inherited a cowboy hat and a safety razor kit with a badger brush. Now he put me on a better path to cleaning the stubble off my chin.

778 Shane May 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I was around 13 when I attempted my first shave. The fuzz was coming in and I was starting to get razzed by my step-dad about. Of course, he offered no assistance or advice, so I pilfered one of my mom’s disposables and ended up using bath soap in place of shaving cream (couldn’t sneak any of that easy). I can still feel the burn and I’m probably just now after 27 years recovering from the blood loss!

779 Frailie May 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm

I cannot remember when my first “real” shave was, but when I was in elementary school, I “shaved” with my father in the evenings. He taught out in the county during the day, so he was usually gone or almost ready to leave by the time I was up for school. In order to cut down on the time he spent getting ready in the mornings, he would shave at night before he went to bed. I would stand at the mirror next to him with shaving cream on my face and use the handle of my toothbrush in lieu of a razor. So, even though I don’t know when I got my first electric shaver (I think it was for my 12th birthday), I do remember standing on the tips of my toes and struggling to see myself in the mirror next to him.

780 James May 27, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I was 14 years old, and my Dad took me into the bathroom and said:

“Son, you’re starting to become a man now. You’re starting to get scruffy, and it’s not in a good way. So, I’m going to teach you to shave!”

He patted me on the back and then proceeded to show me how to use the shaving cream. I learned that I had to have warm, but not hot, water, or it would make razor burn worse. He let me use his razor, that he had had since the 70s (one of those metal-plastic two blade types) and walked me through the basics of it. He then walked out of the room, and I promptly proceeded to cut myself at least 8 times.

When Dad came back in to the sight of me trying to stop the bleeding, he then showed me how to stop the blood with little pieces of toilet paper, thus making my face look like I was going Japanese or something! It was a very memorable experience, to be sure…

781 Steve May 27, 2010 at 6:42 pm

It’s hard to remember but I think I was about 13. My dad had just purchased a fancy new razor where the blade was a sharp ribbon of steel rolled up in the handle. After the first segment got too dull, you turned a little crank that rolled the used segment of the ribbon into the handle and exposed a new, sharp section. Dad’s razor was probably still on the first section. I put on some shaving cream from the aerosol can (I think it may have been Barbisol), then tried out the razor. I cut myself on the first pass.

Disillusioned, I washed off the shaving cream and stanched the bleeding. Then I tried out the little crank. It moved to the next blade with a solid click. That was cool so I cranked it to the next one. Then the next. I counted how many blade sections were in the thing. I can’t remember, but there were probably six or eight.

Then I tried to roll the blade ribbon back to where I started. Nothing doing. There was no reverse. With horror, I realized that I had just wasted the entire ribbon of blade on Dad’s expensive new razor. I quietly put everything away and snuck out of the bathroom.

Dad never did say anything.

782 Eric Sherwood May 27, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I remember my first shave quite vividly. I was 14 years old, it was the night before my first MC JROTC uniform inspection.

The day before, out SMI told us that we all needed to make sure and shave so that we wouldn’t lose points on our inspection. I still am not 100% convinced that I had anything on my face to shave off, but I did it anyway.

My dad walked me through the process with just some generic shaving foam and a cheap disposable razor (which actually surprised me because he has always used an electric). I did well; didn’t cut myself at all. Got a 100 on my inspection the next day, too. Ooh-rah.

783 David May 27, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I don’t remember how old I was or if how badly I even needed a shave, but I know that nobody taught me and I didn’t tell anyone about my first few shaves. The first few times I snuck into my dad’s bathroom and swiped his shaving stuff. My parents must have gotten wise because after a while, without a word a new (cheap) razor and a new (cheap) can of shaving cream wound up in my bathroom. I think that first secretive shave was pretty uneventful but every other memory I have about shaving miserable and associated with pain, rawness, ingrown hairs, etc. I wish I had been taught about this process because even now at 38 I still hate to shave. I only do it twice a week. Luckily my job doesnt require that I be clean shaven. I actually shave my nuts almost as often as I shave my face.
The best shaving memory I have is my first straight razor shave, about 4 years ago. My friend specializes in doing that at his barber shop. I loved the process even though it was still a tad bit painful. Didn’t matter; it made me feel like an old time gangster. Pretty cool stuff. I think that when I have a son and he gets about that age, I’ll make his first shave a straight shave at a barber and then teach him proper shaving techniques at home

784 Nicholas Johnson May 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm

I have always wished to have a good strong beard, my family comes from a thick line of beard growth. My Father has always had a very strong beard as well as my older brother , I saw them as men. I shaved for my first time when I was 14, I learned after many nickes how to shave properly, and I dreamed of a day when I could grow friendly mutton chops. It was a very manly activity and it felt righteous until it became a daily thing.

