The gentle art of introducing what’s basically a lethal weapon to vulnerable parts of your body each morning needs to be carefully learnt. For most men, these lessons begin by watching Dad dragging a razor across his face over the sink before work (these sessions can also double as a masterclass in swearing when he nicks a bit of skin). Whatever facial hair you end up with in the end, shaving is a right of passage. So join us as we go on a journey through the five stages of mastering the blade, from wispy-chinned student to full-on ninja master.
THE FIVE AGES OF SHAVING
By Matt Chittock, 19 February 2017
The real tragedy is that the desire to use a razor often comes before the need. This leads to some horrific experiments and moments spent quietly sobbing over the toilet looking like you’ve had a run-in with Wolverine.
The bumfluff years
Before your follicles finally come through for you, you’ll be teased by patches of fuzz too fine to shave off, and too short to style properly. To rub it in, there’ll be one properly hairy guy in your class who’s had to shave twice a day since he was eight.
Taking on a 'tache
When upper-lip down flourishes into manly fur, it’s all too tempting to make it a facial feature. But beware: while you might think you look like Heisenberg from Breaking Bad, others may see Walter White.
The experimental years
Craig David-style manscaping? Raging sideburns? Porn-star moustache? Once you’ve got the hang of it, the possibilities are endless. Just remember that the pics could haunt you on social media for years to come…
Achieving peak beard
Congratulations – you’ve now graduated to a full-on grizzly beard. Plus, you’re savvy enough to know that even the most handsomely hirsute heroes need an occasional touch-up with the razor to stay sharp.