Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Right time to shave/trim?

  1. Apr 6, 2015 #1
    I know this sounds like a very silly thread, but hair is just becoming visible on my chin. I like clean looks but I don't really know what to do here. My HS classmates are 2-3 years older than me so I can't really compare myself with them (most of the guys in class shave though). I'm 15 years old and 6"2 in height right now so I guess I'm in post-puberty. Is it too early to shave? Should I trim instead? Are there any biological/social implications to this? I've heard rumors that hair becomes extraordinarily hard after shaving, and hair growth rate increases as well. The Internet is also plagued with bogus and biased information, so I thought I'll post this here. When did you start shaving?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2015 #2

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    If you want to look clean - shave. Everything else is just philosophy, and we don't like philosophy here.
     
  4. Apr 6, 2015 #3
    So hair doesn't harden after repeated shaving?
     
  5. Apr 6, 2015 #4

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  6. Apr 6, 2015 #5
    That clears the biological part, thanks. Any social implication which I should watch out for?
     
  7. Apr 6, 2015 #6
    No, nobody else has much interest in you shaving, it's just a normal development.
     
  8. Apr 6, 2015 #7
    I certainly hope that my peers take it that way :rolleyes:
     
  9. Apr 6, 2015 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well, not quite. That covers the hair, but not what happens to your face. I'm not sure about long term effects, but if I shave on consecutive days, I really tear-up my face. Remember: you are shaving skin off when you shave. So if you have a sensitive face, consider using an electric.

    Though at your age you won't need to shave every day anyway.

    BTW, don't you have a dad who can teach you such things?
     
  10. Apr 6, 2015 #9

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Disagree. I remember such developments being a big deal, and to a broader extent your face is always a noticeable part of your appearance.
     
  11. Apr 6, 2015 #10
    Oh well, it was no deal at all in my own case.
    My parents just provided me with basic sensible advice, then left me to it.
    My peers made no comment at all.
     
  12. Apr 6, 2015 #11
    What ever you do, DO NOT shave dry. You need to use shaving cream or your face will itch like there is no tomorrow.
     
  13. Apr 6, 2015 #12

    Ryan_m_b

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't usually shave, since the age of 19 I've just had a small beard that I trim. When I started shaving I was about 15 and boy did my skin take a pounding, not because I cut it (though I did occasionally) but because I'd get a razor rash. To avoid that I'd suggest buying an after shave balm to run into the skin after shaving. You might not need it but it's better to have and not need than need and not have.
     
  14. Apr 6, 2015 #13
    I only shave once every two weeks. I prefer a week stubble to a baby face. My wife does not agree :D
     
  15. Apr 6, 2015 #14

    strangerep

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Only this: whenever I see a teenager just starting to develop facial hair, but hasn't realized he (or she!) should start thinking about mowing/trimming it somehow, I tend to think how immature that person still is.

    Me too, but that's because I'm lazy and I like to preserve my awesome, slightly scary appearance -- see my avatar. :oldwink:

    (Just realized: there are no smilies depicting "cool with facial hair". That's just outright discrimination.)

    But how often does she shave, or otherwise attend to the gardening?
     
  16. Apr 6, 2015 #15
    Not actually true. I think this picture explains it rather well: http://imgur.com/gallery/fkkn3 . Basically, when you don't get an even cut (say, if you're using a dull or otherwise cruddy razor) you're not just cleanly shearing the hair away but also ripping at it and breaking it apart which can make it look a little bit thicker (think like what happens when you cut a piece of string with dull scissors, with the little threads fraying out at the end). Also, the uneven shave creates a stubbly appearance which kind of makes it look even more like the hair is coarser and thicker.

    The reason it seems harder is that keratin can be quite rigid- your fingernails, for example, are also keratin. Scalp hair seems softer just because it's longer, if you get it cut very short the individual hairs will seem a lot stiffer until they grow out. So that's what's going on with facial hair, most people who do not have beards who let it grow for a couple days notice it seems rough and stiff for this reason.

    Whatever the case, a good razor will mitigate this quite a bit.

    Anyway, body hair (including facial hair) growth is controlled by time and hormones, not by hair length. Your hair follicles do not have any mechanism to sense that the hair is shorter as a stimulus to start growing more.

    When I was 10. Not even joking. Barely a square inch of body hair, and I was growing a moustache before I was even in middle school. Cruel ironies.

    As for social implications, to my knowledge most high schools have policies forbidding facial hair so it might get you in a bit of trouble. Also, the clean-shaven just looks cleaner and more mature, especially on a teenager.
     
  17. Apr 7, 2015 #16

    WWGD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think facial hair in general makes you look older. I have the impression I get called 'sir' more often when I have a 3-day + unshaven face than when I am clean cut. If you are a female, though, it is a whole different conversation (shave it all !).
     
  18. Apr 7, 2015 #17

    BobG

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Depends on whether you're dating or not.

    Try an experiment. Date a few girls when you have a clean shaven face. Date a few girls when you have that scraggly crap that you call a beard on your face.

    You'll notice the fathers of the girls you're dating when you have facial hair all seem to have a passion for sharpening farm implements.

    I'm not sure if the facial hair is transforming fathers into demonic serial killers or if it's just that the daughters of urban farmers are more likely to be attracted to facial hair, but it's bad news either way.
     
  19. Apr 7, 2015 #18

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't get what is wrong about being called 'sir' if you are female.
     
  20. Apr 7, 2015 #19

    WWGD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  21. Apr 7, 2015 #20

    WWGD

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, obvious!, the etiquette says you must then be called Mrs Sir .
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Right time to shave/trim?
  1. Electrical Shaving (Replies: 3)

  2. Giving up shaving (Replies: 58)

Loading...