785 David A. May 27, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I was probably about 15 years old when I first started shaving using my dad’s electric razor. I would use it while running the shower so they couldn’t not hear the buzzing. I wasn’t afraid of getting into trouble, I just knew they would tease me about it. it wasn’t until the Navy sent me my own actual razor when I either graduated or turned 18, I forget which, as their own little way of getting me to enlist I guess, and then I shaved for the first time with a blade. I was very surprised I did not cut myself with it, that was being saved for the second time.

786 James May 27, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I was around 13, and started off being taught how to shave with Bic razors, from my dad. Since then I’ve discovered how much better real wet shaving is over both disposable and electric razors.

787 John May 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Being Asian and having facial hair do not go along well. I was around 16 when i first started shaving. It was hard trying to grow enough facial hair to justify a shave. I was always wearing the dirtstache for about 2 years and it never grew. I had a disposable Gillette sensor 3 razor. My dad only taught me how to shave with electrical so i just ran the razor across my face after lathering up with soap. Didn’t turn out too great though. My face was really dry and cut up. I read about how to properly shave after that and my life got better.

788 Samuel M. May 27, 2010 at 8:20 pm

I was one of the few that was self taught. I lost my father at an early age, so I never had any real guidance on becoming a man other than looking up to the other men in my family. I first shaved when I was 15 because I was going into ROTC in high school. I went with my mom to walmart, bought a mach 3 razor and some shave gel, and just did my best. Needless to say, my face looked like I lost a fight with a paper shredder, but I got the job done, haha.

789 Nathan Shirai May 27, 2010 at 8:27 pm

My first shave was at age 12, the afternoon before the 8th grade dance in middle school. I used my grandpa’s 1980s Norelco electric razor to remove a small amount of fuzz from my upper lip. Surprisingly, people noticed.

My first razor shave was with a Gillette Mach III in high school. Not sure when I decided to switch. This method continued up until about 2 months ago, when I started using a safety razor.

790 An May 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm

My first shave was when I was 12-13. I had the typical peach fuzz and didn’t like the way it felt, so I just splashed water, ran the disposable razor under the open faucet and stroked away the poor excuse of facial hair. My father didn’t teach me much on shaving, I basically taught myself. He didn’t really have to teach me, anyhow. I’ve seen him shave enough to understand the basic mechanics.

791 Jim S May 27, 2010 at 8:33 pm

I was 12 years old, and sick of being teased about my “moustache”. I locked myself in the bathroom and dry shaved with a bic disposable. It was not a good experience at all.

Over a year later, Dear Ol’ Dad showed me both electric razor and disposable+shaving cream. Now it’s mostly electric with a safety razor and brush saved for the weekend.


792 Michael Lupia May 27, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Since I was a kid, I always looked up to my old man. He has a great deal of manly qualities, but one I remember quite well was his whiskers. Whenever he gave me a hug or a kiss at the end of the day, I remember feeling his 5 o’ clock shadow against my skin. I related this sandpaper effect to a part of what makes us manly. And so as I got older, I really wanted duplicate it myself.

My first shaving experience was done in secret as well. My brother, who is two years older than me, already had some peach fuzz he was mowing, and so I borrowed one of his disposable razors. I recall applying shaving cream to my face for the first time, and instantly loving the smell. Then I got confused, not knowing where the few hairs I wanted to shave were now that they were hidden underneath the shaving cream. And so I simply emulated my father’s motions: move the razor from top to bottom.

I did a pretty good job, but one of my obstacles that first time and throughout my adolescence was acne. I shaved a pimple and it bled out pretty good. As a result, I was always a little apprehensive every time I started to shave, not wanting to make my face look worse than when I started. I got good at making tiny little “clotters” out of toilet paper. After a while, my brother started to notice me shaving, and gave me some pointers like how much pressure to apply and wetting my face with hot water first.

