Before I started testosterone, I shaved about once every three weeks maybe four. The peach fuzz on my face grew back slowly and never got any more coarse...I guess it's a big ol' wives tale that hair grows back coarse and dark if you keep shaving it. If that was the case I would have started shaving when I was thirteen!! Instead, shaving will soon become a necessity.

Right now, I shave every 3-4 days. I have a pretty good set of whiskers on the bottom of my chin and they seem to be spreading. I can feel the hair getting thicker and more coarse every time I shave and new dark whiskers are appearing along my sideburns every couple of days. I am starting to see the hairs on my upper lip, yeah I have to look real close but they're there! I am hoping that I will be able to grow a decent amount of facial hair by Christmas maybe on my chin or have some decent sideburns... no, not mutton chops!

I have been reading a lot about how long it might take to get a decent amount of facial hair and the thing is like everything with testosterone, there are no guarantees. It could take six months or six years to be able to grow a decent moustache or goatee. I am hoping that with my dose the fur will come sooner than later!! I am learning about shaving. The first lesson I ever had was from the greatest man I've ever known: my Grandpa Jack. I was about four years old when he sat me up on the counter beside the sink and we brushed our teeth and he rinsed and gargled with the horrible yellow Listerine. That stuff made my mouth burn and burn and to this day I can't stand the taste of it although the smell of it makes me think of him.

Anyhow, Grandad used the brush and cup of foam as his method of choice. He added a couple of drops of water to the cup and swirled the brush around and made the thick white foam that he painted over his cheeks and chin. I can still remember the sound and the scraping noise when he would drag the razor across his skin. Once in a while he would put the lather on my face and I would shave it off with a tongue depressor. Sometimes he'd use an electric razor and buzz my cheeks with. He'd use that to trim long whiskers before he shaved with a razor.

I have had a couple bad breakouts from shaving and learned a few tricks of the trade by reading up on the art of shaving...who knew! So for all you guys who might need a few helpful tips about shaving here they are:

•     Shave after a shower or use a hot damp towel on your face for a few minutes before shaving

•     If you have sensitive skin use an appropriate shave foam for sensitive skin, trust me on this. I use the Gillette in a blue can (for sensitive skin) and it smells great. Try different kinds till you find one you like. A good place to get tester sizes is the travel section of a drugstore or check on-line sometimes you can get sample packs for free.

•     Use a multi blade razor 3 or more blades, I will likely move up to a four or five blade razor when the hair gets more coarse. Same rule applies for razors: find one you like.

•     Don't use a razor for more than five or six shaves. They are disposable for a reason. Save your face and avoid razor burn and ingrown hairs.

•     Shave in downward strokes only until your skin gets used to shaving. This helps prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs and rash.

•     Remember the first time you tried shaving your legs and scraped all the skin off your ankles? This is your face. You don't need to press hard to get the hair off and really, the hair isn't coarse enough for you to feel like you need a belt sander to get it off your chin. Take it easy. If you have rogue hairs left over after your first try re-apply some shave foam and shave again.

•     When you're finished shaving, rinse with cool water and pat your face dry.

•     Use some type of aftershave. This will help tone your skin after shaving and helps it recover if you get a bit of razor burn. Also if you nick yourself it will help close up the wound. Once again, try different kinds until you find one you like. I prefer Nivea cooling after shave lotion for sensitive skin.

•    If you have a bad breakout or rash avoid shaving until your skin calms down. Get yourself an electric beard trimmer or electric shaver with multiple attachments. This will come in handy if you need a trim but your skin can't tolerate a shave.

These are just some things I learned that really work and my skin had become a lot less irritated after shaving. I also wash my face 2-3 times a day,  once with soap and two or more times with just a wet paper towel I find that it helps with keeping my skin clear since it has become a lot greasier since starting t.

That's it for now. I look forward to hearing the same sandpaper scraping sound that I remember from my first experiences with my Grandpa Jack.If anyone out there has any other shaving tips for those of us just starting out, post them in the comments! I'd love to hear them.

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