There’s a good chance you’ve Googled ‘how to shave my balls’ at some point in your life. That might even be how you ended up here. And if you did, you’re not alone. So many modern metrosexual men used their neatly manicured fingers to type those words into the web that it became one of the top searches of 2016.
But unfortunately, guidance in this (relatively) new frontier of grooming is thin on the ground, making most men’s first forays into the realms of sack shaving a largely experimental affair.
Why oh why did they put Pythagoras’ theorem on the national curriculum instead of how to shave your testicles? It could have saved lives. (Probably.) But that’s the 21st-century educational system for you: short-sighted, impractical and completely unconcerned about the welfare of your balls.
Balancing precariously in the bathroom with one foot up on the porcelain, squinting at your scrotum in concentration as you take a razor to Harry and Sally is far from an ideal scenario and can wind up being a pretty steep learning curve of what not to do. But how else are we supposed to figure it out?
Sure, learning to shave your face with your dad is a rite of passage for most boys. One-on-one, father-son ball-shaving tutorials, on the other hand, are significantly less common and, let’s face it, very, very weird.
To sum up in a nut, er, shell, the right way to go about it; here’s everything you should know when it comes to taking a razor to those grapes of yours.
Should You Shave Your Balls?
A good place to start is to work out whether or not you should even shave your balls at all. Your significant other, if you’re lucky enough to have one, can act as a very handy tool to help you gauge this.
If they’re a fan of the seventies pornstar look, you’re in the clear. Feel free to step down from the toilet bowl and get that blade as far as possible away from your nether regions.
On the other hand, if they’re sick and tired of picking curly hairs out of their teeth every time they venture south, it’s probably time to get to work.
If you’re lacking a partner for guidance, please resist the urge to make it an early question on your Tinder date, no matter how desperate you are to get grooming. Nine out of 10 times, it won’t be kindly received.
Shaving VS Waxing
So, you’ve made your decision. That’s your first step on the road to a smooth sack. Next, you need to ask yourself whether or not shaving is the right method for you.
The alternative is getting a wax at a salon. If you go for one, you’ll need to have lukewarm showers for a couple of days and avoid the gym – because you haven’t known chafing like this before. We’d also recommend a full stock of moisturiser or body lotion (bonus points for an antiseptic ingredient like tea tree) in the cabinet. But if the idea of a complete stranger ripping each and every one of your pubic hairs out of their follicles in one fell swoop doesn’t appeal to you, this is probably not the best course of action.
Shaving is a much more painless option, provided it’s done with a very steady hand. Not to mention it’s cheaper and you can do it yourself in the comfort (okay, privacy) of your own bathroom.
Whatever you do, don’t even think about putting hair removal cream down there. Should the thought cross your mind, pause to read the reviews section of such products on Amazon to discover why. Do you really want a chemical burn on your balls?
What Should You Shave Your Balls With?
A recent study in the JAMA Dermatology medical journal found that 76 per cent of adults in the US groom their pubic hair. Of that, more than a quarter of male respondents reported sustaining injuries as a result of their efforts. That’s a lot of nicked nutsacks.
To reduce your risk of turning a casual body hair grooming session into an embarrassing night at the emergency room, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the correct tools.
You’ll need to decide how shaven you want to go. This will determine whether you use a trimmer, or go the whole hog, risking life and third limb with an actual blade.
“A lot of young men shaving their balls today use a razor,” says grooming expert Stephen Handisides, “others simply use a trimmer for hygiene reasons, or to feel more attractive to sexual partners.”
If you decide that silky smooth spuds are the only spuds worth striving for, the best razor you can go for is the one with the highest number of blades. The bigger the surface doing the cutting is, the less danger you pose to your precious plums.
How To Shave Your Balls
Aside from your choice of razor, you will also need:
- A pre-shave lotion
- Shaving gel
- Post-shave soothing balm
Any man who has ever shaved a beard off will know that you need to put a bit of groundwork in before you get started with the razor. That’s even more important when it comes to grooming your body hair, so this is where a pair of sharp (gulp) scissors come in handy.
Using a steady hand, snip away at excess hairs until you arrive at a workable starting point. Don’t worry about getting too close to the skin, just remove enough hair so that it won’t clog up the razor or trimmer, causing it to tug.
If you hadn’t noticed, your scrotum is far from the smoothest of surfaces. All that excess skin is just asking to be sliced with a razor, something you’re no doubt very keen to avoid.
“You want to start by splashing some cold water on them,” says Handisides. “This is a good way to tighten the skin, making the surface easier to shave.”
Once the skin is taut, you’ll need some lubricant. Though you may prefer cream or foam on your face, a clear gel is best down below as it allows you to see where you have and haven’t shaved. For bonus points, store it in the fridge before you come to use it. The cooling sensation will help keep the skin taut while shaving, further reducing the risk of a nasty accident.
The Scary Bit
Right, those balls aren’t going to shave themselves. So, pick up that razor and say a quick prayer.
“Pull the scrotum upwards to stretch the skin and use short, gentle strokes to avoid cutting yourself,” says Handisides.
Keeping the skin pulled tight is key to getting good results. Granted, constant tugging (not that kind) isn’t the most pleasant feeling in the world, but do you know what’s worse? That’s right, a bleeding ball sack.
“Towards the end, you may need to rinse off and reapply more shaving gel, just in case you missed any spots,” says Handisides.
Once you’re confident you have reached every nut-nook and cranny, rinse one more time and pat (don’t rub) them dry using a clean towel.
Before you get too carried away admiring your newly bald baubles in the mirror, don’t forget to apply an aftershave balm on them to minimise the risk of razor burn and ingrown hairs.
As well as immediately afterwards, it’s wise to do this in the days following, too. Not just because it’s really quite fun, but also because the skin on your balls is more sensitive than that on your face, even more so after dragging a sharp metal object dragged across it.
For the same reason, unscented, alcohol-free products and those marked for sensitive skin are the best and only option here. And lastly: no, do not splash them with aftershave. Are you nuts?