I’m happy to say that now I get a fairly sexy 5 o’ clock shadow, but women seem to prefer a clean shaven man. And so I need a proper shaving kit. ;)

793 Joshua Earl May 27, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I was 10yrs old and used a Gillette Atra my dad gave me to shave off my fairly thick mustache every two days.

794 Adam May 27, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Like many boys, I was fascinated with shaving as I wanted to be just like Dad. Around the time I was five or six, my mom got me a fake shaving kit—it was a foamy soap that looked like shaving cream and a plastic toy in the shape of a razor. Every morning, I would accompany Dad into the bathroom to get ready for the day. Eventually I began to actually grow hair and switched to a real razor, but my favorite shaving memories are from those days, dragging out the step stool and standing on my tip-toes just to reach the sink and shave like Dad.

795 Bill May 27, 2010 at 9:38 pm

As a boy I remember watching my dad and thinking this was definitely a manly activity and a rite of passage.I wondered how he managed to do it without cutting himself. He used a DE blade and I wish I knew where it was today 20 yrs after his death. (This weekend by the way- no kidding.) My younger brother cut his face badly after watching him try it. Consequentially, I didn’t shave until my face was covered with peach fuzz-and I have embarrassing photos to show for it. I converted to a DE last year and it always reminds me of those days when dad was shaving for work; the routine made me feel safe and secure for some reason.
Electric shavers never did it for me-not close enough. And besides dad never used one.

796 Paul May 27, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I was about fifteen or sixteen when I first shaved. I only had some fuzz, but my older brother had told me to, and as I was prone to do, I followed his advice. I used a disposable bic and as a result I had some really uncomfortable razor burn. I always regarded shaving as an annoying thing that I needed to do (I used probably a gillette mach 4)) until I started shaving with an old safety razor. The result was a smooth comfortable shave–an enjoyable succession that I believe was the true rite of passage for me.

797 Steve Thomas May 27, 2010 at 10:13 pm

I waited far too long to start shaving. My dad worked a lot, and didn’t often find time to lend manly advice of this sort. I believe I was 13 or 14 when one of my friends suggested that I part with what had now become a very noticeable, and quite hideous patch of fuzz on my upper lip.

Knowing nothing about shaving, I was slightly terrified at the thought of cutting up my face, but alas, I saw that my friend was trying subtly but desperately to have me get rid of the vermin that adorned my face. I went to the local drug store, bought a disposable razor, and off it went. Fear of shaving became pride of an adolescent sort of manliness.

Ironically, I now rock a mustache, though it does bring a little more fullness than when I was 13.

798 Scott White May 27, 2010 at 10:14 pm

My first shave was young, back when I was ten or eleven. I didn’t learn from my dad, I wasn’t even using his razor, I borrowed one of my mom’s.
I learned many things, that day. One, shaving hurts. Two, don’t use a leg razor and hope your mom doesn’t notice. Three, if you cut yourself shaving, your parents will notice.
After that, through trial and error, I figured it out.
Was it a rite of passage? Not particularly, unless a bloodletting ceremony qualifies.

799 Jared Mc May 27, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Well, when I turned 15 my father gave me a used and abused straight-razor he had as a souvenir, and I fascinated on how I could potentially use it later in life. A few months later, my side-burns were really becoming noticeable, or at least I thought they were, and I went rummaging for my father’s razor. I shot a glob of Gillette shaving cream into my palm, and lathered up. I felt so awesome spreading it on my face like a piece of toast. I lightly touched the edge to my cheek, and took a nice veneer of skin off.. I definitely built up some character that day..

800 Andrew May 27, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I had a memorable first shave, ’twas when I was only ten years old. My father and I where on a road trip to see some of his old friends from college. One morning at a podunk motel, he was shaving and he jokingly asked if I needed to shave too! I was ecstatic and didn’t hesitate to give an eager “yes”. Of course I didn’t have any facial hair, but regardless it was a milestone in my manhood. I was able to brag about how I shave to all my friends, although I started shaving regularly circa the 8th grade. Good memories!

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